Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dating Non-Profits

One of my major life goals, as you may remember, is to join a non-profit board. Recently, I went to a Greenlights Board Summit and met representatives from many non-profit boards here in town. I narrowed my interest down to two boards and today I met with each of them. (Well - not everyone from each of them....but you know what I mean...)

It's been an extremely interesting day. I've learned a lot about myself and what I want in life. Specifically, I apparently want challenges and I'm happiest with the idea of jumping into a less planned situation. Let me elaborate...

Both of these boards have missions which really matter to me because both of them have to do with serving kids. One of the boards is for a pretty well-established non-profit here in town with about 37 staff members and a big budget. The other board I'm considering is for a much smaller board with only one staff member (the very dedicated Executive Director).

It's clear that the board members on the bigger board are very devoted and I liked everything I heard there.

But....the smaller board is really in the process of remaking itself and they are extremely eager to get some board members on board who are brimming with ideas. I can tell that the smaller board probably has fewer processes and systems - but they want to develop them. I was much more excited about starting with the smaller board. It's interesting because I'm sure fewer people have heard of that board but I get the impression that they really need me and I would love to make a difference in that way.

Now that I write all of this out, I guess none of this is very surprising - but before I went into the personal meetings today, I'd assumed that I'd be choosing the bigger organization, if given the option. Turns out that I'm much more into the idea of joining up with the smaller organization if they'll have me.

Who knew?

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