What drew you to this organization? I came to the Alliance via my board work for the Arts & Business Council — having transitioned one of its programs, Business On Board, to the Alliance, I was invited to serve on the board. It’s one of our programs that I think has tremendous potential for growth.
What would you say is one of the biggest challenges for a businessperson serving on a nonprofit board? Keeping up. There are, typically, a lot of things going on at a nonprofit and a lot of internal and external changes that may affect the operations, fundraising, etc.
How did you overcome that challenge? I try to keep up, including diligently reading the materials prior to a meeting and any provided in between. This makes for a more effective board meeting and more engaged board members.
What about the biggest opportunity? The Alliance is a “meta nonprofit,” meaning it is a nonprofit that serves other nonprofits. As such, we’re constantly looking for ways to innovate new services to our members, new value propositions, and, of course, new revenue streams.
What do you wish you had known before joining the board? One of the things we teach in our Business On Board program is to perform your due diligence prior to joining any nonprofit board, and so I did. I don’t recall any surprises.
What do you feel your greatest accomplishment has been during your time on the board? Hiring Kristen Merrifield as our CEO, and participating in the Piper Foundation’s ATLAS program, which will greatly help us expand our capacity to serve our members
What would you say to someone considering joining a nonprofit board? Make sure you have passion for the work they do. Make sure you do your due diligence on the state of the nonprofit — know what you’re getting into. Make sure the other board members are a good fit with you (and vice versa).
Anything else you’d like to share? Most every nonprofit is looking for new board members — especially thoughtful, engaged and helpful members. Use your skill sets, find a nonprofit that you can have passion for, and serve.