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charitySTRONG's August Newsletter

Monday, August 7, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Allie Schlapp
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charitySTRONG Latest News - August 3, 2017

A New Approach to Board Development

charitySTRONG kicked off the United Way of New York State’s Summer Conference in Ithaca, NY on Wednesday, July 19. “charitySTRONG is a free, turnkey resource for you, for funded agencies and for the employers in your communities,” Laura Klein, charitySTRONG’s Executive Director explained to a group of leaders from United Ways across the state. “Some of you may want to support volunteering in your community; others may be more interested in organizational development for agencies. We want to find ways of adding value for all of your partners and complementing the work you are doing already.”

Several session participants mentioned that their organizations were no longer offering leadership development programs and were interested in charitySTRONG as a possible tool for filling this gap. To this end, Klein described charitySTRONG's educational offerings including the core governance course, Good Practices for Good Boards.

But, several leaders said they would be hesitant to recruit board members through a website rather than more traditional methods such as established business networks and word of mouth. “Yes,” countered Michael Weiner, President & CEO of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and a member of charitySTRONG's Western New York Advisory Council, “That is the point. A lot of agencies do not have large networks. And, there have been a several well-publicized scandals where boards were insular and inattentive. Maybe boards in your area are not recruiting this way now, but it would be a good option for the future.”

Klein added that using charitySTRONG's online recruiting tool -- onBOARD, is not a substitute for a thoughtful process. “Our version of Match.com helps with introductions,” noted Klein. “Organizations and candidates still need toget to know one another and make sure there is a good fit."

charitySTRONG’s Directors U program which provides board member education is currently available throughout New York State. onBOARD is available in the Greater Buffalo and New York City Metropolitan Areas. Organizations that wish to bring onBOARD to their communities should contact charitySTRONG’s staff at info@charitystrong.org to get started.

"All our board members found Good Practices for Good Boards helpful. The course provided a solid foundation that everyone could work from, regardless of how long they had been on the board."

Jessica Pirro, CEO, Crisis Services

charitySTRONG Board Member Profile, Reg Foster

Reg Foster, President and CEO of United Way of New York State, joined charitySTRONG's Board in November 2014, following in the footsteps of his United Way predecessor, Susan Hager, a founding charitySTRONG Board member. "United Way was involved with charitySTRONG from the start," noted Foster. "United Way organizations in counties across the state support agencies in hundreds of communities. Good governance is a key to ensuring proper oversight and stewardship of valuable donor resources. As a result, getting involved with charitySTRONG seemed like a natural fit."

Foster's career has spanned corporate social responsibility and the nonprofit sector, so he understands the benefits of employee board service. Before joining the United Way, Foster was the Global Coordinator for Corporate Responsibility for the IBM Corporation, leading IBM’s internal working group on corporate responsibility and relations with outside organizations. Foster also worked at United Way of New York City, held human service policy roles in New York State and City government and worked as an analyst in several nonprofits, including the Vera Institute of Justice. Foster is currently the Chair of charitySTRONG's Program Committee and has been instrumental in ensuring that charitySTRONG's service model addresses the interests of prospective board members and the agencies that they will serve.

Featured Resource: Board Service from the Perspective of the Young Professional

Many board candidates on charitySTRONG are young professionals, joining boards for the first time. If this describes you, listen to this short, free podcast from the Foundation Center to learn what to expect. And, if you are a leader at an organization that is recruiting young, first-time board members, you will not want to miss the chance to see how your board may appear to a novice and get advice about engaging new talent.

Featured Board Positions

Kennedy Child Study CenterNew York City
Housing Opportunities Made EqualBuffalo
Click hereto learn more about these opportunities


350 candidates are looking for board positions; 203 organizations are seeking board members; 93 board opportunities can be viewed at onBOARD.
Find your match today!
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 charitySTRONG
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 Phone: (646) 861-3602
 Email: info@charitystrong.org