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"Our BoardAssist candidates have been amazing additions to our Board of Directors."

Executive Director, Good Shepherd Services.
Credit: Volunteers of America
helping individuals and families in need

FAQs about Joining a Nonprofit Board: How do I manage or avoid the awkward “how much money can you give” conversation?

Have you been led to believe that serving on a nonprofit board is just about writing checks and asking your friends for money? We hope we can address this concern in our new blog series on the most frequently asked questions we hear from candidates considering joining a nonprofit board.  All the answers have always be available in our book Giving Back, downloadable from the top of every page of our website.  But many of our candidates don’t have the time to read our whole booklet on what to think about before joining a board.   So we’re pulling out the most frequently asked questions about board service from Giving Back and sharing them with you.  Hope you find the series helpful.

FAQs about Joining a Nonprofit Board:  How do I manage or avoid the awkward “how much can you give” conversation?

From Giving Back:

You don’t avoid it.  You let BoardAssist lead the way.  Negotiating the financial commitment up front for nonprofit board membership is one of the most valuable services BoardAssist provides to board candidates and nonprofits alike.  Though confirming the financial expectations is ultimately the responsibility of each candidate, BoardAssist gets all the specifics for you ahead of time so your conversation with the nonprofit becomes a simple confirmation on your part, not a negotiation.  For more detail on this, see Section II of Giving Back.

BoardAssist asks the leadership of each nonprofit we work with the hard questions and gets a specific amount – in writing – so our board candidates know at the outset what they’re committing to financially, both in terms of what you will be asked to personally give as well as what you will be expected to “get” from your friends and colleagues.

BoardAssist’s mission is to find boards for our candidates where their primary gift will be their intellectual capital – and not just their wallets.  That means a lot to us.  For more on this topic, see How to avoid being solely an ATM machine on the nonprofit board on which you serve.


Want to read more of the FAQs folks ask us before joining a nonprofit board?  Learn more by downloading Giving Back, our guide to nonprofit board service, complete with case studies and answers to the FAQs we are asked most about board service.

Ready to dive in and start exploring the perfect board for you?  Tell us more about what matters most to you – what your dream board looks like – and we’ll get started.