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Why Should I Join a Nonprofit Board?

Why Should I Join a Nonprofit Board?

By Kevin Whelton

So you’re an accountant or a finance professional; why should you join a nonprofit board? It can be easy to write off the idea by telling yourself that, since you’re more familiar with numbers than nonprofits, you shouldn’t pursue the possibility. In actuality, joining a board is a great way to make a difference in your community, add a new dimension to your personal and professional development, and expand your network. And consider that as you move up to senior positions in your career others may look at your level of community service?

Looking for some more reasons? On a nonprofit board you’ll be able to:

● Build your mediation skills

● Work on meeting management

● Learn about the art of persuasion

● Take a deep dive into an issue

● Grow and challenge yourself

Where Do I Start?

First of all, tell everyone in your network that you are looking to join a nonprofit board, and post on your LinkedIn page that you’re looking. If you can, be specific about the work you’re interested in like: adult literacy, animals, or supporting the elderly. Take some time to consider your personal interests and passions, but don’t be afraid to join a nonprofit organization you may have not considered at first. Getting started is half the battle and no matter what board you join, you’ll gain new skills, meet new people, and grow as a person!

You can go visit Houston’s United Way page, there’s plenty of great resources and information on joining a nonprofit board. They also host an annual “Board Membership Fair” where you can visit with board members of local Houston nonprofits.

It’s a Win-Win

Hopefully, you serve on a nonprofit board because you care deeply about the cause and making the world a better place. But serving on a nonprofit board, bringing your energy and expertise, will not only benefit you, but also the organization; it’s a win-win for everyone involved. Some of my most challenging and best periods of growth in my professional career and personal life happened because I served on a nonprofit board, Healthcare for the Homeless Houston. My service pushed me to grow as a leader and face difficult decisions I wouldn’t have faced had I not been on the board. Joining a board will positively impact your career personally, and help make a real impact on your community. And by the way, growing as a person tends to lead to professional growth!

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