Each registered nonprofit in the state of Oregon is required to have a board of directors. Becoming a board member for a local nonprofit is a great way to volunteer and support an organization. Nonprofits in Oregon depend on their board members for leadership, guidance, knowledge, and assistance. Boards are essential to nonprofit success.

Why Join A Nonprofit Board?

Board members serve nonprofit organizations in a number of important ways. They bring connections, talent, experience, passion, perspective, and more.

Here are a few reasons that you might want to get involved:

  • To advance a mission that you're passionate about
  • To develop skills and broaden your experience
  • To make new connections, build relationships, and contribute to a team
  • To give your expertise, support, guidance, time, and energy to a cause you care about

How to Get Involved?

Before joining a board, it's a good idea to understand the roles and responsibilities of board service, and the specific expectations of board members for the organization you are considering.

Helpful resources

Nonprofit Helpline features frequently asked questions about board membership and board governance.

Nonprofit Board Network, sponsored by the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, is a monthly learning and networking opportunity in Portland that will help you build skills, strengthen leadership, and increase your effectiveness as a board member.

The fifth edition of The Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Handbook by Cynthia Cumfer and Kay Sohl includes an expanded section on the Board of Directors.
NAO Nonprofit Members $70
Nonmembers $85

Board Development: How to Identify, Recruit, Orient and Assess Your Board from the National Council of Nonprofits offers a number of helpful suggestions for the process of shaping your nonprofit’s board into an effective force for good governance.

Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards. This article from BoardSource provides an overview of a board member’s duties.

Nonprofit Boards: How to Find a Rewarding Board Position. This article from BridgeStar offers insight to help you find the right board fit.

Guide to Nonprofit Board Service in Oregon. This guide from the Oregon Department of Justice outlines your rights, roles, and responsibilities as a board member.

Nonprofit Board Basics is Compass Point's free online Board orientation course.

Board Café, an easy-to-read, to the point column for busy board members that is posted on Blue Avocado, an online magazine for people who volunteer and work in the nonprofit sector.

BoardSource is a nonprofit organization specializing in building nonprofit boards and inspiring board service with a rich website full of resources.

Energize, Inc. is an international training, consulting, and publishing firm that provides an extensive list of articles, books, and websites related to board service and development.

Nonprofit Risk Management Center has articles on risk management and governance for nonprofits.

Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA) Art of Leadership Program is a five-workshop series specifically designed for training business people to serve on arts boards.

Oregon State Statute for Nonprofit Corporations, Chapter 65 is the governing state statute for all nonprofits in Oregon. This is good general knowledge for any board member.