I’ve always believed in giving back. I’ve ladled soup for the homeless, sung for the elderly at nursing homes and run/walked more than I can remember. But now that I’m, ahem, older, I want to give—and get—more.
So I joined a board. Yes, it’s a time commitment, and while I don’t have to give a lot of money, I am expected to fundraise.
But as president of my neighborhood’s newcomer’s association, I get the satisfaction of welcoming people into the community, and I’ve made some fabulous friends and great career contacts.
While I volunteer locally, the board universe is vast. There are boards for hospitals, non-profits, universities, cultural groups, and more. Some organizations have several boards (e.g. local chapters or a junior board for the under-40 set).
Interested in joining a board?
- Find board vacancies on idealist.org, bridgestar.org, and allforgood.org.
- Tap your networks. Ask friends and colleagues if they are involved in any boards and if they can get you on.
- Leverage the skills you already have, such as marketing, web design, or financial management, suggests Deborah Davidson, spokesperson for BoardSource.
- Start where you are. If you already volunteer in an organization, investigate joining its board.