BoardLead | Connecting Talent to Purpose


I wanted to get more involved in an organization beyond just sort of the funding capacity. I knew that a number of the skills that I had developed would be really beneficial to a nonprofit organization. Where I could build that rapport with the community understand what the mission was for a given organization, and really pour myself into making that happen I felt like I was constantly being stretched a little bit thin. There were lots of volunteering opportunities that I wanted to get plugged into. And I really wanted to help in a more meaningful way. It is easy to just write a check and feel good about yourself, but you’re not necessarily serving your community just by doing that. The more that I explored the opportunities that were out there, the more I realized that board leadership was what I was looking for. I asked my philanthropy team at BlackRock, Got an email from our nonprofit team, The informational session where they came to Google, And they said, ‘Lucky for you, we actually just met this guy – his name’s Rob Acton – he runs this program called BoardLead, and they’re coming in the next few weeks to run their first program. The mission of BoardLead is to elevate and transform governance and the nonprofit sector. So what we do is to recruit top talent, connect them to boards that are at the center of their passion, and then provide a good deal of training and support on the back end so that they’re quickly becoming very effective board members Right around the time we contact BoardLead, we were having some difficulty around recruitment and finding really strong board members that could really contribute and help us make that next stage. People who have the specific skills that we need But also really have that same strong passion for the mission. When Board chairs are asked to grade the composition of their Board, the average grade is a C+, and just 18% of nonprofit CEOs say that they have the Board they need today to truly accomplish its mission. 58% say that it’s very difficult to find new board members. What we really like about BoardLead is that it is a much more deliberate, curated matching process. Really understanding our candidates really, knowing our nonprofits, and making the best possible match for each candidate. It identifies organizations across a range of missions. And it gives you a really holistic overview on how to be a good Board member through a four part learning series on all of the skills, competencies, and knowledge that they need – with other people who are also starting their BoardLead journey. I think that being a BoardLeader means doing the right thing and the best thing that you can do for your organization. If you’re gonna do this you got to do it right. You gotta go all-in. Bring whatever skills and resources that you have. Passion is contagious and extremely powerful. I could really feel their commitment to the issue and understand why they wanted to be involved. We’ve brought on now three members that have come on to steer up the Finance Committee, become a Board secretary. Within about two months of me being on the Board, we were able to get a $10,000 grant for TKU. That I’m contributing in the Board settings that I don’t actually get to tap into on a day-to-day basis in my own job. I’ve been able to go in to my organization from day one and have an impact. Around the table we’re all putting our heads down to do the same thing and make something happen for the students at Wheels. At the core of the program is a message that we try to send to our BoardLeaders. And that message is really pretty simple: Stretch yourself. This is a cause you care about. Make sure that you know that you’re driving impact from your seat on the Board every single day. You

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