Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

Preparing leaders to serve on nonprofit boards

Serving on a nonprofit board is more than a high-impact way for executives to perform community service— it also provides benefits to the executive’s company. 

Nonprofit boards provide an excellent, low-cost training opportunity for senior leaders. Executives that serve on nonprofit boards are able to expandcommunityinvolvement.nonprofit.board.service..png their skillset by applying their expertise in a new context, all while engaging with and learning from people and communities from different professional and personal backgrounds.

At its core, nonprofit board service is a specialized type of skills-based volunteering, which is found to add value to the workplace. According to Deloitte, 91 percent of HR professionals agree that skills-based volunteering builds and hones business and leadership skills. Regina McNally, vice president of strategic workforce programs at State Street, summarized this effect: “Those [that engage in skills-based volunteering] learn in a whole new environment to let their brain work in a different way and bring those new skillsets back to the office.”

However, to reap the full benefits of serving on a nonprofit board, executives may require additional training. While many executives are eager to volunteer their time, they may want to be better prepared to address the challenges and responsibilities that can come with nonprofit board leadership.

For example, it is critical for board members to understand the fiduciary responsibilities of board service. Board members have a fiduciary duty to the nonprofit, which means they must put the financial interests of the organization ahead of their own, or face possible personal liability and fines. This is an example of duty of care—a type of legal duty that stipulates prudent use of assets and oversight of activities.

Providing training to executives on legal, financial, and fundraising responsibilities of nonprofit board service maximizes their effectiveness, which boosts their skill acquisition and returns value to your business.

This month’s webinar will explore the ways in which multiple companies trained their executives and employees to serve on nonprofit boards. Tune in on December 13 at 12:00 p.m. ET to hear directly from corporate citizenship professionals who build and manage nonprofit board training programs.

Register for Webinar

Topics: Responsible Corporate Leadership, Corporate Community Involvement, Benefits, Non-Profits, Board, Best Practices

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The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship is your resource for insights, research, trending topics, and executive education in the corporate citizenship field.

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