Serving on a board is a great way for a volunteer to participate in the vision and planning for an organization. It's also a prime opportunity for leveraging the professional skills and experiences of community members. And while it is a larger time commitment (many boards seek a 1+ year commitment), the actual time per month volunteered varies significantly.
While all volunteerism requires diverse skills and experiences, skilled volunteerism in particular calls on a volunteer's personal and professional expertise. For example, the volunteer who has significant experience in accounting is a terrific asset to a nonprofit's financial management team. Similarly, strong writers can be engaged to help with promotional materials and grantwriting.
Just keep in mind that not all lawyers are looking to do legal work. Sometimes a doctor just wants to pick up a hammer…and good volunteer management is all about guiding them to the opportunity they are looking for. At the same time, you can always access their expertise in ways as simple and noncommittal as asking for advice! The best way to be clear, both in terms of their expectations and yours, is to post a comprehensive volunteer position description outlining the specific expertise your organization is looking for, as well as project details like activities, responsibilities, and timelines.