Making the most of your nonprofit board involvement

Thought Leadership on Growth Strategies for Technology Companies presented by Wiss & Co.

It is a privilege to be asked to join a nonprofit board, whether it’s a prominent organization or one that’s fairly under the radar. Registering for a board unlocks the noteworthy ability to assist others on a multitude of platforms, exercising your influence to fortify and transform communities for the better.

Each year, millions of business professionals bestow their time and talents to sculpt the future of numerous nonprofit organizations through board service. Board members can provide the critical intellectual capital and tactical means needed to powerfully impact the lives of others. Also, in addition to the incomparable status, the crowning achievement looks stunning on your resume, and the boardroom is a prime-time networking domain.

However, while board membership is an unrivaled reward, the role comes with critical responsibilities. The way you manage the subsequent obstacles will conclude if you are suitably fit for this position.

Emphasize control

As a member, you possess a fiduciary obligation — a lawful duty to perform strictly to the benefit of the establishment you represent. Thus, you must always act to deliver oversight and assist in safeguarding against interior and exterior damage.

Budding concerns involving board evaluation vary from how an organization shields itself against certain issues, such as embezzlement, uncontrolled administration and outside dangers, such as cybercrime and fraud.

Hence, it is imperative to have constant supervision by developing essential guidelines, studying controls and expressing responsibility. This step is the key to sheltering and upholding the well-being of the institution.

Use your skills

It is possible to be welcomed into a board based on your occupational victories. Your professional experience and immense talents can efficiently take on the responsibilities bestowed upon you.

While it can be satisfying to be provided new duties immediately after being accepted, avoid tackling a plethora of assignments all at once, or agreeing to assignments that do not harmonize with your strengths. This concept will aid you in taking on tasks that stretch outside your expertise. For instance, instead of accepting the role of finance subcommittee, when you are unfamiliar with the field, it would be wiser to choose a role on a board that complements your fortes and aptitudes.

Board authority is a respected title that involves fostering a community while you mature as a leader, cultivating novel valuable skills along the way. You will be most successful if you remain involved, ask questions and voice any difficulties to help maintain organizational structure, while amalgamating positive goals and redefining a firm sense of purpose.

Diana Miller, CPA has served a roster of clients in not-for-profit, higher education, government and commercial organizations. She can be reached at (973) 994-9400 or

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