Over the past two years, it’s been awesome to see the Community-Centric Fundraising (CCF) movement expand across the sector. Nonprofits are doing amazing things, like lifting up other missions, inviting donors into conversations about race and wealth disparity, dropping archaic practices like recognizing donors by levels of giving, etc. But community-centeredness shouldn’t just be limited to fundraising. Everything would benefit from community-mindedness. For example, it would be great if our hiring practices focused less on getting the best talent for our specific org, and more on developing talent for the entire sector.

In the same way, boards need to evolve to be more focused on what’s best for the community, not simply what’s best to advance specific missions. So, taking cue from the CCF movement and its principles, here are some tentative principles for the Community-Centric Board (CCB).

  1. The work of the board must be grounded in racial, economic, and social justice.
  2. Boards must constantly reflect the communities being served.
  3. The board’s ultimate goal is ensuring the community’s well-being, not the organization’s survival.
  4. The board encourages mutual support and collaboration among different missions.
  5. Boards are equal, not superior, to staff, volunteers, clients, and other members of the community. 
  6.  Lived-experience is valued above wealth and the connection to wealth.
  7. Boards must play a critical role in collective efforts to bring about racial, economic, and social justice.

Read the full article about community-centric boards by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF.