by on December 9, 2012

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When I moved to Chicago I joined the board of a startup non-profit. We were a group of twenty somethings with little idea of how to run a non-profit or what being on a board actually meant. Not surprisingly, the non-profit no longer exists. Our board did its best, but we were never really prepared to succeed. We probably could have used the help of Boardsource, a Washington, DC based non-profit that “supports, trains, and educates more than 60,000 nonprofit board leaders from across the country each year.” You can’t just Google “how to be a non-profit board member” and pick it up. Boardsource provides a wide array of resources that help board members serve their organizations more effectively.

Get On Board

Because non-profits don’t have owners or shareholders, their board members are typically the main decision makers. Being on a non-profit board typically is typically a part-time, volunteer position, so board members may not have a lot of experience with the issues that their organizations face. BoardSource helps prepare them to make their non-profits more effective through consulting, books and tools, training, and more. So that you can get a better idea of the topics that Boardsource covers, I recommend that you check out their Resource Center. If you’re interested in non-profit governance and like Boardsource’s approach to improving the field, then take a look at their Careers page. There isn’t any info on internships there right now, but I did a little digging and found that they’ve offered past positions in Governance, Development/Research, and Membership/Social Media. Reach out now and see what they have planned for the spring or summer.

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