Most other teams or organizations are run by a person or a partnership. The people in charge have both the responsibility for the welfare of the organization and the authority to make decisions for it.
But nonprofits are weird organizations. The head of a nonprofit doesn’t have all the authority for the nonprofit. The board does. So there are a lot of complexities that come with a rotating cast of board members and their expectations.
That’s why I firmly believe that if you work for a nonprofit, you should be on the board of a nonprofit. Being a board member will help you understand your own board members.
Being on another nonprofit’s board will help you see what “reports” aren’t helpful.
Being on another nonprofit’s board will help you see why seemingly arbitrary decisions are made by your nonprofit’s board.
And being a nonprofit employee on another nonprofit’s board will allow you to possibly translate what staff of the nonprofit are saying to the board you sit on.
Being a nonprofit board member isn’t easy. But it is important. And your experience can be incredibly helpful to a cause your wholeheartedly support.
If you work in a nonprofit and are on another nonprofit’s board, what have you learned from the experience? Let us know in the comments!