The Three T's of Nonprofit Boards: Time, Talent, and Treasure

The Three T's of Nonprofit Boards: Time, Talent, and Treasure

The success of any nonprofit depends significantly on its Board of Directors. These dedicated individuals give their time, talent, and treasure - the so-called "Three T's," to help the organization grow and thrive. But what does each 'T' represent, and why are they so critical to a nonprofit's success?


The first 'T' stands for 'time.' Nonprofit board members are expected to spend significant time serving their organizations. This isn't just about attending board meetings. It also includes understanding the organization's purpose and strategy, participating in fundraising activities, getting involved with the community, advocating for the organization, and overseeing its financial health and the impact of its programs.

The amount of time spent is important, but so is how that time is used. Effective board members are actively involved, using their time to stay informed, make thoughtful decisions, and contribute to organizational discussions and initiatives.


Next, 'talent' refers to the skills, knowledge, and experience that board members bring. This can be anything from strategic planning and financial expertise to legal knowledge, marketing ability, or technological savvy.

A diverse board is vital. Different talents lead to unique perspectives, stimulating discussions, effective problem-solving, and creative solutions. This mix of talent helps a board keep the organization relevant and strong, able to adapt to changes, and continually improve its operations and programs.


Finally, 'treasure' refers to the organization's financial support board members provide. Board members should be expected to give within their means, setting an example for other potential donors. This shows their commitment to the organization's mission and can encourage others to give as well.

But 'treasure' isn't just about personal donations. It also involves fundraising efforts - reaching out to personal networks, securing corporate sponsorships, setting up partnerships, or organizing fundraising events. The board's involvement in fundraising can significantly increase the resources available for the organization to fulfill its mission.

In short, the 'Three T's' — Time, Talent, and Treasure — are the backbone of a strong, effective nonprofit board. The organization can thrive when each board member invests time, applies their unique talents, and generously shares their treasures.

Each of these elements is crucial. Time without talent can lead to wasted efforts. Talent without treasure might mean missed opportunities for getting resources. And treasure without time can lead to a lack of connection with and understanding of the organization's mission and impact.

The best boards balance all three T's. They create a dynamic, productive environment that enables good governance, impactful decision-making, and the mobilization of resources that push their nonprofits toward achieving their mission.

To wrap up, understanding and using the power of the 'Three T's' is vital for nonprofit organizations. It helps them successfully navigate our complex and rapidly changing world, ensuring they remain impactful, resilient, and aligned with the communities they serve. And ultimately, isn't that what all nonprofits aim for?

Five Fundraising Opportunities

European-Middle Eastern Human Rights Foundation: The website address is The European-Middle Eastern Human Rights Foundation supports and provides grants to human rights organizations in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Turkey and Iran. Their funding supports organizations working on issues such as women’s rights, migrant rights, and freedom of expression.

Mediterranean Women’s Fund: The website address is The Mediterranean Women’s Fund is a philanthropic fund that supports women-led organizations and initiatives working to advance women’s rights in the Mediterranean region. The fund aims to empower women and strengthen women’s movements in the region.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: The website address is The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a global philanthropic organization that works to improve healthcare and reduce extreme poverty in developing countries. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, but interested organizations can learn about their current funding opportunities and application process on their website.

The Clorox Company Foundation: The website address is The Clorox Company Foundation supports initiatives in education, youth development, health and wellness, and cultural arts. Interested organizations can submit a grant proposal on the website.

The IKEA Foundation: The website address is The IKEA Foundation works to create a better everyday life for vulnerable children and families around the world by supporting organizations that work in areas such as education, health, and gender programs. Interested organizations can submit a proposal by email to

The Nonprofit Toolkit

The Nonprofit Toolkit was created by nonprofit professionals for nonprofit professionals. We want you to have the tools you need.

These are our five newest tools released.

  1. Planning – Year at a Glance (Excel)
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We currently have over 70 tools available to download today. All 100% free.

Inspirational People

In this episode of the Mission Driven podcast, Richard Brubaker had the privilege of speaking with Devika Malik, the visionary Founder of The Wheeling Happiness Foundation. They talked about Devika Malik's shared mission she has with her mother to elevate the lives of individuals with disabilities in India.

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Writing nonprofit bylaws can a confusing part of starting a nonprofit, but it doesn’t have to be. In this video, Amber Melanie Smith shares the basic steps to creating your nonprofit bylaws, hopefully de-mystifying them as you get started.

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