The National Recreation Foundation (NRF), with roots going back to 1919, supports youth development through recreation. It believes all young people should have the opportunity to have positive recreational experiences, regardless of their geographic, social or economic status. When these experiences are accessible to everyone, everywhere, they build strong kids and communities.

In the summer of 2019, Jonathan Scott, Chair of NRF’s Governance Committee, and John McCarter, NRF’s Board President, resumed a conversation they’d been having over two year that focused on the diversity of the foundation’s board of trustees.

Historically, the board was comprised mostly of White businessmen. They didn’t understand the experiences of BIPOC youths in their community.

Scott and McCarter believed NRF’s board leadership should reflect a broad range of perspectives, expertise, world views and lived experiences to help NRF to better achieve its mission through reaching more youths and changing more lives.

While reviewing board nominations, Scott and McCarter saw that without making major changes to their approach, it would take until 2035 before the board was truly representative.

Scott and McCarter brought Sophie Twichell, NRF’s Executive Director, and board members Elsie McCabe Thompson and Joe Anderson into the conversation. They all agreed that with a strategic board development process, NRF could enhance its impact and better achieve the organization’s mission.

  1. Identifying gaps on the board
  2. Finding new board members
  3. Onboarding new board members

Read the full article about making your board more equitable by Koya Partners at Exponent Philanthropy.