The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

Volunteering vs. Serving on a Board vs. Donating – What Nonprofit Role is Best for You?

As New York’s leading personalized nonprofit board matching service, BoardAssist is approached daily by New Yorkers who want to make a difference in the nonprofit world but don’t know how to get started. For many, the decision has been made to give back, but they aren’t sure if they want to do so by joining a board, or just volunteering, or simply being a generous donor. For others, they want to join a board but are unclear on what the difference is between a full governing board seat, an advisory board role or a junior board position.

We hope this week’s post explaining the many different ways folks can serve the nonprofit community will help you on your journey. Thanks for considering any of these roles – the nonprofit community needs you!

How to respond to the Japanese disaster is complicated for American donors.


It is heart-wrenching to watch the scenes of utter disaster on television. It is a personal crisis on an epic scale and clearly there is a need for housing, food and clothing assistance. And many of us want to do something, but what? Most reports I’ve read say the Japanese government nor Japanese NGOs are asking for help. And Japan is probably one of the best organized and well prepared countries in the world – in fact they have always been very generous in supplying assistance to other natural disasters in other countries.

Three ideas to improve the “Philanthropic Ecosystem”