Balancing Life as a Board Member

Associations and nonprofits are typically run by volunteers. This means that those volunteers have full lives outside of their duties within the association including their own career. Juggling both a full-time career and a position on an association’s board can be challenging. Here are a few things to remember when navigating this tricky balance. 


Membership is not all on you. The push for new members and member recruitment is a constant goal of associations. Taking on the task of recruiting new members and pushing for current members to stay is a part of being on the board. This job, however, does not fall solely on one person. It is each person’s responsibility as a part of the association to recruit and retain. Doing this, keeps the organization running and allows the organization to fulfill its mission. It is important, however, to be mindful of your interactions with current and potential members. Each interaction could be the deciding factor on whether that member joins or stays in the association. Maintaining a positive attitude and friendly demeanor could be your organization’s selling point.  


Build Relationships. Understanding your members, potential members, and community will set the groundwork for your association’s success. Building these relationships will ensure a sense of trust and will provide you with a set of resources. Connect with people on social media, reach out personally if you have built a strong enough relationship, and maintain the relationship even if it seems like it is no longer beneficial to you. 


Keep learning. As a board member, it is essential to keep learning everything you can about the industry as well as the role you are in. Learning more about the association is only going to make you more knowledgeable and successful. This allows you to run the association efficiently and the ability to teach others more about the industry as well. Keeping up on industry news or advice on how to better your association will better you as a leader.