Step 1: Registration
As a CUP member, you have access to our A Seat at the Table board matching initiative. Upon completing your board matching profile, you will be eligible to attend networking receptions with select nonprofit partners, enroll in board governance trainings, request introductions to CUP’s nonprofit partners, and attend nonprofit partner events.
For Active Members
To complete your board matching profile on CUP's member portal, click here and complete the following steps:
- Login using your username or email address and password. If you are a member but have never logged-in to the new Member Portal, please email amccalmon
@cupusa.org for a temporary password or click on 'Forgot Password' to receive a new password.
- Upon your first login, you will be prompted to complete all required fields of your Personal Profile. Please make your selections and click ‘Save and Continue’ to go to your Professional Profile. You will need to complete all required fields and click 'Save and Continue' to be taken to the Board Matching Profile.
- Be sure to click ‘Save’
Not a Member yet?
Click here and select the Register button:
- Select a membership level and once payment is received, you will be prompted to complete all required fields of your Personal Profile. Please make your selections and click ‘Save and Continue’ to go to your Professional Profile. You will need to complete all required fields and click 'Save and Continue' to be taken to the Board Matching Profile.
- Be sure to click ‘Save’
Once your board matching profile is complete, you will have access to our board matching resources and will be added to our database, which we regularly search to identify strategic board matches for our nonprofit partners.
Step 2: Exploration
Its time to start exploring your options! As you pursue a board seat with your preferred nonprofits, be sure to research each organization to gauge how the mission, structure and culture, as well as board requirements and responsibilities, fit into your personal values and interests.
There are several ways to initiate the exploration phase.
- Request an Introduction
Browse our list of nonprofit partners and email email@example.com to request a formal introduction to the nonprofit(s) of your choice.
- Attend a CUP Event
CUP hosts quarterly networking receptions for our members and select nonprofits. These receptions are a great way to casually meet-and-greet with a variety of nonprofits that have a wide range of missions and impact areas.
- Attend a Partner’s Event
You will be notified periodically of nonprofit partner events, fundraisers, and volunteer opportunities. This is a great way to see an organization in action and assess your interest and fit.
Step 3: Cultivation
During the cultivation phase, exposure to the nonprofit organization will help you to gain a better understanding of the organization’s vision and goals as well as the people you would be supporting. Be patient and remain engaged—this process can often take several months, but it is worth your time to fully understand the commitment of joining the board.
After an introduction, be courteous and respond to the nonprofit organization promptly. Next steps may include:
- Meet Nonprofit Leadership and Staff
Request coffee or a meeting with the Executive Director or other senior staff
- Meet Current Board Members
Board candidates will likely meet the Nominating Committee during the application process, but you may also wish to meet with board members in an informal setting to better understand the board dynamics.
- Go on a Site Visit
Ask the nonprofit organization to give you a tour of the office and introduce you to their programs, including the constituents they serve.
- Attend a Nonprofit Event
Attend events hosted by the nonprofit organization to gain insight into how the organization executes their mission and how board members support these initiatives.
Attend a volunteer event or help out with a program to observe the nonprofit’s impact.
- Offer Pro bono Services
If the nonprofit has upcoming projects with needs that are aligned to your skills, offer to provide support to see what it’s like to collaborate on a strategic project.
Before you get to the application or decision phase, engage in one or more of the above activities to best determine if the organization is right for you and your interests.
Step 4: Decision
Now that you’ve researched your options and found the right organization, it’s time to formally apply to be on the board. Each nonprofit has a different application, vetting and onboarding process.
After completing the formal application process, the organization will hopefully be ready to extend an offer. Once you are on the board we recommend that you get right to work: join a board committee, volunteer to support an upcoming event, or perhaps ask a veteran board member to mentor you as you adjust to your new role. To further enhance your impact, keep an eye out for CUP’s trainings in board governance best practices.
Last but not least, please keep us posted. We love to hear about your success in finding the right board and your board service!
For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.