The Role of Nonprofit Organizations
Nonprofit organizations play a key role in our society. They work to reduce poverty and disease and bring an end to homelessness. They strive to build safe places to learn and play, create inspiring music and protect our natural resources. New York State has approximately 98,000 nonprofits including hospitals, museums, soup kitchens, youth programs and other types of organizations.
The Role of Nonprofit Boards
Many nonprofits are managed by professional staff. Every nonprofit is overseen by a board of directors or trustees who are entrusted with ensuring that the organization is operating legally, ethically and to its full potential. Although a small number of nonprofits pay board members, the vast majority of nonprofit board members are volunteers.
Specific responsibilities of nonprofit boards of directors include strategic planning to ensure the organization’s programs are fulfilling its mission and purpose, selecting and evaluating the organization’s chief executive, reviewing financial reports and helping to raise funds to assure the organization has sufficient resources for its work. A typical board member might volunteer 2-4 hours per month including attending a full board or committee meeting and reviewing required material.
Benefits of Board Service
The responsibilities of board service are significant, but there are also many benefits. Serving on a nonprofit board of directors is a great way to support a cause that you care about. You may also expand your professional and social network by connecting with other talented individuals who share a common interest. Finally, there are many opportunities for leadership on nonprofit boards – organizing task forces and events and leading committees. Many companies encourage emerging leaders to join nonprofit boards to further their professional development.
charitySTRONG wants to encourage more New Yorkers to learn about and join nonprofit boards. We offer a free online training course called Good Practices for Good Boards that can be completed in less than an hour (or five 7-10 minute segments). And, all those who complete the course can then look for placements.
Please click here for directions on getting started. The first step is to register on our site as a “Candidate or Current Board Member”.
You are also welcome to contact a member of our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions.