Volunteer as a board member at a nonprofit you believe in

 

The following blog post originally ran in the St. Louis American.

 

Joining the governance board of a local nonprofit can be one of the best ways to make a significant impact in our community. Although it’s been more than a decade ago, I recall my first board experience like it was only yesterday.

 

It happened during a time of nationwide economic crisis, and I had just accepted the local Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy role at the Fortune 500 company I was working at. I was eager to do my part and make a difference by helping to align business resources to the complex and growing needs of our most vulnerable in the community.

 

 

Nonprofit governance board member

 

The formal role and responsibilities of a nonprofit governance board member are complex and varied.

 

A board member is responsible for defining and supporting the nonprofit’s vision, goals and mission by setting sound policies. They also implement sound planning and evaluate and set new goals to benefit the nonprofit.

 

In addition, they may assist in hiring the best employees for key roles while providing ongoing support to the chief executive officer. They also carefully oversee the nonprofit’s budget and are responsible for helping to set new budgets.

 

Board members are vitally important to helping effectively steer the organization to greatness and towards a sustainable and brighter future while ensuring that the organization has sufficient resources and funds to continue to create an impact in the communities they serve.

 

 

Why leaders can make a huge difference for a nonprofit organization

 

If you are looking for a way to give back and make a huge difference in our region, becoming a board member of a nonprofit can help you to achieve this.

 

A good business leader has natural leadership skills, industry expertise, experience and networking connections that can help raise a nonprofit’s knowledge base and visibility. By sharing your expertise, the nonprofit can benefit from much-needed assistance and become even stronger in the long term. These are just a few ways leaders can help nonprofits at no cost.

 

Not only does a nonprofit board member add value to the organization, but the opportunity works both ways. A nonprofit can actually help leaders improve their soft skills. For example, teamwork, problem-solving, and analytical skills can be further honed by serving as a board member, regardless of your experience level or age. It can be an ideal opportunity for a young professional to help a great cause while gaining an additional community perspective.  Joining a nonprofit board is a great way to expand your network and connections from around the region and across industries.

 

 

Our local nonprofits need you

 

If you are a business leader or a young professional, why not make a difference by volunteering as a board member at a nonprofit you believe in?

 

By engaging, connecting and understanding the growing needs of the nonprofits serving our local community, you can add much-needed value and expand your community impact, accountability and experience at the same time. It’s a win-win situation!

 

Michelle Tucker is president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis.

 

 

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