Does Your Board Reflect Who You Are and Who You Want To Be?
Why should nonprofit boards care about their diversity? Nonprofit boards need diversity – racial diversity, gender diversity, thought diversity, experience diverse.
Most nonprofit boards lack diversity by most demographic measures. In his recent article “The Wall Street Takeover of Nonprofit Boards,” Garry Jenkins writes about the pressure on nonprofits to raise money to adopt more corporate approaches to their work:
The bottom line is that many nonprofits are not looking for board diversity. To raise money, nonprofits follow the money. The ideal board member is seen as someone who is willing to give generously and introduce gen erous friends to the organization. While that person is certainly important, it is not enough. Board responsibilities include more than just raising money (although that is certainly an important duty). Diverse voices in planning, decision-making and oversight are key to a healthy organization.
Funders also scrutinize board composition and put pressure on boards to incorporate diverse voices and skills. Financial professional bring important skills and resources to a board… as do socialworkers, lawyers, marketing professionals, writers, accountants, former clients, clergy members, community leaders, and others. Board composition tells an important story. Make sure your board story accurately reflects your organization’s values and priorities.