“Join a nonprofit board” We’ve all seen this listed in someone’s LinkedIn Profile but just why is it so important? Volunteering is a great way to make new connections and expand your network and being part of a board can provide you with valuable skills and experience. Unlike corporate boards which are notoriously difficult to join and often rely on private appointment of board members, nonprofits often recruit volunteer board members to help with governance related decisions. Here are 3 reasons why you should join a nonprofit board:
- Expand your network
Being on a board gives you the opportunity to meet and work with people from different professions and skills sets. It’s a great way to network with professionals outside of your specific field and workplace. Additionally being a board member usually means you have to represent the nonprofit at community and industry events which gives you more opportunities to network.
- Strengthen your leadership and project management skills
Board members are responsible for the governance of an organization. As a board member you are a decision maker. Volunteering on a board is a great way to strengthen your leadership skills, as you collaborate with fellow members on decisions such as budget increases and organizational expansions. You may also be tasked with your own portfolio of areas for which you are the point person, this is a great way to develop and strengthen your project management skills.
- Enhance your professional profile
Being a board member is certainly something that looks great on your resume, but serving on a board also helps enhance your professional profile. As a board member you have certain responsibilities and are held accountable for the good governance of the nonprofit. Board members are viewed as leaders. Serving on a board also allows you to align yourself professionally with a cause or platform so be careful which nonprofit you choose to volunteer with. A professional who is not only experienced and qualified but who also gives back to his/her community is something recruiters, professional organizations and corporate boards look for when seeking to fill a vacancy at an organization or on another board.
Praveeni Perera is an experienced entrepreneur having co-founded a training and consulting company catering to clients around the world. Her area of expertise is international expansions. You can connect with her via Twitter or LinkedIn