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

Top Eight Tips for Finding a Perfect Junior Board Seat

Ready to dive in and join a nonprofit junior board of directors but no idea where to start? 

Top Eight Tips for Finding a Perfect Junior Board Seat

1. Find a nonprofit whose mission truly resonates with you.

Don’t compromise. The demand for millennials on junior boards is enormous.  Nonprofits knows that millennials have tremendous skills to offer in so many areas, especially branding, communications, digital marketing, marketing, social media, public relations, web and graphic design, strategic partnerships, and tech issues. Hold out for something that is perfect for you!

2.  Pull out all the numbers.

Choose a nonprofit that’s the right age and budget for you. Do you want to join a startup or an established nonprofit that’s a household name? Do you want to work with an organization with 500 employees or just 5?

3. Timing is everything.

How much time can you comfortably invest in board service? Find out where, when, and exactly how often your potential board meets – and if you can join by phone when you can’t attend in person.  In addition to going to junior board meetings, what else is expected?  Do you have to volunteer at programming or fundraising events, for example, for the nonprofit?

4.  Who else is on the board?

Do some additional research on your potential fellow board members. Where do they work? What are their areas of expertise? Do you envision the time you’ll spend working together as enjoyable and rewarding?

5. Do you need a Roman numeral at the end of your name, or a trust fund, to sit on this board?

What’s the expected financial commitment? Is it clear ($XX per year) or vague (members are asked to contribute something “personally significant)?”  Does this matter to you?  Do you have to fundraise in addition to writing a check of your own?  Are you comfortable doing that?

6. Will I just be an ATM machine?

What, aside from fundraising, have junior board members done for the organization historically? If your goal is to find a junior board that encourages and values engagement beyond fundraising, ask for concrete examples.  What sorts of projects will be available to you?

7. Stay connected to the top.

What’s the relationship between the junior board and governing board?  Does the junior board have a representative that periodically attends governing board meetings?  Does the governing board send a representative to junior board meetings?  Do the two boards socialize together at least annually?  Most folks who join junior boards are very interested in networking with and learning from members of their nonprofit’s governing board, and being kept abreast of strategic goals and challenges their nonprofit faces.  If this is important to you, make sure your junior board is truly connected to your nonprofit in a meaningful way.

8. Feel the love.

Does the governing board of your nonprofit appreciate the work the junior board does for them?  How do they express this gratitude? While no one joins a junior nonprofit board just to get a pat on the head, it’s nice to feel appreciated for all you will be doing.



Want to go beyond junior board service?  We’d love to help you find the perfect nonprofit board.  For a full discussion of what to consider before joining a nonprofit governing board, download BoardAssist’s Giving Back and visit Find a Board on our website.