What is Giving Compass?
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Giving Compass' Take:
• Millennials provide great value to nonprofit boards by making the culture more flexible, responsive and up-to-date with fresher perspectives. Philanthropy News Digest gives some advice on how to get more of them in the board room.
• Some of the advice here is as simple as site visiting and being open to new ideas. From a wider lens, are we willing to shift the culture of our organizations to make younger people feel more welcome?
According to BoardSource, 57 percent of nonprofit board members are over the age of 50, while only 17 percent are under 40 (about the age of the oldest millennial). While work experience and years of service often translate to effective board service, so, too, can the fresh perspective and ground-level experience that younger professionals often possess ...
By introducing younger perspectives and experiences into board deliberations, governance tends to become more creative, flexible, and plugged into our rapidly changing world. And who wouldn't want that? Ready to get started? Read on!
- Identify your slice of the issue-area pie. Clarifying your organization's unique value-add as it applies to creating change is essential before you start to recruit young people to your board. Ask yourself: What do we do that represents a different approach or solution to our issue?
- Take it back to show-and-tell. Prospective millennial board members eager to make a difference can listen to explanations of your organization's value proposition all day long, but the real hook for most of them will be when you follow up the telling with some showing. That means taking them on site visits to meet program participants or giving them an opportunity to deliver a much-needed service for a day.
- Build in accountability and camaraderie. One great tool for bringing millennials on to a board is the cohort onboarding model, in which a group of new board members all begin their service at the same time. Such an approach helps to establish a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose among new members and make them more likely to hold each other accountable in terms of their service.
- Be open to all types of contributions. When it comes to younger professionals who may be less able to give financially, you need to be open to other kinds of giving [besides money and time] — for example, resources they may have access to through their place of work, their personal and school networks, and/or their creative fundraising ideas.
- Establish a culture of inclusivity, open-mindedness, and communication. Your organizations should take the steps needed to create both an organizational and board culture that values different perspectives, ideas, and contributions.
Read the full article on engaging millennials and recruiting them as board members by Erin M. Connell at Philanthropy News Digest.