Captioning–Press (Special Page)

"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 Much of my Time will I have to Give?

More this week from 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.

From Giving Back:

FAQs about Joining a Nonprofit Board:  How Much of my Time Will I have to Give?

Most BoardAssist candidates are concerned that because of time constraints they won’t be as engaged as they’d like and so will be relegated to raising money.  Depending on the Board, time commitment can be minimal or quite substantial.  Once you’ve determined roughly how much time you do have, BoardAssist will find a board where your availability matches their needs. There are boards where you don’t need to serve on committees and meetings are held quarterly, rather than monthly, for example.  There are even boards that are fine with members phoning in, rather than attending all meetings in person.

One of the biggest surprises is just how effective you can be by attending four board meetings a year.  Reading the materials circulated in advance, formulating your questions and outlining suggestions for a course of action – prior to the meeting – will allow you to have a considerable impact.  Remember you’re the eyes that aren’t immersed in the day-to-day operations of the organization.  You’re the person offering a broader perspective.  That’s your strength and that’s where your time is best spent.

Aside from attending board meetings, the bulk of nonprofit board service is project based and, as such, can be planned around your schedule.  In many cases, this is a boon to our candidates.  If you have a two-week lull between deals and can jump in you might say, “Let me do the strategic plan,” or “I’ve got some time, I’d like to overhaul our website.”  When you account for this flexibility factor, most of our candidates have more than enough time to give and serve effectively.


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.