Non-profit organizations (NPO), like all corporations, require a Board of Directors. The Board oversees the financial operations of the organization, and is responsible for establishing policies, objectives and long-term management strategies.
Board members of a NPO work on a volunteer basis.
Your professional skills could be a valuable resource for artistic organizations (legal expertise, management, marketing, human resources, data processing, accounting, communication), which rely on their Board members to assist them with various tasks: developing strategies, widening their network, developing their management skills, securing funding. In short, your strategic vision, professional network, energy and creativity are invaluable assets for cultural organizations.
As a member of a Board of Directors, according to the needs of the organization, it is your duty:
- to attend all Board meetings, to understand and support the mandate, services, policies and projects of the organization;
- to keep abreast of the organization’s activities, study the agenda and supporting documents before all Board or committee meetings;
- to actively participate in meetings and to offer to sit on certain committees;
- to recruit new Board members who could make valuable contributions to the organization;
- to review and assess the organization’s annual financial statements, missions, regulations, mandates and strategic plans;
- to consider supporting the organization financially, according to your means; although your skills and experience are the most important assets sought, it is important for Board members to consider financial support as a way of solidifying their commitment to the organization.
1. Learn about volunteering in the arts through such associations as:
2. Attend the artistic events in your city (concerts, exhibitions, theatre, dance) and find an organization that matches your interests.
3. Conduct research and arrange to meet various artistic organizations to find the one that best suits you.
4. Introduce yourself to the arts community; if you do not know any Board members or staff of the artistic organization of your choice, contact them to arrange an informal meeting with the Chair of the Board or managing director to discuss the possibility of volunteering. Go over the annual reports and financial statements of the past few years to get an overall view of the organization.
5. Before joining a Board of Directors, begin as a volunteer or member of a committee of a small or medium-size organization, familiarizing yourself with its operations;
6. Ask about the organization’s expectations: the profile of the ideal volunteer, the investment of time required, the length of the commitment, participation in committees, etc.
Are you are already on a Board and wish to perfect your skills? Take a look at the training activities offered by:
- Leadership Montréal
- L’institut des administrateurs de société
- The Réseau des jeunes administrateurs offers young professionals aged 25 to 40 made-to-measure training courses, a joint initiative of the JCCM, CRÉ de Montréal and IAS.
Would you like to begin as a committee member?
- Keep an eye out for young committees that support Montreal’s cultural institutions;
- Keep an eye out for artistic organizations requiring committee members with specific skills (finances, real estate, human resources, etc.).