1. Do I have the time to devote to my duties and responsibilities as a board member? Being a board member can consume significant amounts of time each month. Don’t volunteer if you don’t have the time to do the job right or can’t attend meetings.
  2. Do I work well with others? A board of directors is not a place for loners or individuals who do not work well with others. To function well board members must work as a team.
  3. What is the underlying reason I want to be on the board? While there is no one right reason, you should know what is motivating you to volunteer. Does it conflict with the goals of the board? Is it your desire to be a change agent?
  4. What if I am sued personally for something I do as a board member? Does your association have comprehensive Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance from a company that specializes in providing this type of insurance to associations that shifts the risk to the insurance company? Has the board done everything it can to limit liability? Is the board required to indemnify you if you are sued?
  5. Have I examined the books of the association?  Before committing yourself you should know the financial condition of the association. If it is less than good ask yourself is you want to spend most of your time dealing with financial issues such as reserves, assessment increases, and deferred maintenance.
  6. Do I know what the expectations of the board and board president are? Is the board a rubber stamp for what the president (or manager) wants to do? Are there unreasonable expectations regarding how much time is to be spent on association business? Are you going to be asked or expected to do or go along with something you have strong feelings against?
  7. Do I have thick or thin skin? Being on a board is not for the faint of heart or overly sensitive people. You will likely receive far more criticism than praise during your term. And some of that criticism may even be personal in nature.
  8. Will I be committed to seeing my term through? Associations don’t need board members who serve only 4 or 5 months. It takes that long (or longer) to get a good understanding of the issues facing the association and how the board operates, not to mention the personalities. Do yourself and your association a favor by not volunteering if you’re not committed to serving your full term.
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