Nonprofits depend on a high-functioning Board of Directors to carry out their mission. They are seeking people who have a passion for their mission, are connected with those they serve and have experience overseeing the business affairs at some point.
Professionals from all types of organizations and businesses sit on boards of nonprofit organizations. It’s a great chance to network, acquire new skills, and contribute to the community.
According to an Korngold study, 78% of board members stated that their time as a member of a non-profit’s board helped them gain a better understanding of perspectives and opinions different from their own. This is crucial in a nonprofit board environment where decisions are made with limited resources and the board must make sound financial decisions.
The board members of nonprofit organizations have various legal obligations and responsibilities. This includes the Duty to Care and the obligation of loyalty. This means that board members need to avoid conflicts of interest and do not abuse their position by using the funds of the nonprofit for personal benefit. If you own the company that employs the executive director, and the board has a vote to increase the salary of him, you should not vote because you are in conflict.
In addition, a lot of nonprofits have permanent (sometimes called “standing”) committees to take care of ongoing issues and other special needs as they arise. These committees are led by board members who are required to disclose potential conflicts of interest to the other board members.