Nonprofits rely on a well-functioning Board of Directors to carry out their mission. They are seeking individuals who are passionate about the mission that have connections to the people they serve, and who have experience managing business operations at some level.
Professionals from all kinds of companies and organizations are members of boards that are non-profit. It’s a great chance to network, acquire new skills and contribute positively to the community.
According to a Korngold survey 78% of board members reported that service on a nonprofit board helped them develop more respect for the viewpoints and opinions that were not their own. This is crucial in a nonprofit board environment where decisions must be made with limited resources and the board must make sound decisions regarding financial management.
Nonprofit board members have many legal responsibilities and obligations that include the Duty of Care as well as the Duty of Loyalty. Board members must avoid conflicts and should not abuse their positions by making use of funds from nonprofit organizations to gain personal gain. For instance, if your board is considering an increase in salary for the executive director and you control the director’s company then you must not participate in voting on the issue due to conflicts of interest.
Many non-profit organizations also have permanent (sometimes called “standing”) committees that handle current issues or other special requirements that arise. These committees are comprised of board members who are required to disclose any conflicts of interests to other board members.