Reflections on 2014 Board Leadership Forum, submitted by Carrie Minnich. This is the second of several reviews by Carrie.
Designing the Board You Want with Millennials in Mind (Annette Cousins, Bill Martin)
Given the mission of the Get on Board Committee, to train, connect, and support emerging leaders and the nonprofits they wish to serve, I was interested in learning how a partnership in Richmond, Virginia between the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence (PNE) and the Valentine Richmond History Center was engaging millennials in board service.
The Board Immersion Program was administered through PNE. Six individuals, primarily young professionals, participated in the program through an application process. The application process included an interview and a $50 fee paid to PNE.
As part of the program, the 6 individuals chosen shadowed the Valentine board for one year, attended board meetings, participated in committees, co-led strategic planning groups, and contributed financially to the Valentine Richmond History Center.
At the end of the year, the Valentine found board members to be more engaged with new energy and perspectives.
They also found that insight into the next generation was key in their strategic planning. The program participants were able to gain access to experienced leaders and see how decisions are made. They also found that they had greater confidence and increased ability in expressing their opinions. None of the participants of the program were asked to stay on as board members after the one year was up, although some continued as committee members.
Similar to Get on Board,
…this partnership is focused on engaging young people in board service; however, from the information provided, it sounded as more of an internship program. Get on Board goes further by providing training and resources for emerging leaders, to not only become familiar with board service but to actually be valuable board members, not just shadow board members. Nevertheless, the session spoke to the importance of engaging younger board members in nonprofit board service, which all nonprofit boards should be including in their succession planning.
Get on Board, a committee of the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center (PCNRC) at the Allen County Public Library, was selected to present its project for addressing emerging leader board training, recruitment and retention needs at the annual BoardSource ‘Board Leadership Forum’ conference, which will be held in Washington, D.C. October 9-10.
“The Get on Board committee is thrilled to be able to share the stories of our emerging leaders in service to nonprofits and to talk about how our programs support them,” said Lettice Haver, co-chair of Get on Board and librarian at the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center.
See Donald Gage’s story here:
“We’ll be attending the conference too, so we’ll bring home so many good ideas and principles on engaging, effective board governance,” notes Haver.
BoardSource, the only national organization focused exclusively on nonprofit governance, formally announced presentation selections for their annual conference in July. This year’s theme is Governance By Design. More than 700 board members, chief executives, staff, and nonprofit professionals are expected to attend.
The Get on Board presentation, “Designing Community-Level Support for Emerging Board Leaders,” will encourage other communities to consider what local resources they can connect and build upon to train, connect and support emerging leaders and the nonprofits they wish to serve.
Where you’ll find bits & pieces of information about, and for nonprofit boards
“As a young professional, I’ll admit that “Join a Nonprofit Board of Directors” was never on my list of career goals. Likewise, “Recruit a Board Member Just Out of College” isn’t high on the strategic plan of most nonprofits. But now, I’m a 29-year old with 6 years of board experience across as many different organizations. […] And I’ve realized how valuable board service can be for a Millennial, and how valuable Millennials can be to nonprofit boards.”
The PCNRC and YLNI are just completing their second year of the Get on Board project, with funding support from the Foellinger Foundation. The intent of this project is to engage young generations in serving community nonprofits, through volunteerism and board stewardship.
Nearly 70 individuals have participated in Board Boot Camp and over roughly 80 nonprofits have met with many of those Boot Camp graduates and others at Get Connected events already. The program has been very successful and will continue for another two years, starting in October and all of this makes the following LinkedIN blog by Kyle Gracey very timely.
“For Millennials, a generation that already shows a strong interest in volunteering and public service, board work can be a great way to give back to your community or country, will give you direct experience in financial and personnel management and organizational strategy, and can expose you to senior contacts at a variety of other companies and organizations, since your fellow board members will likely be much further in their careers than you.
For boards, we Millennials are tech-savvy, extremely passionate, as a generation, about issues nonprofits work on, and part of the very group who will be the next nonprofit leaders and recipients of nonprofit services”.