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NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors
Application Information


The NIRSA Foundation, through fundraising and stewardship efforts, works in cooperation with NIRSA to enhance the effectiveness of collegiate recreational sports by providing its members meaningful opportunities for scholarship, research, and personal and professional development.


NIRSA members founded the NIRSA Foundation in 1992, as a grassroots movement to give back to the association that had given them so much. The NIRSA Foundation Board is a strategic governing body that actively fundraises, and ensures funds are dispersed consistent with donor intent and the mission of the Foundation. We strive for a balance of fundraising and philanthropy. We celebrate our NIRSA family, promote the successes of NIRSA members, and encourage a monetary commitment to the thriving future of our profession. The Board’s primary responsibility is the development of financial resources through donations from NIRSA individual and corporate members. We are focused on ensuring a culture of philanthropy by engaging members at all stages of life.

Our Fields of Interest

The NIRSA Foundation Board strives to support NIRSA’s highest priorities by directing resources to advance the Association’s strategic initiatives and investing in emerging opportunities that elevate the field of campus recreation and support the NIRSA Family.

Currently, the NIRSA Foundation focuses on the following fields of interest:

  1. Scholarships: This provides access to and funding for NIRSA professional development programs. The main activity of this pillar is the management of the student and professional scholarship and stipend programs.
  2. Research: This includes activities that maintain, strengthen, and advance the profession of collegiate recreation to both internal and external stakeholders. It includes activities such as white papers, research, assessment, benchmarking, and publications. It currently funds the Institutional Data Set, the Salary Census, NIRSA Research Grant Program, and Recreational Sports Journal.
  3. Student Officials Development: This supports the leadership development of NIRSA members through participation in officials’ training offered through the NIRSA Championship Series. It includes a dedicated fundraising campaign and currently funds officials’ development programs at the NIRSA National Basketball and Flag Football Championships.
  4. Strategic Initiatives: This is designed to meet evolving and strategic needs of NIRSA. It is the most flexible funding vehicle for the NIRSA Foundation. Funding comes from general fund donations. Strategic initiatives have allowed the Foundation to quickly fund a membership fee waiver program for those impacted financially by COVID-19. Also, the Foundation is funding health and wellbeing resource development and learning opportunities within NIRSA.

NIRSA Foundation Board Member Expectations

Board members serve as the primary ambassadors for the NIRSA Foundation and will fulfill all duties and obligations in the highest professional manner while upholding the mission, goals, objectives, and ideals of the Board.

NIRSA Foundation Board members are expected to financially support the NIRSA Foundation during their term and beyond. Board members will consider the NIRSA Foundation a philanthropic priority and make their own assessment of their personal ability to donate. Foundation Board members are expected to make contributions to the Foundation in a consistent and recurring manor and support Foundation special events (ex: Giving Tuesday) as they are able.

Specific expectations include:

  • Maintain current, active NIRSA membership in the Professional, Professional Life, or Emeritus category throughout the term
  • Commit to serve the term of office for which you are appointed (one or three years)
  • Prepare for and participate in scheduled monthly videoconference meetings
  • Participate in virtual Board Orientation & Spring Meetings (Spring 2021) and the NIRSA Annual Conference & Campus Rec and Wellness Expo during Board term
  • Manage the requirements of a volunteer leader with the expectations associated with one’s primary job responsibilities
  • Participate as a member to NIRSA Foundation Board committees as assigned
  • Financially support the NIRSA Foundation through consistent and regular personal giving
  • Demonstrate a passion for the mission of the NIRSA Foundation
  • Participate in donor cultivation and retention strategies

Qualifications and Competencies needed to serve on the NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors

Communication: Clearly and effectively articulate opinions and ideas as well as acclimate to the various audiences of the NIRSA Foundation. Willing to serve as a voice for the NIRSA Foundation to:

  • Engage and educate donors on the purpose, functions, and initiatives of the NIRSA Foundation
  • Solicit contributions from individuals and organizations who may or may not be NIRSA members
  • Represent the NIRSA Foundation Board at various NIRSA functions and industry-related events, as appropriate

Critical Thinking: Actively and skillfully conceptualize, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information to inform decision making.

Strategic Thinking: Think conceptually, imaginatively, systematically, and opportunistically in alignment with organization’s core purpose.

Leadership: Distinctively represent the NIRSA Foundation in a positive and diverse way. Holds a high reputation in that capacity as well as:

  • Embraces the core purpose of the NIRSA Foundation
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the NIRSA Foundation’s beneficiaries and a commitment to the communities the NIRSA Foundation serves

Knowledge: Understand or commit to learn foundation and development best practices and fiduciary responsibilities as a Board member.

Focus for 2020-2023 Board Terms

Focus for 2020-2023 Foundation Board Terms/Skills we are recruiting for:

  • Innovator  – explore new ways to fundraise that focus on ensuring a future culture of philanthropy among NIRSA members
  • Strategic Thinker – ability to think conceptually, imaginatively, systematically, and opportunistically when it comes to fundraising and stewardship
  • Financial Knowledge – ability and commitment to learn, or already possess a working knowledge of, foundation and development financial practices

NIRSA Foundation Board applications are closed.

Applications Due January 22, 2021

Applications are due January 22, 2021

Apply for the NIRSA Foundation Board
Preview Full Application Here

For questions about NIRSA Foundation Board positions, please contact NIRSA Foundation President Brent Harrison ( or NIRSA Foundation President-elect & Nominations Committee Chair Lexi Chaput ( If you have any questions about or difficulties completing this form, please contact the NIRSA Foundation staff at NIRSA Headquarters at

Thanks to NIRSA Foundation Corporate Partners

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