I have had the opportunity to serve on 3 different boards for non-profit organizations. I am currently only on one board and truly enjoy it. Serving in a position like this is a very important role and can be a deep encouragement to the development and progress of the chosen social cause. Over the years, I have had conversations with many people considering different board positions and many executive directors tell me about their recruitment strategy. Here are a few things I have learned along the way of reasons not to join a board. If you can say yes to any of these statements, don’t do it – for the sake of your sanity and for the development of the organization.
1. I am looking for a networking opportunity.
2. When I listen to the story of the organization, I am bored.
3. I have not ever financially supported this organization in the past.
4. I currently am serving on one board (Please don’t join another).
5. The Executive Director is nice, but I would never introduce them to my friends.
6. If I am on this board maybe it will lead to a new position for me within the organization.
7. My family is about to have a baby for the first time. (I know this one by experience)
8. I think if I am on this board, it will make me look like a generous person and that is a good thing for my reputation/resume.
9. The organization is really “cool.” (trust me, every “cool” organizations have dysfunction)
10. I feel like I can’t say no to the person who asked me, he is a good friend.
What would you add to this list? I would love for it to get longer and longer for the sake of everyone considering joining a board or recruiting a board.