What does it take to to be an efficient Board member who makes an impact and makes a difference? Here are 5 qualities of effective non-profit board members:
1) You have a passion for the mission: if you don't care, you won't participate. Choose your organizational involvement wisely, let your heart choose your cause.
2) You can mentor others with some professional skill-what do you bring to the table regarding your experience in the world? This could be anything from a great planner of details to a corporate manager of many.
3) You understand the giving and working nature of a healthy Board. Honestly, if you care enough to give your time to a cause, the money part (within reason) should be a no-brainer. And if you are giving your most valuable asset to a cause (your time), that time should be spent in reasonable committee work improving the impact your organization makes in the community.
4) You can walk the line (often a somewhat narrow line) of no-nonsense input weighted with a diplomatic and respectful delivery. Everyone at the table deserves the right to be heard and responded to in a respectful manner. This is where your recruitment process of new Board members is your duty owed to the current Board members.5) My favorite....you must have courage. Courage to challenge the way things have always been done...just because that's the way something has always been done doesn't mean it's the smartest way to keep doing something. Take a fresh look, you will most likely be surprised that many of your other Board members had been having the same thoughts/ideas/suggestions, but you had the courage and conviction to say so.