Non-profit organizations serve an important role in society, providing essential services in the community. The volunteers who serve on the Boards of Directors for non-profit agencies are critical to the work and health of the organizations they serve. Board members, who often work for local corporations and companies in the community, are the ambassadors for non-profits and the work they do in the community.

Board members help set the strategic plan for organizations and make sure that they are using all assets - financial and human - in serving the mission of the organization. Boards look at non-profit bylaws, procedures and finances to make sure the organization will be sustainable in the future. With talent from all fields of work and different areas of the communities, boards bring fresh perspective and ideas to non-profits that are often “lean” in staff and resources.

Yes, board members also help with fund-raising. With many non-profits cropping up, competition for funding dollars is stiff. Boards are often sought for help in opening new doors to funding opportunities in the community.

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One of the biggest roles board members fill is that of advocate. These critical volunteers often promote awareness for initiatives that non-profits are implementing and connect non-profits with resources that can help them and other agencies or businesses in the community. Because of the nature of their work lives, board members also have important connections to other businesses that have similar goals and missions in the community.

As a CEO of a local non-profit, I am lucky to serve with many amazing board members who dedicate their time and talent to making sure our organization is strong, sustainable and mission-driven. With their help, Girl Scouts will continue to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.