Is Nonprofit Board Service Right for You?

Every year gives us a precious opportunity to reflect, assess, and refresh any aspect of our lives that needs adjustment. If you are contemplating nonprofit board service as a part of your journey, it may be time to take a personal inventory. A simple review to ensure the allocation of your time, talent, and resources meets your personal needs and those of your community.  

Should your personal needs matter in nonprofit board service?  Yes! Understanding your motivations is the fundamental starting point to discovering whether nonprofit board service is right for you!

Research published in The Journal of Management Development (2013) revealed a correlation between motivation and commitment to volunteer roles. For example, volunteers who were intrinsically motivated by their sense of civic duty, which accounts for most of the participants surveyed, are purpose-driven and need to believe their efforts will contribute to the greater good.  

According to the study, having a positive experience also emerged as another significant motivator. Passionate and highly social individuals seek personal connections, fulfillment, and enjoyment through volunteer engagements.  If the role fails to stimulate the volunteer’s sense of enjoyment and personal connections, they won’t be satisfied.  Extrinsic rewards also play a role, although smaller, in motivating volunteers. Whether it’s public recognition or professional development, these external rewards can help volunteers remain committed.  

Knowing your motivations can help discern which volunteer roles are right for you. If your self-assessment prompts you to give of your time and resources to help improve the lives of others, allow LMR’s Board Concierge Services to assist you in finding a board role that’s a perfect match and a win-win for you and your community!  

Guest BloggerGena Reeder (LMR ‘21), Leadership Metro Richmond, Board Engagement Manager

* Bang, H., Ross, S., & Reio, T. G. (2013). From Motivation to Organizational Commitment of Volunteers in Non-Profit Sport Organizations. The Journal of Management Development, 32(1), 96–112. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621711311287044 

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