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charitySTRONG's October Newsletter

Tuesday, October 10, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Allie Schlapp
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charitySTRONG Latest News - October 10, 2017

charitySTRONG Celebrates Our First Year!

Launched one year ago, charitySTRONG is gaining momentum. On September 28, 2016, charitySTRONG’s free, online nonprofit board recruitment and director education programs opened for business in Buffalo and New York City. Since then, the response has been terrific: 2,200 volunteers, board members and nonprofit leaders have joined our network, and 900 have completed our essential governance education course –Good Practices for Good Boards. Forty individuals have been matched to board seats.

“The Good Practices course completion rate has greatly exceeded our expectations,” noted Victoria Bjorklund, a founding member of charitySTRONG’s board of directors and co-creator of the course. “When the research leading to charitySTRONG's programming was underway, we learned about the lack of inexpensive, accessible governance training, but we had no idea how well received and used this material would be.” In fact, new uses for the course have emerged over the year. Some nonprofits are adding it to their board member orientation while others are including it in leadership training programming.

As for the matches, we know we are going to see these numbers grow over time. In order to complete a match, candidates must not only be interested in the organization’s mission and programs, they must also be available for board and committee meetings, at a specific time, in a specific location and willing to commit to a two- to three-year term. “We are working towards a critical mass of board positions and interested candidates,” commented Allie Schlapp, charitySTRONG’s Program Manager. "But, board service isn't a good fit for everyone." Added, Laura Klein, charitySTRONG's Executive Director, “We are learning that the responsibilities definitely scare some volunteers away, and, this is really not a bad thing – we want to make sure that all of the new board members that are placed are ready to jump right in.”

charitySTRONG has recently begun efforts to expand our services. The Directors U governance resource library is now available to anyone who would like to sign up, and we are beginning board recruitment activities in Central New York later this fall.

"I have had a desire to get involved with a nonprofit board for some time, but was not sure about what that process entailed. charitySTRONG provided the foundational knowledge necessary for me to understand the responsibilities of a board member, as well as a fairly extensive database of organizations with which I could potentially partner. I am proud to report that I recently joined the Junior Board of ExpandED Schools, as well as the executive board of DebutanteZ. None of that would have been possible without charitySTRONG!"

—Rashid Duroseau

A Conversation with Susan Koch, charitySTRONG's First Match

 Susan Koch, VP at First Niagara Risk Management, who joined the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village Board in December 2016, was the first candidate to find a position through charitySTRONG's onBOARD program. Now that she has been serving for nearly a year, we checked in for an update.

What has it been like to serveon the board of Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village?
It has been a great experience. Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village is a great fit for me and is exactly the type of organization I was looking for. I have volunteered at many of their events so far and I am also now serving as their Marketing Committee Chair. I feel like we, as a board, are really making a difference.

How has the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village Board been a good fit for you?
The organization’s mission matches my interests and it is the "right sized" nonprofit that I was looking for. It is also in the stage of forming its identity and it has been rewarding to be a part of helping to make it grow.

Would you recommend charitySTRONG to others who want to join a nonprofit board?
Absolutely. I was able to find the right board for me which has been very fulfilling and rewarding. And charitySTRONG’s core governance course, Good Practices for Good Boards, proved to be a useful refresher for me.

charitySTRONG Board Member Profile, Carol Kellermann

Carol Kellermann is President of the Citizens Budget Commission and has been a member of charitySTRONG's Board since 2014. Carol has over 25 years of experience in leadership positions in nonprofit, philanthropic, and government settings. She has served as Interim Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers and PENCIL, Inc., and as a consultant to City University of New York, where she initiated a pilot program to improve graduation rates and job outcomes at CUNY’s six community colleges. As Executive Director and CEO of the September 11 Fund, she oversaw $500+ million in charitable giving, providing grants and assistance for the short and long-term needs of victims of the September 11th attacks. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of Learning Leaders, the oldest and largest volunteer program in the New York City public schools.

Given Carol's experience with a diverse group of nonprofits, her involvement with charitySTRONG is a natural fit. "So many small nonprofits are operating close to the margin; they need engaged board members but have no time for recruitment or board member education. charitySTRONG provides a great solution."
Help charitySTRONG Reach Our 2017 Goals!

charitySTRONG has set a target of registering 1,000 candidates and current board members in Western New York and a total of 2,500 participants -- candidates, current board members and nonprofit leaders -- in New York State by the end of the year. Thinking about joining a nonprofit board? Want to recruit new board members or get training for your board? No time like the present.
Register at today.

Featured Board Positions

MasterVoices–New York City
Harvest HouseBuffalo
Click hereto learn more about these opportunities

396 candidates are looking for board positions; 219 organizations are seeking board members; 105 board opportunities can be viewed at onBOARD.
Find your match today!
Noteworthy: BoardSource’s Leading with Intent:
2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices

BoardSource’s most recent Leading with Intent study provides insights about today’s nonprofit boards, including the fact that a lack of diversity on many boards remains. The study shows that boards are no more diverse than they were two years ago with 84% of board members identifying as Caucasian in 2017 compared to 80% in 2015. An even more troubling finding is that many boards are not placing high priority on expanding their recruitment efforts. While many executives said they are extremely dissatisfied with their board's diversity, just 25% of those also report that it is a "recruitment priority" for the board. To learn more, you can read the full report here.

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