Before committing to a board quite a few things need to be considered. As I contemplate my decision I'm researching to try and find out as much about the organization as I can. I thought it might be helpful to pass along some of the thoughts and questions that have entered my mind.
- What is the non-profit about, who is the staff and current board?
- Is the non-profit, staff and board adhering to legal standards and good ethics?
- Does the organization have a national affiliation? If so, what are the standards and procedures? Are there any compliance issues? Conflicts of interest?
- What are the brand standards?
- What is the public saying about this organization?
- Have they ever had a PR crisis situation? If so, how was it handled, what type of damage did it do?
- What is the organization's budget? Does the board review and approve budget?
- What is the allocation? expenses vs. program costs?
- What are the fundraising goals?
- What role does the board play in fundraising?
- Does the organization have a strategic plan?
- How many board members are there and how many do they intend to obtain?
- Are there term limits? If so, how long?
- Can you take a leave of absence?
- Can a board member be impeached?
- Do all board members have voting rights?
- Do you have board bylaws?
- Are board members required to make a financial contribution?
- Are there any board committees?
- Is there a plan for board recruitment, orientation, development?
- How often are board meetings?
As you can see, I have many questions. But joining a board is not something to take lightly. I want to make sure I am aligning myself with an organization I can believe in and one I can help. After all, this decision can affect my time, resources, talents, money, and reputation.
I'm still not 100% sure of what I'm going to do. Should I decide yes, then you'll be one of the first to know.