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Challenges to serving the community through board service – two recent articles

March 27, 2013

A quick post about two articles of interest this week on board service:

The Price of Board Membership in this week’s Crain’s Chicago Business details the pros and cons to nonprofit board member “give-or-get” requirements as fundraising strategies.  They certainly guarantee revenue and help to engage board members in the organization’s work. But could those annual minimum donation guidelines or policies also serve as a deterrent for those who may be unable to commit those amounts or be put off by the high cost to participate, and therefore ultimately left out of the opportunity to serve?  

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And then, this piece Boards are Not Ready for the Next Generation of Trustees in the Chronicle of Philanthropy explores the very real challenge of board service as a young person… A rising generation of younger donors could bring new money to nonprofits and fresh ideas to their boardrooms but many nonprofits are not up to par when it comes to performance, operations and management to keep innovative, thoughtful and high-energy young people focused on impact and effectiveness engaged.

In their report “Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy,” the philanthropic consulting firm 21/64 and researchers at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University describe next-gen donors as driven by personal values, often those passed on from their parents and grandparents, and motivated strongly by potential social impact instead of recognition or obligation.

As we’ve discussed here before, volunteering and board service are critical ways to enhance our involvement in the important work around the services, education, outreach and advocacy our community organizations provide.   What can we do to ensure serving in this manner is a positive experience?  Do you have an interesting story to share about your volunteer service?  SAPP would love to hear from you!

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