According to a report gathered from Greenlights for Nonprofit Success, there are more than 7,000 empty nonprofit board seats that need to be filled. Unfortunately, many CEOs see volunteerism as more of a distraction than a contributor to business success. And while some businesses do an impeccable job of endorsing nonprofit board service as a core part of their corporate culture, many do not.
As a board member of Greenlights for Nonprofit Success, American Factoring Association, and Pure Action, Inc., I have had the opportunity to see first-hand what one can gain from serving on a board. And I can tell you right now – there is quite a lot, and you do have the time for it.
Business leaders who serve on nonprofit boards have the potential to bring on a multitude of benefits to their company and to themselves, which I’ve highlighted for you below:
1. Growth, leadership skills, and experience you may not have the opportunity to develop otherwise
Serving on a board requires a different set of energy, innovation and expertise, allowing for growth and experience outside of the day-to-day tasks and skill set you regularly use. Gaining first-hand insight into the operations of an organization at a high level will also give you a deeper understanding of how others run their successful organizations. Lastly, board membership can offer an opportunity to utilize other talents that may typically lie dormant during your current workplace routine.
2. Give back to the community
Serving a nonprofit you are passionate about through board membership is a great way to get involved and give back to the community. By carefully selecting the right nonprofit for you, not only will you feel good about serving a cause you care about, but you’ll also gain a greater understanding of what it means to be accountable to the community that your organization serves. Helping to strengthen a philanthropic organization is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have.
3. Build your professional network
As a board member, you have the opportunity to build your network through relationships with those on the board and in the organization. Interacting with others who aren’t in your current professional network, with whom you share a common passion and affiliation, is an unbeatable way to expand your network, access mentors and discover new opportunities. Going early to board meetings and staying late to chat with others is a great way to utilize the plethora of resources available to you and build relationships with other business and community leaders.
Not sure if board service is a fit for you? Greenlights for Nonprofit Success hosts workshops and summits that present great opportunities for learning more about nonprofit board service. They recently launched a new online tool called OnBoard, which to helps to match board members and community leaders together.
How has nonprofit board service benefitted you?