Dec12017

The Benefits of Joining a Non-Profit Board as a YP

Posted by Kassy Perry

By Katelyn Downey

Katelyn DowneyLooking to expand your career, meet new people AND give back to your community? Look no further than joining a nonprofit board. A nonprofit’s Board of Directors is the governing body of a nonprofit, and responsible for many things including general oversight of the organization and ensuring the nonprofit has adequate resources to advance its mission.

Joining a board is both personally and professionally rewarding. Here are five reasons why YP’s should consider joining a board:

Diversify your skill set

Yes, you’ll be able to showcase your specialized skill set as a board member, but you’ll also be required to do more. Board members are required to review financial statements, fundraise, communicate the organization’s message, manage volunteers and provide general oversight for the nonprofit. Serving on a board allows you to be well-rounded in all the areas needed to make a successful organization run.

Learn how to ask for money – or at least a favor

Yes, asking people for money can be intimidating at first. Unless you’re in sales, you might not be well-versed in the art of closing a deal. Serving on a board allows you to share all the wonderful things the organization is doing for the community, and how others can help. Step out of your comfort zone and learn how to build relationships, make the ask and get the donation or the favor for the betterment of your community.

Expose yourself to people in different industries

You all share one common interest based on the fact you’re on the board of this organization, but you might share little else. Serving on a board is the perfect chance to expand your network beyond your industry. You’ll also get to mix and mingle with community leaders, CEOs of companies, and people in the upper level of their careers, gaining valuable insight into what it takes to get there (and potentially meeting a future employer).

Opportunity to REALLY take a leadership role

Depending on the board you’ll be a part of, it may be an unpaid opportunity. In this case, you’ll be able to use the asset you have the most of: Time. Take the opportunity to chair a committee, lead an event, or prep the organization for an audit. Nonprofits are often looking for all the help they can get, and you can lend a hand in a way you might not be able to at your job.

Do good for your community

It feels good to do good. And maybe you don’t get enough of that feeling at your day job – or any at all. Nonprofit experience allows you to create tangible change in your community. And nothing can beat that!

Bonus: You’re a Millennial!

We get it, being a millennial isn’t always the label you look forward to adhering to most. However, joining a nonprofit board is an opportunity to lean into it. Take the time to help organizations add a young, diverse population to their board membership. Your opinions are valuable, and will more often than not take them to the next level.

Sound like something you’re interested in? The next step is finding an organization whose mission you believe in. Got one? Great. Reach out to them and see if they have openings on their board. Interested in serving on a board, but don’t have one in mind? Check available board positions online, connect with a board recruiter, or ask around your network.

When researching opportunities, make sure to ask about financial commitments, time commitments, and what type of skill set they’re looking for. Similar to finding the perfect job, make sure the group you join is a good fit for you. Once you join, make it count!

Katelyn Downey sits on the communications committee for Metro Edge and is an account manager at Perry Communications Group.


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