By Amy Potthast.
Recently Dania Toscano Miwa blogged about why nonprofits need young people on their boards.
She points out that what they may lack in financial power (some boards require a minimum financial donation from board members), young people make up for with networks. And she has a point.
Teaming a passionate Millennial board member with a development or marketing person could help the organization:
- move its outreach in new directions
- raise awareness about the organization and its cause among a new generation, and
- guide the organization in making decisions that work for a younger constituent base.
Digital natives who are familiar with social networking, get a chance to learn how to apply their unique perspectives to further causes they care deeply about.
Early in their careers, Millennials who serve on boards get to glimpse the business and legal sides of nonprofit organizations — sure to increase their savvy as they further their careers.
To locate opportunities to serve on a board, you could volunteer first to serve on the committee of a board, get to know the organization better, and put your name in the hat when a board opening occurs. Alternately, you could search for board service opportunities through word of mouth, search volunteer listings on sites like Idealist.org, and/or call the local United Way or association of nonprofits in your area to see if they keep a list of organizations in need of board members.
Learn more about serving on a board as a way to strengthen your candidacy for a nonprofit job in Chapter Five of the free online book The Idealist Guides to Nonprofit Careers.
Do you serve on a board?
If so, what do you give and what do you get from the experience?
Amy Potthast served as Idealist’s Director of Service and Graduate Education Programs until 2011. Read more of her work at amypotthast.com.