If you work in nonprofit, you’ve probably been tempted by thoughts of joining another organization’s volunteer board of directors. I know that I always have.
And why not? We get in to these careers because we’re motivated to make a difference in one way or another. When boards work, the results are amazing. Meeting are filled with energy, good times and not-so-good. Board member dynamics matter. More on this later.
So if you are even thinking about serving on a board, or you are an executive putting together a board, it’s essential to take this decision to heart. A lot of useful technical information exists about recruiting for board service and I might write more about the details down the road.
Here’s the bottom line, though- caring’s not enough. Serve on a board when the issue at hand is something that really, really, really, matters to you. Something that keeps you up at night, or has you checking news headlines. There’s something happening in the world that speaks loudly to your personal values. It might be an issue that touched your life personally, though not always. This is where you need to be serving. If you’re not driven to make things happen, you won’t be doing anybody any favors by phoning it in. On the other hand, if you are….I’m pretty sure I know a number of nonprofit directors who want to talk to you.
So all that said, I have actually just joined a nonprofit board myself, here in Detroit. One thing that is always on mind: how we can stop drug addiction, halt it’s progression early, and improve opportunity for people to recover. This is a time of innovation for our field, and we’ve got systems in need of transformation. I’m looking forward to writing more about this soon.