The Benefits of Board Service

November 09, 2017

Are you considering board service for yourself or for your employee? New evidence suggests that there’s lots to gain. Last week the World Environment Center (WEC) released a report focused on measuring the benefits of nonprofit board service. The author, Alice Korngold, outlines three distinct benefits to employees and employers related to diversity and inclusion, innovation, and community. She also makes recommendations to companies that also want to gain from their employees’ experiences.

Board service puts volunteers in contact with people who backgrounds, experiences, and identities different than our own. Through this contact and experience, “board service significantly contributes to people gaining appreciation for diversity and inclusion, while also developing empathy.” Employees who grow in these areas help support in inclusive work environment.

Many people who serve on boards “rise to leadership positions, including board chair, vice chair/president, secretary, and treasurer.” Board service provides an unparalleled opportunity for practical, hands-on leadership training that allow individuals to grow and bring their new skills back to their place of work.

A lot of nonprofits address issues related health and well-being, education, economic growth, inequality, and just institutions. By serving on boards, individuals give back to their community and gain a significant sense of purpose.

Korngold’s report ends with three suggestions for companies that want to reap the full benefits of their employees serving on boards:

  • Train employees on board roles and responsibilities, nonprofit finance, and fundraising to help employees optimize their board experience,
  • Match employees with board-service opportunities to increase the likelihood of employees serving, and
  • Support employees by providing coaching around work-life balance to ensure they can contribute the time they need to gain from the experience.

The report illuminates the benefits of board service to the community, to the individuals who serve, and to the employees who support them in their service.

Looking for the knowledge and skills to become a great board member? CNE’s Board Academy provides participants with in-depth training in board roles and responsibilities, nonprofit finance, and fundraising, as well as the skills necessary for meaningful collaboration.

Want to connect with meaningful leadership roles in your community? CNE’s Board Matching program pairs individuals seeking opportunities to grow through board service with organization looking for new board members.

© Center for Nonprofit Excellence 2017
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