Too often we make excuses for the lack of participation by board members. This is usually couched with the phrase “…they’re not getting paid.” We disagree with this.
Board service is an honor. Yes, it’s a volunteer position. Yes, it takes time away from other things you could be doing. But at the same time each board member receives so much from their participation. Or at least they have the opportunity to receive – if they participate. Here’s what we mean.
As a board member – or other volunteer – you make a commitment to the quality and welfare of your community. You come together with others to help advance the values you believe in. Together you and your fellow board members bring a shared vision to life. Because of you there are new hospitals, new public policies, beautiful art, children who read above grade level, and seniors who don’t have to choose between food and medications. You are the part of the process that helps an addicted mother turn her life around. You helped make the decision to raise money so that children have safe places to engage after school: their laughter is your reward.
Nonprofit board members aren’t paid in cash. They are paid with the quiet pride they carry inside themselves: that feeling of being part of something larger, something meaningful, something that may help them personally, but that will definitely help others. They are just as busy as everyone else – maybe more so. But they make time and are rewarded. They receive the opportunity to use their skills and talents for the betterment of others. They have the privilege of working shoulder-to-shoulder with others who each bring a piece of the solution to the table. In this world where so many feel isolated, they have the opportunity to be part of something that is bigger than themselves and that can accomplish more than they could on their own.
Here’s what we know. Working with a nonprofit is not a chore. It is a platform through which we can share our skills and leadership. It’s an opportunity to be a role model to our associates, family, and the next generation, no matter how young we are. The only way to unlock these treasures is to consciously volunteer. If you are asked to serve as a board member, take a moment to decide how you will make time to be of service. Ask what your responsibilities will be, and how long you are expected to serve. You need to know these things so that you can make your service a priority. You don’t have to volunteer for a lifetime, but when you do, you need to be able to fulfill your commitment.
Your board service is an honor and an opportunity to create a better world. You don’t need to be paid in cash for this: volunteers are paid with the opportunity to make an impact and leave a legacy. Nothing is richer.
Copyright 2023 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2023! Video and phone conferencing services are always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com