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Blog > Are you Ready to Join a Board of Directors?

Are you Ready to Join a Board of Directors?

posted on May 10, 2017

by Maria Lahiffe

You have great skills and some spare time to carve out. You feel passionate about an organization's cause and want to give of your time and skills to help the organization achieve its mandate. Does that mean that you'd be a good fit on their board of directors? Maybe.

Here are some questions to ask yourself, to help you decide if a governance role is right for you. (If not, then you may be happier working on the front lines!)

What are your motivations and goals for volunteering as a member of a board of directors?

You will make the most effective contribution if you know your own motivation and can communicate it to fellow board members.  Setting specific personal goals will prove useful.

What do you know about the organization, and what will you need to find out?

Search online for information about the organization.  Volunteer for it.  Attend the AGM and some board meetings.  Talk to others.  Ask questions and express your interest. 

What skills, knowledge, experience or other assets do you have to offer the board? 

Don’t be shy about offering your talents in ways that contribute to the goals of the board. 

Can you work as a team member?

In addition to your own specific objective, your ability to work with others on other issues will lead to success.

How well do your objectives and assets match what the organization needs and has to offer?

Asking for feedback from other members on how you can best contribute will speed the learning process. 

How well do your values align with the values and mission of the board and organization?

Through their values, relationships, priorities and behaviours, board members define the culture of the board, and influence the culture of the organization.  Cultures change slowly, so adapting to the culture of your board is a priority for contributing effectively and successfully.

Joining a board of directors is an important commitment. Take a bit of time to make sure you are making a decision which is the right one for you and for the organization.

Want to learn more? Come to an upcoming workshop.

Click here for more information, and to register.

Volunteer Ottawa offers a comprehensive suite of courses related to governance in the social sector. Click here for more information, and to register. Subscribe to our Event RSS Feed to be among the first to know when a new workshop is added to the schedule.

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