Organizations in search of board members often find it difficult to encourage individuals to serve. The resistance of many potential board members are based on inaccurate perceptions. This area will attempt to correct any misconceptions about the board experience.

“I Don’t Fit the Image of a Board Member”

Many of the individuals nonprofits want on their board leadership team are the very people who don’t see themselves as “traditional board material.” Nonprofit boards are most effective when the individuals gathered around the table are diverse in age, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, cultural background and socio-economic status. A board should represent the diverse community served by the nonprofit. The best ideas and decisions come from a board that can view a situation from many angles and perspectives.

The following are interview excerpts that reflect the misunderstandings that exist with the nonprofit “board marketplace.”

“I Never Thought About It”

Many, who are looking for opportunities to contribute to their communities, never even think about serving on a board:

“As people in our company advance and make more money, they realize that to be a good member of the community, they have to give back. So, giving money satisfies them or volunteering for a day. But no one instills in them the concept of giving their knowledge to the board of a nonprofit.” — Financial Executive

Now that you’ve taken the first step to becoming a board member, learn more about what to expect from board service.