When it comes to the Keene, NH community, I can't think of a better place to be affiliated with than Rise...for Baby and Family. Toni Ellsworth, who is also my neighbor, introduced me to Rise 3 years ago when we first moved to her neighborhood. We sent our daughter to the wonderful childcare center at Rise, and later sent our son.
Since the summer of 2007 I have served on the Board of Directors at Rise...for Baby and Family. They were brave to introduce a new member to the Board who had never been on a Board before. While serving on the Board is difficult when you have young children, it is also a great opportunity to be involved in supporting a local program you believe in, one you have received services from, or one you contribute to annually.
Because I was new to serving on a Board, I've put together some tips to get your feet wet in case you've ever thought about it:
If you'd like to serve on a non-profit Board here are some things to know:
1. Each Board has it's own culture, dynamics, and own ways of organizing
2. Each Board has it's own requirements of it's members. This may involve once a month meetings, contributions, fund raising, volunteering at events, or any other duties the program may need of it's Board.
3. The Board is responsible for learning about and helping monitor the annual budget. For a new member, it takes time to understand this and you will not be expected to understand it immediately.
4. Asking questions and being honest about what you know or don't know is one of the best ways to learn your job.
5. Address your concerns up front. If you have young children and can not make their regularly scheduled meeting dates, reconsider altogether or ask if they are interested in changing their dates for meetings. Remember, Board members are not easy to find, especially if you have a valuable skill or resources the organization could use.
6. Volunteerism isn't for everybody. If you know of a non-profit who's mission you believe in and you're looking to learn about being a Board member, don't be afraid to ask. If you find you are not able to serve on the Board for any reason, you may find they need your talents or time for a project, or for an event.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me!