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Skills development

Interested in becoming a board member?

January 12, 2023

Business people are often asked to sit on the boards of community organizations. You should give serious thought before signing on though, because this kind of commitment comes with a number of responsibilities. Is it right for you?

Here are 4 things for you to consider.

1. Shared values

Choosing a cause is different for everyone, but one thing’s for sure: you should really connect with the organization’s mission. It’s better for the organization, and for you, if you share the same values.

2. Availability

As a business person, you know that time matters. Before committing, determine if you have the time it requires.

Being a part of any particular organization, board or committee or fulfilling a specific role requires varying time commitments. To make the right decision for you, talk about it with those who are already involved. In general:

  • Chairing a board requires a bigger time commitment than being a director
  • Directors who also sit on specific committees have more responsibilities
  • On top of other responsibilities, you’ll also be expected to prepare for meetings, engage in representation activities and do follow-up

3. A role that’s right for you

Are you a natural leader or are you more comfortable in a role that requires more specific expertise? There’s a job for everyone: the chair, who is responsible for the leadership of the board; or director, who plays a key role in making sure the board functions well.

At the end of the day, the organization—and you—benefit from the board members pooling their talents and working as a team.

4. Rewarding work

As the saying goes, “Give and you shall receive.” Through your board involvement, you get to share your experience, your personality, your contacts and more—all of which you’ll use to advance a cause that helps better the community.

You’ll get a lot of personal satisfaction, not to mention the chance to expand your knowledge and your network.