The Nonprofit Advisory Board: It’s a Team Effort

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It’s quite apparent why an advisory board might work for your organization, but who might be on it might not be so apparent. Advisory boards give you a great resource for extra manpower without having to add paid staff. You get incredible expertise and resources to help run your organization and there’s a pretty minimal out of pocket cost. So how do you land the right people to make your advisory board the best it can be?


I recently became the Secretary of the GlamourGals advisory board. I’ve been a board member for just over a year, and it’s something that is very near and dear to my heart. Not only am I passionate about our mission, I’m passionate about the logistics of our organization. Hence – it made sense for me to assume secretarial duties (and I am so thankful to my chairwoman, the deputy chairwoman, and our founder for the tap). Our advisory board is highly functioning and we’ve done a lot of great work over the last year. We’re all excited to advance our mission, but the combination of people on our team really sets us apart. Here’s a list of people you should fill your advisory board with:


The people who are really passionate about the cause. These people are imperative to keeping everyone excited, yet grounded at the same time. They believe in the mission through and through and integrate its meaning into everyday life. If they’re not talking about your organization to friends and family, they’re telling a stranger about it any chance they get. Their passion is so evident and they’ll come in handy when you need someone to speak on your behalf or in front of a group of potential donors.


The people who are really passionate about their skill set. These people love their industry. They’re often very dedicated to their jobs, but get bored with the same old stuff. They’re perfect for your advisory board. Whether they’re in legal, finance, marketing, business consulting, or creative, there’s something their skills can do for you. And a lot of certifications and designations actually require a certain amount of pro bono work, so this relationship may benefit both parties.


The people who are incredibly connected. We all know them – the social butterflies of our group. Well, they make awesome advisory board members. Not only will they be able to fill your event with their friends and contacts, they’ve usually got the inside scoop on venues, silent auction donations, press coverage, and potential partner organizations.


The people who are financially generous. Most boards have a minimum financial requirement for their members, but there is always an opportunity for more. The financially generous board members may not be able to dedicate much time or thought to the board, but their financial assistance makes a big difference, too.


The people with the generous workplaces. You’ll undoubtedly want to host board or potential donor gatherings. While these gatherings are really important, they don’t require a large event space, but do require a place larger than your tiny conference room in your office. Even if you do have the space at your office, sometimes it’s nice to get away, right? These board members can hook you up with a great space to meet in with no cost to you.


We’d love to hear from you: What other board members do you find to be imperative to your board’s success? Share them here!

Would you like some more reading on the topic of “Nonprofit Boards?” Check out these recent posts!




About the Author: A professional copywriter working with Macy’s Store Communications team, Kadi continues to fulfill her passion for communication by serving as the resident Millennial blogger with Third Sector Today and Top Nonprofits. She also serves on the advisory board for GlamourGals and is the content manager for BLEEP Magazine. She’s a recent transfer to NYC, but calls Ohio home. She graduated with a BS in Magazine Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and spent five years in Ohio’s capital city of Columbus, working as a professional communicator and managing a trade magazine for the insurance industry for three years and working with The Harmony Project as a member and as the social media coordinator. She is a triathlete, loves golf and tennis, and coaches swimming. You can follow her on Twitter @KadiMcDonaldOU