United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Board Programs Leader, Anna Coutts, sat down for the following Q&A all about our highly-respected nonprofit board training classes.
Q: Why does United Way offer this program for people interested in serving on nonprofit board?
A: United Way is at the forefront of our region’s nonprofit community, forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems and mobilizing the best resources. We believe strongly in connecting solid leaders to open volunteer positions. This opportunity takes place twice a year through BOLD — Board Orientation & Leadership Development. BOLD is United Way’s six-week intensive leadership program that trains participants to be able to step directly into board service and connects them with hundreds of organizations so that they can use their skills immediately.
Q: Who makes a good nonprofit board member?
A: Do you have time, talent, treasure and most importantly passion for the betterment of our community? Nonprofits now more than ever are looking for diversity on their boards. This includes, age, gender, race, skills, and any and every type of background. A strong board has members that are reflective of our diverse community and to help forge this shift, we strive to have as diverse of participants in each BOLD session as possible. BOLD provides the opportunity not only for nonprofits to receive 30 new highly qualified boards members, but also connects an assorted group of leaders to each other. Participants leave with a network of 30 other Cincinnati professionals representing their varying professional organizations as well as their new nonprofit affiliates.
Q: Will I know what I am doing if I join a board?
A: Just as you receive training for a job, you should receive the best training available for your new position as a nonprofit board member. BOLD gives a well-rounded look at nonprofits and all you need to know about these types of organizations. We have created a curriculum that is geared toward giving participants the knowledge they need to recognize red flags and ask the right questions. Activities include: hearing from seasoned board chairs and various Executive Directors, participating in a capstone mock board meeting project, observing real board meetings taking place in the community and much more. BOLD participants graduate the program with the knowledge and experience necessary to be the most effective board members.
Q: Why should I join a nonprofit board?
A: Joining a nonprofit board gives you the opportunity to create lasting change at the strategic level of a cause you are passionate about. Board members can use their skills in a constructive way that gives back to the community and connects them to opportunities they would not have otherwise had access to. Members also gain experience honing professional experience through practicing new ways of working in groups, influencing decisions and negotiating toward a common goal. Joining a nonprofit board can be some of the most rewarding volunteer work you do.
Q: How do I start?
A: United Way’s next BOLD program is coming up this fall. The program will span six consecutive Wednesday mornings, September 20-October 25, from 8 a.m.-Noon. Applications are currently being accepted. The early bird application deadline is August 4 and final application deadline is August 18. To learn more about United Way’s BOLD program visit www.uwgc.org/BOLD or contact Anna Coutts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-762-7235.