This means the majority of NFPs will continue to either pay their boards members expenses (as incurred or as annual ‘honorariums’), offer some form of director professional development or not remunerate them in any way. As many people do not expect to be paid director’s fees but would like expenses and other reasonable costs covered, we encourage any NFP posting on our website to mention this when posting their position.
Should an NFP pay expenses?
Those NFPs with a local (often community) footprint generally do not offer to pay board members and prefer to recruit those who are locally based to avoid substantial travel and accommodation costs. So the best board to join may be the one where you can walk to the board meeting!
NFPS operating nationally tend to offer to pay board member expenses as a minimum and manage these costs with a mix of face to face and teleconference board meetings. This also better manages the time commitment required of board members.
In reality, board member expenses for many NFPs will be low. Often board members do not claim expenses as they will be minimal, they prefer to donate their efforts or their company may fund them as a pro-bono contribution.
Some tips for NFPS
The WOB website continues to evolve and now offers a count of the numbers of visitors who view each posting. When you compare the visitor count for those NFPs that offer expenses versus those that do not, on average you will get 58% more visits if you offer expenses than if you do not. This means that if there are 100 visits to your unpaid posting then there will be 158 visits if you offer expenses. You need to consider if this increased visitation is worth offering something that will, in reality, cost very little.