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No, You’re Not Too Young or Too Poor to Serve on a Board


Robby

One of the most important parts of your career is what you’re doing outside your job. That could be networking, or professional development, or education.

And: there’s also volunteering. Everyone should be volunteering. And if you’re a professional, part of your volunteer work should be serving on a board.

Regular Volunteering

I don’t know if the word “regular” is really the right word to use. But when most people think about volunteering, they think about doing something for a non-profit that represents effort. That could be planting trees, serving food, working a phone bank, tutoring children, painting houses, taking tickets, and so on.

This is direct service volunteering, and it’s great. It helps organizations to have a bigger impact because they can serve more people than they can with paid staff. It helps individuals who volunteer because it gives them a sense of purpose. And of course, it’s good networking and good for your public profile. Volunteering looks good on a résumeacute; because it is a good thing.

Board of Directors
© Flickr User Nate Grigg

Board Service

If volunteering directly is good, volunteering on a board is often even better. Virtually all non-profits will have a board of directors as this typically required by Federal law as well as by the bylaws of the organization. A board runs the operation. They hire the executive director of the organization. They provide guidance about community needs. They are also a key driver of fundraising and marketing efforts. The board is the boss.

Except, board positions are part-time and they usually involve no compensation. That’s because they are volunteer positions. You should be on a board.

You’re Not Too Young

We may think of board members as older, respected members of the community who are at the peak of their careers. And indeed, if you look up the board of directors for hospitals or museums, you’ll see big names of big companies. But many organizations have young professional boards. Here in Indianapolis, there are literally dozens of young professional groups.

Not to mention that many non-profits are seeking board members all the time. This is especially the case for smaller organizations that are not as well known.

You’re Not Too Broke

It’s true that many organizations do ask board members to make a financial contribution. But that’s often negotiable, and many are literally asking for only a few dollars a month. So don’t be afraid to check one out.

Ask Around

Need to find a board? Ask! Talk to people about the non-profits they support. Pay attention to the news. Reach out on social media.

There’s tons of places to help. And the worst thing you can do wrong is to not ask.

Good luck!

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About the Blogger:

Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, June 27 2017 » Career Planning and Goal Setting, Personal Organization

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