Financial challenges facing nonprofits have recently driven organizational mergers and closings; there are valuable leadership lessons to be learned from boards that have undertaken the serious responsibility of transitioning or winding down a nonprofit.
For too long, "old school" funders and board members have shuttered themselves behind closed doors and been complacent about board apathy and dysfunctional practices. Thanks in a large part to social media, that is no longer the case.
While others debate whether boards should have one woman or two or three, whether quotas should be mandated, and where on earth to find a woman who has adequate experience or intellect, IAC/InterActiveCorp did something bold, electing elected two women directors who will each contribute unique value to the IAC board: Chelsea Clinton and Sonali de Rycker.
More and more, nonprofit philanthropists, such as Pierre M. Omidyar and Peter B. Lewis are providing management consulting services to their grantees in order to increase their organizational effectiveness.
There are many reasons that people join nonprofit boards. The primary motivation is to do something good. But there is a reason that isn't discussed in polite company: "I want to join a board in order to develop business relationships." If you just want to make business contacts, there are way easier ways to network than to commit to multiple hours of board and committee meetings.
You're told that the organization is high impact in addressing a vital community issue, and that its services are cost effective. Simply by serving on the board, you're vouching for its future. Just one question: HOW DO YOU KNOW?