Should we pay board members?

Y’all. This is a question we’ve heard quite a bit in the last three years, and for good reason. BIPOC board members often take on more exhaustive emotional labor and are often asked to represent all marginalized voices - a heavy and wearing ask for your potentially brand new board member. All this while still facing micro and macro aggressions and racism.

Conflict of Interest concerns typically prevent board members from being paid employees, as they cannot be seen to have financial gain from serving on the board of a c3. Not to mention, some of our most vocal nonprofit thought leaders decry even reimbursing board member expenses.

It’s a complicated concern - and one y’all have been asking about. The short answer is, we don’t know and we think there is a lot of room for dialogue. So we open it to you:

  • Does your organization have a travel cost or reimbursement policy?

  • Does your organization or have you considered compensating or offering a stipend to BIPOC or other marginalized board members?

This will bring a lot of strong opinions out so I invite you to engage thoughtfully and constructively, and follow our community guidelines.

We allow a minimal mileage allowance per year per board member if they choose to take the reimbursement. We serve low-to-moderate-income households. We want our board to have a voice from that sector without causing undue hardship.

1 Like