Frequently Asked Questions
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General FAQs


All services are offered online through our website. If you are interested in learning more about what is involved in nonprofit board service, please click here. If you are interested in learning more about charitySTRONG’s general procedures for those who want to join boards, please click here. If you are involved with a nonprofit organization and want to learn how to use charitySTRONG to recruit board members, please click here.

No. charitySTRONG’s programs are currently being offered free of charge, though there are some courses and publications that are listed in the resource library catalog that is part of the Directors U program that are offered by other organizations and do involve fees.

If you are looking to join a board or are a current board member of an organization registered with charitySTRONG and are planning on taking our core governance course, we recommend that you register as a “board candidate or current board member.” If you are an employee or a board member of a nonprofit that is looking to recruit candidates, please register as a “charitable organization representative.” If you are a funder, researcher or consultant and are sure that you do not want to search for board opportunities at any point, you may register as a “visitor.”

Yes. Directors U, our governance education program, and onBOARD, our board recruitment service, are both offered online so that you can access them from anywhere at any time. Staff are also available for assistance if you have difficulty using our online platform and can be contacted at info@charitystrong.org.


FAQs for Candidates, Current Board Members and Visitors


No. The only requirements for becoming a board candidate are that you are 18 or older, have completed high school or the equivalent and that you complete our core online course, Good Practices for Good Boards. Prior board service experience is not necessary. However, some nonprofits may have more specific requirements based on what types of skill sets and experience they are hoping to bring to their board. They will list these qualifications in their opportunity postings on onBOARD, our board recruitment platform.

We ask all candidates to take an online course called Good Practices for Good Boards to make sure you know what to expect and are well-prepared when you join a board. We want you to get involved from the start and have a positive board experience.

Good Practices for Good Boards is a free, online course that discusses basic principles of nonprofit governance for board members of New York State nonprofits. It is divided into 5 topics, each lasting 7-10 minutes. Participants complete a 3-question quiz at the end of each topic. The course can be completed at one time, but it can also be completed in sections if you don’t have a solid block of time free. For more information about the course, click here.

Once you have successfully completed the course and receive your Certificate, you will be approved to use onBOARD, our nonprofit board recruitment program, within one business day. Once you have received an email notifying you of your approval, you may go to the “Candidates” section of onBOARD to create an application. If you make your application "public" organizations registered on our site can view it.

We recommended taking two steps. The first is to create a public application so that nonprofits seeking new board members can review your interests and qualifications and reach out to you directly if they think you may be a good fit. Not all organizations using onBOARD choose to create a board opportunity posting, so this is a great way to get exposure to these nonprofits. Another suggestion is to set up an alert so that when a board opportunity that is aligned with your interests, location and background is posted, you will receive an email notification so you can login to onBOARD and apply.

Typically, you will receive an e-mail from an organization that you have applied to that lets you know they would like to schedule a phone conversation or meeting if they are interested. If they are looking for candidates with different skills or have already found a new board member, the organization should let you know. When you do talk with an organization representative, it will usually be a current board member or chief executive and you should make sure to ask them about their typical process. You also should look at their website carefully and ask for descriptions of programs as well as a tour of any direct service programs so that you can learn more about the organization and its work. And remember that interviewing a board is really a 2-way process. The organization should want to get to know you, and you should not be afraid to ask questions about the organization and the board. We recommend that you download our Finding the Right Fit with a Nonprofit Board guidelines which will give you an overview of the steps and questions you should be asking.

We have tried to streamline the process as much as possible, but we want to make sure that the information that you put on our site is protected and that everyone completes the course. That means there are a few extra steps.


FAQs for Organizations


charitySTRONG welcomes enrollment from New York State 501(c)(3) public charities in good standing.

Some of the Executive Directors we have talked with don’t think that their board members will want to complete a basic course, especially the board members with a lot of experience. The reason that we have this requirement is so that experienced board members and newcomers share a common framework and approach to board service. We think that the course is a useful refresher for experienced board members. Some boards that we are working with are going to complete the course together during a board meeting. Others will have board members complete the course individually. Either way, we will give your organization a year to meet this standard, and we are going to recognize all these boards on our website. We also understand that some funders may add a question to their grant applications about board participation in charitySTRONG or other governance training, so that might give board members an incentive to participate.

Good Practices for Good Boards is a free, online course that discusses basic principles of nonprofit governance for board members of New York State nonprofits. It is divided into 5 topics, each lasting 7-10 minutes. Participants complete a 3-question quiz at the end of each topic. The course can be completed at one time, but it can also be completed in sections if you don’t have a solid block of time free. For more information about the course, click here.

We recommend that you take two steps. The first is to go to the “Organizations” section of onBOARD where you can create an organization profile and post a board opportunity. You may choose to make your organization’s contact information visible or remain anonymous. We also recommend that you search the candidate bank and contact any candidates you are interested in directly.

All of the applications have contact information, so you can send an e-mail or call the candidate. Please indicate that you saw their application on onBOARD or charitySTRONG and you would like to discuss a board position at your organization. Then, you should share information about your organization and board with the candidate and set up an interview. It is helpful if the candidate meets with one or two board members as well as the chief executive -- not necessarily at the same meeting. charitySTRONG has a document in the Resource Library called Finding the Right New Board Members which offers some guidance on vetting candidates.

Do you have another question we have not covered here? Contact us at info@charitystrong.org or 646-861-3602.

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 Phone: (646) 861-3602
 Email: info@charitystrong.org