Board Membership: Part III- Which Type of Board Is Right For You?

Happy Monday! We’ve made it to the final part of our Board Membership Series. We taught you The Basics and How to Be Effective, now we’re going to share a few different types of boards so you can join one that fits you best! Ready? Let’s Go!

A. General Board of Directors

This is mainly the type of board we discussed in our previous installments. This is a large scale board with all of the major responsibilities, time commitments, etc. Typically comprised of experts and seasoned professionals, these boards are ones many aspire to be a part of. The most important responsibility that sets this type of board a part from others, is the fiduciary responsibility.

B. Young Leadership Boards

These boards are great for those just getting started in the land of board governance early in their careers. Sans the fiduciary responsibility, these boards solely focus on fundraising initiatives that complement the efforts of the main board and or fundraising goal of the organization. Young leadership boards or junior boards teach the leadership and fundraising skills you’ll need should you aspire to become part of a larger board.

C. Ad Hoc Committees

If you really just want to test the waters of board governance, you will find Ad Hoc Committees great. These as needed teams support general boards or young leadership boards on annual fundraising events and or programming efforts. You don’t have to give as much time but you will gain fundraising, sponsor solicitation and team building skills needed in civic leadership.

But wait, how do I join a board?!

Many boards have recruitment cycles. During this time they have strategic outreach that begins with the the current board members’ networks. It pays to know the right people- and have them know you! If the organization is new, they will most likely advertise their need for members and the types of positions they need to fill. Either way, there is an appointment process, much like hiring process for a job- or better yet dating!

Why so intense? The organization needs to make sure you’re a good fit for it as much as you need to make sure it is a good fit for you. During the process you will find out all of the information you need from time commitments to fundraising goals to the non-profit’s history. Joining a board can take a few weeks or a few months. Either way while you are vetting one another be honest with yourself. Go with your gut before you commit. See it’s just like finding a Boo!

Through many of the board programs found on Resources page, you will be matched with a board after you complete the program.


Yes, this probably means you. Women and people of color are highly sought after to join boards. Use this to your advantage, as a strength when you are looking to boards to join. Diverse boards help to reflect the communities in which organizations are serving. Why not use your expertise and background in your board leadership?! #winning

Board leadership is just one of many ways to expand your civic engagement. It’s not for everyone but it is for those willing to dedicate the time and resources to an organization in need of the type of leadership that will hold it accountable to the mission and goals it has set forth.

Are you on a board now or thinking of joining one? Leave a comment and tell us your board story!

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