Exactly two years ago, I decided to step up and nominate myself to run for the board of the Drupal Association.
You might wonder, how does someone decide to volunteer hundreds of hours of their time to sit on the board of a non-profit organization? What's the motivation?
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To be elected to the board of the Drupal Association, you have to nominate yourself. To me, nominating yourself feels strange, like telling all your friends at the dog park that your dog is cuter than theirs. Telling people to vote for you in an open source "do-ocracy" feels like the opposite of standard behaviour.
Volunteering for a board position might seem like a big career leap; something you're not qualified to do. But I think in most volunteer board positions, really wanting the job is the most important prerequisite.
What Motivates My Volunteerism
Earlier this year at a Drupal Association board retreat, we went around the table and answered the question “Why Drupal?”.
Not “Why do we use Drupal the software?”, but rather “Why are we each personally passionate about Drupal and the community that creates and supports it?”.
The answers were varied and heartfelt.
People volunteer for a board because they truly care about the vision of the organization they serve. That motivation has to be there.
It's also about the board members and staff you get to work with—volunteering with a group of talented people from around the world is inspiring. And even though the Drupal Association is small, it accomplishes a lot.
Over the past two years, highlights have included:
- Transforming a massive conference into a virtual event
- A successful fundraising campaign, Drupal Cares
- Releasing Drupal 9
- Launching a security product for Drupal
- Initiating Scholarship and Talent Programs to increase diversity and inclusion in the Drupal community
If you are motivated by the vision of a non-profit organization, think about stepping up to volunteer for the board. Over my two-year term, not only have I had a chance to contribute to a really unique and inspiring community, I’ve also learned a lot of practical leadership skills from fellow board members and the staff of the Drupal Association. And I've gotten a much broader perspective of what marketing and community engagement looks like in a global organization, beyond the 30-person agency that I run.
While I’m sad to leave my board position now that my term is up, I also now have more skills, and more confidence to continue contributing to marketing Drupal and growing the community around it. The Promote Drupal initiative in particular is a unique opportunity to amplify the Drupal brand around the globe, and I'll be continuing to push Promote Drupal forward.
Step Up and Nominate Yourself
If you are elected to the board of the Drupal Association, you’ll get a chance to serve with the most dedicated groups of volunteers you’ll ever encounter. And if you nominate yourself and aren’t elected, just the act of making a video of your “Drupal story” is a really great experience (even if you’re an introvert like me, and it puts you outside your comfort zone).
If you're thinking about it, I highly recommend that you go ahead and nominate yourself.