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- Be specific. Is it Education, Rural Development, Public Health, Small Business Development, Human Rights, Youth or Music that you are passionate about? Being specific makes it easier for organizations looking for someone with the sets of skills you have to hone in on and linkup with you.
- Find an organization that is doing work in the area you are interested in and start to do some homework. Look for written material about the organization and read it. Learn their history, their mission, where and whom they serve.
- Visit the organization and pick up the constitutional documents which will tell you why it exists, how it is structured and who the members are. Also, pick up the latest program schedule and if you can, attend an activity.
- Speak to staff; the chief executive, the chair of the board, board members, past members and maybe the people the organization serves. Try to get as much information as you can from as many people as you can.
- Ask yourself if you will have the time, the energy and the means to contribute the amounts board members may be required or be expected to fork out. Ask yourself if you will fit in, if you will be committed to and be comfortable with the activities of the organization.
- Join an association (alumni, civic, professional, sports, business or voluntary) and play a meaningful role in it. This is a good place to cut your teeth on and gain experience especially if the meetings are regular and the activities are numerous. You will get the feel of being part of an entity that you share similar interests with, get some valuable experience and the added advantage of being able to include this activity on your professional profile.