Nonprofit Involvement: 11 Points to Ponder

A lively discussion of the benefits of nonprofit board involvement was the focus of October’s Execunet meeting.  Special thanks to our panel, Elizabeth Pierce, CEO of the Cincinnati Museum Center, and renowned community leaders Doug Bolton of Cushman & Wakefield and Bill Fee, retired general manager from WCPO.  Our panel shared valuable insights and inspiration with those in attendance.

Ponder These 11 Points Regarding Nonprofit Board Involvement:

  1. Nonprofit boards need you!  Nonprofit staffs are dependent on outside funding and are subsequently lean.  Volunteer board members can bring skills and expertise to a nonprofit organization that it could not otherwise afford.
  2. While nonprofit board involvement can be a way for you to share your talents, it can also be an opportunity to develop new skills.  Take a break from your “day job,” and try something new.  Who knows?  It might take your career in a new direction.
  3. Nonprofit board involvement allows you to expand your network, often across multiple industries.  Nonprofit boards are generally comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds, and you will get to know others while working together toward a common goal.
  4. Gone are the days of “just” joining a nonprofit board in name only.  Plan on diving right in by working on a committee. Outside work will be required–and rewarding.
  5. Nonprofit board members are expected to support the organization financially—future funding actually depends on it.  One hundred percent board support is crucial when completing grant and other funding requests.  Fortunately, board participation is generally what matters, not the dollar amount given by members.
  6. Nonprofit board involvement gives you the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the organization and those it serves.  Think of your potential legacy when you join.
  7. An indirect benefit of nonprofit involvement to companies is improved employee retention and morale.  Employees invested in the community generally want to stay.
  8. The United Way is just one organization that offers training for those interested in serving on boards.  Inquire about their BOLD classes by calling (513) 762-7235.
  9. ArtsWave’s “Boardway Bound” program provides classroom training and all the tools you need to become a successful arts and culture board member.  For more information, visit http://www.theartswave.org/discover/volunteer/boardway-bound.Execunet Picture
  10. Executive Service Corps of Cincinnati (ESCC) Nonprofit Leadership Institute provides varied coursework with the objective of shaping nonprofit leaders.  Visit http://esc-cincinnati.org/services/leadership-institute/ to learn more.
  11. Open board positions are frequently advertised in the weekly e-newsletter, Cincinnati Not-for-Profit News http://www.jpsnonprofit.com/newsletter/.  Be sure to be added to the distribution list.

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.