11 Reasons Why You Should Join a Nonprofit Board: Part One

Volunteering is a truly meaningful experience. Many people who volunteer experience improved health, better networks, and improved skills. Joining the board of a nonprofit can be frightening, as it does require a lot of work on the part of the members; however, being on these boards can provide your life with a greater sense of meaning and so much more. Below, find part one of why you should join a nonprofit board.

1) Create a Larger, Better Network
By involving yourself with a board, your networking opportunities expand infinitely. You will not only be able to connect with profoundly experienced business professionals on the board, but you will also be able to meet volunteers who give of their time and effort every week. According to CareerAttraction.com, “you’ll have the chance to meet and network with a lot of high-impact folks, since they’re the ones who comprise the majority of nonprofit board membership.” This larger network of high-impact professionals will improve your ability to excel in your career in the way you want to. Having powerful connections makes for a great career path.

2) Become a Mentor
You may find someone who wants a mentor at the organization you volunteer for. You could end up becoming a mentor to someone else on the board or someone who is a volunteer with the organization. The tables may turn, as well. Someone may be able to mentor you who you never thought would come along in your life. There are truly inspiring people on boards who are more than willing to help someone else grow in his/her career and personal life.

3) Improves Your Health
Volunteering creates feelings of happiness, inclusion, and purpose. People who volunteer are more likely to be happy, with feelings comparable to earning a higher salary. Commenting on an article released by Harvard Health Publications, Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. and Lawrence Robinson of HelpGuide.org state:

“Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being ‘very happy’ rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. Among weekly volunteers, 16% felt very happy—a hike in happiness comparable to having an income of $75,000–$100,000 versus $20,000, say the researchers.”

Segal and Robinson go on to state that:

“By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure… Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, [and]… [v]olunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.”

Volunteering for this reason alone can be life-altering. As we age, we are more likely to volunteer on the board of a nonprofit. During this time of life, it is important to do whatever good for your health that you can.

4) Strengthens Leadership Skills
Because you would be on a board, you would have countless opportunities for leading others in a common goal or task. Because all of these people would be volunteers, you would gain valuable experience in leading those who do not work for or under you. This can be exceedingly different that leading your own employees, as these people may or may not have more experience than you or want to listen to you. By being a part of a nonprofit board, you would hone your leadership skills immensely.

Next week, we will go over why you should join a nonprofit board for financial, personal, and professional reasons. Hit me up on Twitter with any questions, comments, and thoughts about this article @MikusKins!