At the heart of my quest to join a board was a desire to connect with my community, meet a new group of passionate people, support an organization whose work I cared deeply about and to learn, learn, learn.
I am not embarrassed to confess that my motives were not entirely altruistic either. In my current role at Vantage Point, I oversee our membership and act as a project manager but one of my core strengths is my ability to strategize. Acting as a board member has allowed me to enjoy taking a high level perspective on issues, be involved in bigger picture discussions, and steward the organization’s course. It has also allowed me to benefit from the mentorship of other board members, in areas such as our financial status and my fiduciary duties as a board member, which has greatly contributed to my development.
On my working board, I lead our Volunteer and member Engagement committee and this leans more into my area of expertise at work. However, my organization is entirely volunteer-run and some of the concepts, processes, and practices that I have introduced are completely new to the organization. I find this implementation phase very exciting, whereas at work in some of these same areas we are a well-oiled machine. Operating in this phase also satisfies my desire to have a high impact and while it often feels like change is progressing more slowly than I would like, I find the feeling I have made significant contributions to this organization’s work extremely rewarding.
My experience as a board member has been incredibly positive because of this marriage between passion for the cause and professional development opportunity. That said, I don’t think the many hours I have dedicated as a working board member and my enthusiasm as an ambassador for this organization would have been possible without my wholehearted belief that what we are doing is important. My key piece of advice to others is to ensure your enthusiasm for the mission is there before making the commitment to be a board member!
Rebecca hails from Vancouver Island and spent her university years on Canada's friendly East coast, because she can never be too far from the ocean. Rebecca moved to Vancouver to pursue her Masters in English Literature and worked full-time at an alternative school, where she honed her...