Did you know that you can help out government organizations by serving on the board of directors? I learned about this from an article by Aimee Hart, Chairman of the Board of the Norfolk Jaycees. In her article, she said that we can apply to be a government appointee to various Virginia boards. I don’t know why but I thought only the elite of the elite or those that know someone can get on those. You know, those secretive meetings held behind closed doors of the board of directors of colleges (as of this writing there is an opening on the Board of Directors of William and Mary) or even on a museum (Virginia Museum of Natural History has a spot).
I enjoy volunteering and have never thought of serving on a board of a government organization until that article. Well, I’ve thought about it but thought I couldn’t until I was over 50 and a business owner or extremely well-known in the community already. But, seems there’s hope for the young and not so well-known! I started researching what boards were of interest to me and found a few. As much as I enjoy my state, I thought starting locally would be best so read my city’s board listing.
Some of the Newport News, Virginia board openings:
- Animal Review Committee (Veterinarian)
- Cable Television Advisory Commission
- Commission on Youth (Youth Representatives Only)
- Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center Board
- Human Services Advisory Board
- Newport News Human Rights Commission
- Newport News Mayor’s Committee on Disabilities
- Newport News Public Library Board of Trustees
- Newport News Wetlands Board
- Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors
- North End/Huntington Heights Architectural Review Board
- Peninsula Agency on Aging
- Peninsula Institute for Community Health
- Taxi Advisory Board
- Towing Advisory Board
What happens at board meetings? How much time commitment is there? Do we get paid? I’m learning the answers. But so far it seems that it really depends on the board. Some meet for a couple of hours a month to go over policy and give suggestions to the leader of the organization. Payment is really rare from what I’ve seen so you should look for something for which you have passion. If the board you want to be on doesn’t have an opening, I’d put in an application for it and wait. Sometimes people have to move and vacate their positions which free up the remainder of the terms for others.
Let me know how it goes!