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?