Should I Serve on a Nonprofit Board of Directors?

nonprofit board of directors
January 01, 2016

Should I Serve on a Nonprofit Board of Directors?

The phone rings. A friend, on the line, quasi frantic. “Karen, I was asked to serve on a nonprofit Board of Directors. What do I do?” I receive this call often, as I have many friends who have evolved and grown in their careers and they are either seeking Board Service or being approached about Board Service. The KSS, LTD team is happy to share the following 6 items you should keep in mind prior to making a decision:


6 Tips for Serving on a Nonprofit Board of Directors

1. Current Board Makeup/Size/Dynamics

  • How large or small is the Board of Directors
  • Are there diverse skill sets and backgrounds serving?


2. What Makes you an Ideal Board Member?

  • Know what you bring to the table.
  • Be confident in your professional background and business sense that will make you a critical part of the team.


3. Business and Financial Model

  • How is money raised and spent?
  • What percentage of the budget is spent on programs?
  • How much money is being spent on fundraising initiatives?


nonprofit board of directors

990 Report and Audit Financial Statements

  • Ask to see recent 990 Reports and Audit Financial Statements.
  • The Board of Directors has a fiduciary responsibility, you want to be certain the organization is in a sound financial position.


4. Directors and Officers Insurance

  • Is there a Directors and Officers Insurance Policy and is it up to date?
  • What is the amount on the policy?


5. Conflicts

  • Does the organization have a conflict of interest policy and a duality of interest policy? These are important questions to ask.


6. Recruitment & Orientation

  • How are new Directors recruited and orientated to the role?
  • Are their Defined Roles and Responsibilities, Governance Manual and/or Board of Directors Guidelines?
  • What are the Board Committees?
  • Will you be required to serve on a committee?

Would you like to discuss this topic further? Contact us! We would be happy to meet and have a detailed discussion on this important topic.  Thank you for considering service to the nonprofit community.

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