Benefits of Serving on a Non-Profit Board of Directors
You may have heard that Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area is looking to fill four positions on our Board of Directors by June. You may be asking, “why should I serve on a board?”, “who should serve on a board?”, or even “what is a Board of Directors?”
We’re glad you asked! Let’s start with the basics.
What is a Board of Directors?
A board of directors, also known as a non-profit board, is the governing body of a non-profit. The members of a non-profit board focus on the high-level strategy, oversight, and accountability of the organization. This contrasts with employees or managers who oversee the day-to-day operations of the non-profit.
The individuals who make up your board of directors are responsible for making key decisions that address the organization’s mission, strategy, and goals. They aim to address the public’s interest through the organization’s work and act as the legal voice for the organization.1
Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area has a governance board structure, which looks a little something like the diagram below. Basically, Habitat’s Board sets the overall direction of the organization and oversees its activities and goals. It also hires the Executive Director, offering support and accountability. The Board Chair leads and speaks for the Board, and works directly with the Executive Director, Katie Blunt, who manages operations and is accountable to the Board.
Habitat’s Board of Directors meets 6 times per year and each Director contributes to a minimum of one committee (such as the Finance Committee, Human Resources Committee, or Governance and Nominating Committee ). Our board members play an active role in fundraising and public relations activities and generally serve two-year terms.
Who should serve on a non-profit Board of Directors?
Who are we looking for? Motivated and experienced individuals who have the skills, passion, and vision to contribute to our mission: bringing our community together to help families build strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership.
Currently, Habitat is especially seeking individuals who have a professional accounting designation or a business degree, but we encourage all who are interested in sending a resume and cover letter (or any questions!) to Katie Blunt, Executive Director at email@example.com.
Benefits of serving on a non-profit Board of Directors
You may be asking: “What’s in it for me?” Well, here are 5 excellent reasons to volunteer your time and serve on a non-profit Board of Directors.
1. Make your community a better place
Choosing to serve on a nonprofit board of directors enables you to become an integral part of solving problems in your community. As a nonprofit board director, you get the opportunity to be a representative of the diversity and social culture of your community. It’s also an opportunity to serve in a leadership position in an organization that serves others.2
2. Meet interesting people and expand your network
People that join boards have one thing in common: They have chosen to get off the bench and get into the field. They are not just a member of the community; they are trying to make it better. And you will feel enriched by their company and their friendship. You will increase your access to professional networks, attend events that you may not have had access to previously, and gain audiences with people who can help grow both you and your business.3
Learn about some of the interesting folks you’ll meet on Habitat’s Board of Directors here.
3. Expand and sharpen your skill set
Serving on a nonprofit board of directors will expand your skill set. Just by being involved, you’re sure to learn more about marketing, governance, finance, branding, recruiting volunteers, interacting with community officials and community members, and much more.2
You’ll oversee business strategies, marketing strategies, and fundraising strategies. You’ll review financial reports. You’ll speak at events, and represent the organization. And while you are doing this, you will have your fellow board members’ mentorship and support.3
4. Professional credibility and resume enrichment
It’s a known fact that employers like to see resumes that list volunteerism or leadership experience, but have you ever wondered why? Employers know how much their employees gain by volunteering for organizations they care about. When their employees gain knowledge and experience, the company benefits from those experiences as well.2
Selection for a board position also shows that an organization is entrusting you with a vital, visible, and high-impact role. It is a public endorsement of your expertise and value. This affiliation is one you can communicate and promote, and it can raise your professional profile among your peers, within your organization, and across your industry. Your board affiliation can also enhance the brand and reputation of the organization for which you work. All of these things can help strengthen your candidacy for a promotion or new role and can increase your value in the workplace.4
5. It’s rewarding
Serving on a board is an opportunity to learn more about an important cause, the people it affects, and the businesses and people in your community who support it. Making a major contribution to a nonprofit organization helps you to leave a lasting legacy of service to your community, in which future family members will be sure to take pride.2 It feels good to make a difference and contribute professionally to a cause.
What do some of our current Board members have to say?
“I joined Habitat shortly after purchasing our first family home. As a member, I’ve obtain a sense of purpose seeing families reach safe and affordable home ownership. Nothing compares to the overwhelming emotion and pride you recognize in a new family achieving that same monumental goal! “Jeff King, Secretary
I love being on Habitat’s Board of Directors. I first joined as I believed in the program that was active in other cities. I knew the Sault was a perfect place to have the program. As a board member, you learn so much about governance, finances, and dealing with other people. It’s a great organization to be on the board of, and I enjoy helping people become homeowners. Such a great cause!Nancy Bailey, Director (and founding member/Habitat’s first Board Chair in 2002)
Sounds great – how do I join?
Send your resume and cover letter (or any questions!) to Katie Blunt, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org!