Next week, I have the privilege of participating on a panel at the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s annual State of Nonprofit Forum: The State of the Board.
I’ll be joined by colleagues Michael Bongiorno of AECOM, Deborah Aubert Thomas of Philanthropy Ohio, and Andy Davis of BoardSource.
Our theme for the conversation is Nonprofit Board Governance: What’s Working, What’s Not, and What We Do About It.
As I think about the rich discussion that we’ll have, I offer these preliminary thoughts. I hope you join us next week to hear more.
- What’s Working: Passion, Commitment, and Belief
The nonprofit sector is woven through the fabric of American life. We experience nonprofit missions during the course of our daily lives. And, every day, Americans show up to nonprofits to work, volunteer, and donate. In Franklin County alone, there are more than 8,000 nonprofits employing 75,000 people. There are hundreds of thousands more who support these agencies, which means that a belief in the impact of missions is strong.
- What’s Not: Doing More With Less
The constant pressure of trying to deliver much-needed programs and services while realizing budget cuts and minimizing overhead expenses takes a toll. The operating margins of most nonprofits are razor thin. We cannot expect the sector to solve the greatest challenges of our time — from housing and healthcare to education and the environment — without the appropriate resources.
- What We Do About It: Connect
Building relationships that are deeply rooted in mission is the heart of the work. Whether those connections are with the people you serve, the donors who fund your efforts, or the board members who govern the organization, making authentic connections is what drives the sector. Paying attention to those relationships is how we solve the challenges before us.
Next week’s forum is sponsored by United Way of Central Ohio, The Columbus Foundation, Schneider Downs, and The Center for Community Solutions. I look forward to the conversation.
Article by: Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, Founder & CEO