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Information, helpful advice, and commentary about topics relevant to relaunchers.

Tips for Joining a Non Profit Board

... and the benefits for relaunchers

From Vivian Steir Rabin: A few weeks ago, a mutual friend introduced me to Cynthia Remec, CEO of BoardAssist and a "guru" of nonprofit board placement.  We had a great conversation, and she shared with me that a lot of the nonprofits with which she works are looking for former professionals who are now at home who can give their Boards time, as well as money.  More importantly, she spoke very eloquently about all the ways Board service, not just volunteering, can help you land a paying job. Fortunately, she's written a great blog on this topic, which we encourage you to peruse.

As the Executive Director of BoardAssist, I receive a steady stream of inquiries and referrals from job coaches nearly every day. Why? Because it’s their job to help you find yours, and nonprofit board service gives you an edge.  What exactly are those benefits?

Board Membership Benefits
There are several advantages to joining a board, but one of the primary benefits becomes apparent the moment the selection process begins and well before a final decision is made.

Think about it. What happens when you put your resume forward for consideration? If your CV is attractive, you’ll have the chance to meet and network with a lot of high-impact folks, since they’re the ones who comprise the majority of nonprofit board membership. On average, our candidates are typically introduced to at least three different organizations and meet at least three people on each board. That’s nine new, high-impact people you’ve added to your little black networking book at the outset of the process—with no strings attached.

As someone who works with hundreds of boards on a yearly basis, I’d argue that these contacts are particularly outstanding and especially worthwhile, with few exceptions. Individuals who donate their time to nonprofits in this capacity tend to be just as generous about helping others, be they fellow board members or those who benefit directly from the services the group provides. These new connections represent a win-win scenario: great people with great networks, who will gladly use their network to help you.

Another terrific bonus of board service is that it often creates an opportunity for members to learn a new skill or hone an old one. A job seeker who’s short on substantive leadership experience may soon find he’s able to update his resume with a description of the committee he ran, along with a detailed account of its objectives, goals and achievements. Interestingly enough, we’ve worked with many candidates over the years whose decision to switch careers was the direct result of their board service; they were challenged in ways that were wholly different from the demands of their “day jobs” and ultimately realized this newer role was the one that resonated more.

Ready to Join a Board? Keep These Things in Mind (continue to Cynthia's full post here).

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