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5 Skills You’ll Master as a Volunteer Board Member while Shaping Brighter Futures for Young People

Have you ever considered the multitude of benefits that come with serving on the board of a non-profit organisation? This isn’t just about adding another title to your LinkedIn profile. Serving on the board of a not-for-profit, especially one focused on bettering the lives of young people, offers immeasurable personal and professional growth. Here are the five key skills you’ll master when you make this invaluable commitment.

1. Leadership

Being a board member naturally puts you in a leadership position where important decisions must be made for the greater good of the organisation. You’ll learn to lead not just by authority but through influence, collaboration, and the earned respect of your peers and subordinates. This skill is directly transferable to any leadership role in your professional life, making you a more competent and confident leader.

2. Strategic Thinking

Serving on a board exposes you to high-level strategic planning that impacts the future direction of the organisation. You’ll be involved in setting goals, allocating resources, and shaping policies. This enhances your ability to think long-term and not just about immediate gains, a skill that is invaluable in any sector, whether corporate or non-profit.

3. Financial Literacy

Understanding budgets, balance sheets, and financial statements are part of the territory when you’re on a board. Even if you’re not a finance professional, you’ll gain insights into the financial mechanisms that enable an organisation to fulfil its mission. This enhanced financial literacy can not only benefit you in your day job but also in your personal financial management.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

Board membership is a team sport. You’ll be collaborating with other members who come from diverse backgrounds and bring a variety of skills to the table. Learning how to work cohesively as a part of this diverse group, even when opinions diverge, is a skill that will stand you in good stead in all areas of life.

5. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

Not-for-profits, particularly those focused on youth, deal with emotionally charged issues that require a high level of empathy and emotional intelligence. As a board member, you’ll often find yourself navigating complex emotional terrains, whether it’s while making difficult decisions or dealing with the communities you serve. Mastering this skill will not only make you a better board member but also a better human being.


Serving as a board member of a not-for-profit organisation devoted to young people is more than just a resume booster; it’s an enriching experience that cultivates essential skills you’ll use throughout your life. From strategic thinking to emotional intelligence, the skills you master will not only serve you well on a personal level but also make you a contributing powerhouse for the benefit of your community. So if you’ve been contemplating taking this step, consider this your sign: the benefits are manifold, and the impact is far-reaching.

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