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September 17, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Prep for Board Placement Program

Heather Bohrer

By Matt Kochenower, Armstrong Chamberlin
Ambassadors Action Team Member
YPW hosts a Board Placement program comprised of two parts – Board Placement 101 and Speed Networking.  The program is an opportunity for YPs to learn more about the benefits and responsibilities associated with serving on a non-profit board. The panelists share an abundance of advice before opening the floor for questions. If you’re not sure the panel discussion would benefit you, here’s a taste of YPs’ frequently asked questions from our previous events:
Q: How can we make ourselves marketable to boards we’d like to serve on?
A: Be authentic and be real, share your skill set and applicable past experiences, and don’t be afraid to play up your employer.
Q: What if the financial commitment is large?
A: Boards sometimes will let you use your skill set to offset any financial obligations required (e.g. doing PR or advertising for certain events).
Q: How much time should we expect to spend serving the non-profit board we choose?
A: It differs from board to board but you should expect to meet (at minimum) at least once a month.  Serving on any committees for the board will add additional time obligations.
Q: What are the benefits of being on a board?
A: Benefits include the ability to see the positive changes that come from efforts (good feeling), connecting to passions and enhancing & learning your business skills.
Q: What do you wish you would have known before joining your board?
A: There are certainly opportunity costs, and there can be a learning curve associated with the different business aspects.  Being a board member can sometimes be frustrating.  And, you always have to ask yourself, “Am I protected if the board fails financially?”
Q: What questions should we ask the boards we’re interested in serving on?       
A: How involved is the board in the organization?  What skill sets do they want?  What is the financial/time commitment?  Dress code?  Who are the key board members?
If you’re interested in serving on a non-profit board be sure to register for the Board Placement events in 2014.  Wichita’s nonprofits need YP voices!

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