Boardmanship for Charity

Boardmanship for Charity: Part I

By Betsy Barbieux / Published June 2016



Editor’s Note: Boardmanship for Charity, Part One was published in the October 2015 issue, but it failed to properly identify Betsy Barbieux as the author. It is republished here with proper author attribution.


If you ask people why they volunteer to sit on civic and philanthropic boards, community association boards, or serve within organizations, they will give you answers such as these:

  • It’s my civic duty.
  • I have a big heart and just want to help.
  • This organization needs a specific skill I possess.
  • There is a goal I want to accomplish (maybe some what self-serving, such as making friends, boosting confidence, developing/ improving social skills, adding to a job resume, career experience, job skills improvement, and improving emotional and physical well-being).
  • My friends are involved.
  • I am passionate about the goals/beliefs of this organization.

If you attempted to categorize these answers, it appears the motivation for individuals to volunteer could be categorized into three types:

  • Self-interest—volunteering because it (the organization or the volunteering itself) is good for the volunteer
  • Altruistic—volunteering because what the volunteer has to offer is good for the organization and those it serves
  • Values—volunteering because the organization’s values and goals are aligned with the volunteer’s beliefs and passions

No matter which of these three types of motivation you analyze, motivation is internal. So, after listening to a “motivational” speaker, it would be more correct to say, “His speech stimulated me, so that I am motivated to volunteer.” Motive is internal; stimulation is external. This means no one can actually motivate anyone, they can only stimulate. That makes motivation an inside job!

Organizations that depend on volunteers as board members and workers could then solicit them based on these various motivations. Marketing campaigns, nominating and search committees, and executive directors should address in their printed and spoken words the answers to the following three sets of questions.

Those who volunteer for self-interest will be interested in knowing how a volunteer in your organization can:

  • meet new people and make friends
  • boost self-confidence
  • improve his social skills
  • add a skill to his job resume
  • explore a new career without a lot of commitment
  • try something new
  • improve his emotional and physical well-being

Those who volunteer for altruistic reasons will be interested in knowing how a volunteer in your organization can:

  • use his knowledge to mentor others within the organization
  • express his skills and tal- ents while serving the organization
  • share his social and busi- ness connections to help the organization grow
  • reciprocate because of the organization’s service to him or his family
  • make the life or world of someone else a better place

Those who volunteer based on their values or passion will be interested in knowing how a volunteer in your organization can:

  • work for a cause
  • be united with others who have the same values or passion
  • promulgate new laws; right a wrong
  • be an example for his children and grandchildren
  • find a stimulating place for his loyalty
  • leave a lasting legacy
  • blaze the trail for newer and greater accomplishments




Betsy Barbieux

CAM, CFCAM, Florida CAM Schools

Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, guides managers, board members, and service providers in handling daily operations of their communities while at the same time dealing with different communication styles, difficult personalities, and conflict. Effective communication and efficient management are her goals. For more than 15 years, Barbieux has educated thousands of managers, directors, and service providers. She is your trainer for life! Barbieux is the author of Boardmanship, a columnist in the Florida Community Association Journal, and a member of the Regulatory Council for Community Association Managers. For more information, contact, (352) 326-8365, or