As March draws to a close, nominating committees are looking for new board members. If you are approached to serve on a board, there are things you need to know. Here is a sample:
- Do I agree with what the organization stands for?
You should understand the mission, vision and values of any organization you plan to represent. Make sure you are clear on the strategic direction and the means that are being used to achieve the organizations goals.
- Do I know how much time serving on the board is going to take out of my life?
Expect to be lied to. When you ask for the likely time commitment, you will hear lies like, not very much time, hardly any time etc. Double any estimate that you hear about the likely board commitment.
- Do I understand the risks of being a board member?
If you have never served on a board before, understand that directors could be faced with personal liability for certain debts. Ask the questions and decide how much risk you are willing to take.
- Does the organization have insurance, including directors insurance?
Once you have an idea about likely risks, you can see how the risks are being mitigated. Do you think there is enough insurance for you to be comfortable serving as a director?
The more you know about the organization the better. Deciding to serve as a board member is not a decision to be made lightly. Find out what you need to know and make an informed decision.