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Nonprofit View: Take the boardroom challenge, make a difference in helping nonprofits thrive

Carroll County is fortunate to be the home to numerous nonprofit organizations. These nonprofits create a vast web of resources benefiting citizens young and old. Whether the nonprofit supports veterans, provides food to those in need or serves individuals with disabilities, they all rely on a single common resource: volunteers.

No matter what your background is, there is a local nonprofit that can benefit from your skills and experience. You might be a young professional, a skilled tradesperson or a retiree — regardless, one of Carroll’s local nonprofits can use you. Maybe you can only afford half an hour a week or an hour a month — a local nonprofit will be happy to have you!

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Having served as a nonprofit CEO here in Carroll County for over 26 years, I can tell you one area where volunteers are always needed, and that’s in the boardroom. In order to maintain our tax-exempt status, most nonprofits must be governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. This is a place where many local organizations need help the most!

A nonprofit Board of Directors is responsible for the overall oversight of the organization, as well as hiring and providing guidance to the CEO or executive director. Ideally, board members should have a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences. While the CEO might have years of experience and a college degree in his or her area of expertise, they will surely need advice and counsel from their board members in matters that are not their strong suit. This is where you come in!

Are you retired and looking for a way to give back to your community? Do you want to share that wealth of knowledge from your years of work, while staying active and connected to your community? I am sure there is a local nonprofit that would benefit from your years of experience!

Are you a young, tech-savvy professional? I can tell you firsthand that many of us 40-to-60-some-year-old CEOs can’t keep up with the new technology — and yes, there is a nonprofit that can use your help, too!

Do you have a background in a skilled trade or facility maintenance? Nonprofits have offices, buildings, homes and other properties. The executive director can’t possibly know everything from the roof to the plumbing, so you guessed it, a local nonprofit can use your knowledge, too!

Every Monday, the Carroll County Times features a column right here, shining the spotlight on one of the many amazing local nonprofits. My “challenge” to you is not to dump ice cubes over your head, lick a tub of ice cream, or stand still and do nothing like a mannequin. My challenge is for you to reach out to a local nonprofit and volunteer to become a board member!

C. Michael Hardesty is the president and CEO of Flying Colors of Success Inc. in Westminster (and yes, he volunteers too). Reach him at cmhardesty@flyingcolorsofsuccess.org.

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