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Jennifer Downing, LSC Executive Director

“Jennifer, we need board members. Can you recommend LSC alumni who would be willing to serve on our board?” I get this question a lot. It’s not surprising with over 330 graduates in our Alumni Network. Though, the question has me thinking lately: Is finding someone willing to serve enough?

Chris Grunder, President and CEO of the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, says no. I agree with him. He says that nonprofit leaders often resort to a “beggars can’t be choosers” mindset. I get why this happens. When it comes to boards and individuals serving, we have a supply and demand problem. The issue is even more serious when you consider the lack of diversity on boards. I appreciate Grunder’s take on nonprofit board governance. He says passion is important, but there are other key ingredients that we must not gloss over:

  • Setting clear standards and expectation
  • Being intentional about diversity and inclusion
  • Creating a plan for succession – transcendent leadership is key!

We need to talk more about what it takes to build great boards. Our nonprofits deserve it! When we do, nonprofits and their boards will raise the bar on board service, creating a strong and vibrant local network of nonprofits and civic infrastructure!

This month, we’re sharing Grunder’s TedTalk, Modern Nonprofit Board Governance – Passion Is Not Enough! Check it out, share it with your staff and board, and #GetOnBoardSouthCoast!

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