Nonprofits rely on a well-functioning Board of Directors to carry out their mission. They are seeking people who are committed to the mission, who have connections with the people they serve and who have experience managing business affairs at a certain level.
Professionals from all kinds of businesses and organizations sit on boards of nonprofit organizations. It’s a great opportunity to increase your connections and gain new skills and have a positive impact on the community.
According to an Korngold survey, 78 percent of board members stated that serving on a non-profit board has given them more respect for the perspectives and opinions other than their own. This is especially true in the non-profit board environment, where decisions are made with limited resources and the board must make sound financial management decisions.
Nonprofit board members have several legal obligations and responsibilities such as the Duty of Care and the Duty of Loyalty. This means that board members should avoid conflicts of interest and do not use their position to benefit by using the funds of the nonprofit for personal gain. If you are the owner of the company of the executive director, and the board is voting to increase the salary of the director, you should vote against because you are in conflict.
Many non-profit organizations also have permanent (sometimes called “standing”) committees which deal with ongoing issues or other needs when they arise. These committees are managed by board members, who are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest to other board members.