Serving on a Volunteer Board Hero Label

Serving on a Volunteer Board

Hospitals, foundations, private schools, colleges, and universities are all organizations that are run by a board of directors, usually comprised of employees of the organization and outsiders. While you don't ask to join a board (usually you are asked), you may want to mention your interest in serving on the board to a current board member or employee. That person can submit your name to the appropriate person. Boards have vetting processes and nominating committees, such as a hospital fund-raiser or school annual fund; career expertise in a needed area, such as insurance, law, or accounting; or being able to make a substantial gift to the organization. Many boards require varying degrees of financial support from their members; other, smaller boards may only want a member's skills—though they'll never turn away money.

Being a good board member involves both business and volunteer etiquette. It is a prestigious leadership position, and you are expected to be both a supporter and an ambassador for the organization. Failure to take the honor and the responsibility seriously can be damaging to one's reputation both socially and in business. While similar to some of the points made earlier about volunteering in general, it is especially important for board members to observe the following: