Nonprofit: To Join or Not to Join, That is the Question
Recently, I was asked to join the Board of Directors for my fraternity’s Alumni Board to serve as its legal advisor. I was eager to participate so my immediate response was “yes”. Shortly after, I met with the Board’s former legal advisor, Peter Bennett, to discus the position and what was expected of me in this role. During the conversation, I discovered that Pete had served on numerous boards and non-profits throughout his career and developed three rules that he follows before volunteering for any organization. I found the following principles to be very helpful and thought I would share my new found knowledge:
1. Be passionate about the nonprofit’s cause.
2. Receive a firm time commitment from the Board and hold them to it.
3. Make sure the organization ties into your family, personal life and/or business.
Don’t get me wrong, these rules are not meant to discourage volunteer service; however, I’m a firm believer that you should not volunteer for any organization unless you can actively participate and make a difference. Plus, by following these three simple principles, you and the organization will benefit from your participation.