Most other teams or organizations are run by a person or a partnership. The people in charge have both the responsibility for the welfare of the organization and the authority to make decisions for it.

But nonprofits are weird organizations. The head of a nonprofit doesn’t have all the authority for the nonprofit. The board does. So there are a lot of complexities that come with a rotating cast of board members and their expectations.

That’s why I firmly believe that if you work for a nonprofit, you should be on the board of a nonprofit. Being a board member will help you understand your own board members.

  • Being on another nonprofit’s board will help you see what “reports” aren’t helpful.
  • Being on another nonprofit’s board will help you see why seemingly arbitrary decisions are made by your nonprofit’s board.
  • And being a nonprofit employee on another nonprofit’s board will allow you to possibly translate what staff of the nonprofit are saying to the board you sit on.

Being a nonprofit board member isn’t easy. But it is important. And your experience can be incredibly helpful to a cause your wholeheartedly support.

If you work in a nonprofit and are on another nonprofit’s board, what have you learned from the experience? Let us know in the comments!

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