Top 15 Reasons People Join Volunteer Boards

In today’s tough sponsorship market, many organizations find sponsors by networking among their Board members. These key volunteers can provide warm leads, or tap their own marketing budgets. They can’t, however, sell your deal for you. Unlike traditional philanthropy where volunteers do the asking, sponsorship is still a deal you’ll have to cut yourself. But an empowered, well connected Board member can significantly shorten your sales cycle by opening the right doors.

It’s important to understand why people join Boards and committees, in order to know what it will take to motivate and maintain members who are committed to the organization. The top 15 reasons why people become involved on Boards and committees include:

1. To use professional and personal knowledge, skills and talents

2. To develop new knowledge and skills

3. To be involved in purposeful and meaningful work

4. To play an active role in decision-making

5. To help an organization, a program or cause

6. To learn about an organization, program or cause

7. To meet people

8. To gain recognition and skills

9. To have a title or add to a résumé

10. To increase one’s profile in the community in order to advance political aspirations

11. To feel useful and needed

12. To contribute to social change

13. To use leisure time productively

14. To have fun

15. To work with people who have similar beliefs, values or interests

The combination of motives vary with different individuals. Understanding each member’s motives will improve teamwork between Board and staff.