So, You Want to Join a Board?

While many things that used to be our “normal” have changed since the onset of the pandemic, one thing hasn’t changed. Nonprofits need high performing Boards with committed, passionate, skilled board members.

Imagine for a moment a Board that strategically recruits individuals who  are diverse in age, gender, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, leadership style, and industry affiliation. Individuals who understand their roles and responsibilities. Individuals committed through good times and bad.

Imagine the power of a unified governing body working toward one common mission.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a bit of a Board nerd, but just the thought of that brings a smile to my face and a sense of security for what lies ahead, pandemic or not.

And just as important as it is to have a strategic recruitment process for prospective board members, it is also important for those interested in serving on a Board to do their homework: research the nonprofit, reflect on the commitment required, and ask some key questions.

Below are 10 questions to help you consider whether or not this is a nonprofit match made in heaven:  

    1. What are the qualities, skills, and characteristics you’re looking for in new board members?
    2. Where is the organization headed? Do you have a current strategic plan?
    3. What is the culture of your board?
    4. What are the expectations of board members? Note: ask to see the board member job description.
    5. Specifically, what is the give (donate) and get (fundraising) annual requirement?
    6. What is the estimated time commitment, including board meetings and work in between board meetings (i.e., committees, preparation for board meetings, etc.)? Ask what days/times board meetings take place.
    7. What is the length of each term and any term limits in place?
    8. Does the organization have D&O insurance to protect board members?
    9. How healthy is the organization financially?
    10. Are there any pending or outstanding legal concerns the organization is facing?

What questions are missing? Any others you would add? Email us at, and let us know. We’ll give you full credit when we highlight your additions in a future post and in our monthly PiP Squeak e-newsletter.


Written by Stacey Wedding, CEO/Chief Strategist of PiP, and BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer