Is Passion A Reason To Be A Member Of A Nonprofit Board?

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Is Passion A Reason To Be A Member Of A Nonprofit Board?

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Is passion a reason to join a nonprofit board, and how much does that qualify you?
Friday, February 5, 2010 - 3:21pm


Many people involved in board-matching advise nonprofit board candidates to find the organization that "you are passionate about," and then that's the board for you!

And many people hang around on boards for twenty years or more, because, after all, they are passionate about the organization.

Choosing the right nonprofit board

In my experience in working with board candidates from businesses, I've found that most people have a variety of interests. And if I guide people in understanding the nonprofit sector and exploring options, they will often become passionate about certain organizations once they become acquainted with the compelling work that is being done. Sometimes, an array of issues resonate with candidates depending on their life experiences and personalities.

Look how many people are passionate to help in response to the devastation and suffering in Haiti. Yet, if you had asked them last December, most of them wouldn't have mentioned Haiti, or even natural disasters, among their top three concerns. They've become passionate about Haiti because they've become aware. And that's beautiful. But that's an example of the potential to light up passions by exposing people to needs and opportunities to help.

The business people I work with are usually concerned about finding a board where they can add value, just as much as they are interested in finding a board that serves a mission that they can care about.

Qualifying for a nonprofit board

Having passion alone is not enough

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Keywords: CSR | choosing a nonprofit board | philanthropy