Last week we shared information on our board matching program, through which individuals can identify board service that resonates with them, and organizations can find great new leaders. This week: how do you prepare to make the most of your board service?
Service to your community doesn’t have to be onerous—in fact, it can be enjoyable! The warm, fuzzy feeling we get by supporting, teaching, and caring for others through volunteer work can be the thing that keeps us going and brings us back time and again. You’ll have a better experience and the sector and our community will benefit if you are also strategic about your volunteer work. Not all volunteer experiences are created equal. Some opportunities afford you the chance to apply the professional skills you’ve built through years of education and employment. These high-skill volunteer opportunities may be less warm and fuzzy, but they are no less rewarding.
Board service ranks chief among these skill developing opportunities. As a board member, you may face a breadth of challenges found in few other positions. Working with a team of passionate people to provide guidance and oversight will give you the chance to put your unique skills to work to achieve an organization’s mission.
What’s more, board service provides a one-of-a-kind learning experience. Board service can be an opportunity for strategic volunteering, a give-and-take in which you lend your talents while gaining skills that will be of value to you elsewhere in your life—communication, flexibility, planning, problem-solving, leadership, building networks, and making friends.
If you are considering board service, or feel you could benefit from better understanding your role as a board member, check CNE’s Governance Matters programs, including our Board Academy. We are now accepting applications for the 2018 Board Academy cohort!