November/December 2020

Marketing

Profiting From Nonprofit Board Involvement

Micah Buchdahl

An annual checklist item on many an attorney’s business development plan is the very nonspecific and not well-thought-out “join a nonprofit board.” It is often from a lack of trying or follow-through that things somehow don’t pan out. With approximately 1.8 million nonprofit board seats opening up each year in the United States, according to the New York-based nonprofit corporation BoardAssist, not grabbing one is most likely on you. In the wake of COVID-19, nonprofits are struggling more than ever. You should join at least one, if not more.

I often talk about the reasoning, selection and goals that come with being on a board. I remind you that these are long-term, multiyear commitments that come with an array of expectations—by you and from the nonprofit. In the March/April 2020 Law Practice column, I gave “the marketing case for pro bono.” The legal profession is big on giving back. There are many ways we can help other people—while benefiting in many ways ourselves.

Getting a (Board) Assist

You might start your search with BoardAssist, which matches prospective board members with nonprofits (in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut). Cynthia Remec is not only the executive director and founder of BoardAssist, but a former attorney who started her career as an associate at Pillsbury Winthrop and Weil Gotshal.

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