Thursday, February 9, 2012

Back by Popular Demand: Tips on Choosing a Non-Profit Board

This is my most read and requested blog post ever -- Truly, TENS of you have asked me to repeat it (Ha!), so since this week just keeps getting crazier for me, I'm putting it out again.  Thanks for reading -- Paige

The end of the year always gets me thinking about board service.  It is when our board at Community Partners of Dallas turns over and we begin the dance of saying good-bye to wonderful volunteers and hello to new ones.  I absolutely LOVE it!  CPD has the best board members in town.

As you may know, I serve as the President and CEO of Community Partners of Dallas, a medium-sized non-profit agency helping abused and neglected children.  I work with our board members every day to make sure our agency is working to "stop the abuse and start the healing" for kids in Dallas County.  I have also served on many non-profit boards in Dallas County, so here are my quick tips if you are considering board service:

1.  Believe in the mission of the agency.
2.  Make sure that you have the time to serve -- you must attend the board meetings, committee meetings, all the events, etc.
3.  Be ready to support them financially with a personally meaningful gift.
4.  Commit to soliciting funding for the agency from your friends, family members, and colleagues.  If you are not willing to do this, just say no. 
5.  Be willing to participate in leadership if asked.

Prior to joining a board be sure to:

1.  Educate yourself about what is required of board members -- time, talent, treasure requirements.
2.  Take a tour of the agency and meet with the CEO/Executive Director.
3.  Check out the other board members. 
4.  Find out if you like the executive staff.
5.  Make sure that the agency has board insurance.
6.  Look at their most recent tax return and financial documents.

If you are interested in board service, call the agency!  There are many, many agencies that need you. 


  1. Fantastic and concise post, Paige! One question - in order to volunteer for a non-profit board, should the volunteer be a high net worth individual...or just willing to solicit family/friends in addition to giving their time and energy?

  2. Thanks for reading, Josh! No, board members at CPD don't need lots of dough (Although we don't discriminate against them -- ha!). I'll take an energetic person any day who believes in what we do and is willing to learn.