Sunday, April 26, 2009

Report on Next Generation of Board Members

A new report is available from BoardSource, which focuses on the next generation of board members and their impact and benefit on board governance. The report found that the next generation often display strong passions that inspire other members, have a drive to produce results, open doors to new networks and donors, and provide a fresh perspective on old problems, according to a new BoardSource report based on interviews with 50 nonprofit chief executives and senior staff leaders

The report, part of BoardSource's Next Generation and Governance project, is designed help nonprofit leaders explore the benefits of and strategies for including members of Generations X (born 1965-1979) and Y (born 1980-2000) in nonprofit governance. View the complete report.

There are four common ways younger members benefit organizations, according to the report:
  • Passion for the mission. “Our younger board members are passionate about what we do and it gets the rest of us excited,” said Sandra Timmons of A Better Chance. “They are bringing energy, enthusiasm, and freshness to our work. It’s inspiring to our other members.”
  • Results-oriented thinking. Younger board members go beyond being motivated by the mission. They connect passion with a need for real outcomes.
  • Access to new networks and donors. Chief executives say younger board members are not hesitant about asking for money on behalf of the organization — particularly when they use online tools.
  • Fresh perspective on old problems. Generation X and Y members are not afraid to ask why or challenge assumptions. Their perspectives and experiences often serve as a reality check for boards and lead to more informed decision making.

The report also covers the following questions:

  • In the past, what has kept your organization from adding younger generations to its board?
  • How did you know it was the right time to add younger generations to your board?
  • Once on board, do you prepare or orient younger generations differently?
  • What are the top three to five skills or qualities necessary for a young person to add value to your board?
  • If younger generations were added to the board, what three to five skills or qualities would the board need in order to work well with them?

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