Q: Our small non-profit is considering creating a junior board or young professionals group. Does Benevon have an opinion on if there is a threshold for when the timing is right to do this? We are a staff of four FTEs and a part-time person.
Kelly in Washington, DC
A: You are wise to consider your existing staff workload before launching such a group. Boards and committees take a lot of time, and starting a new one, even more so. Clarify your intention for this new board. What will you want them to do? How do you see them contributing long-term to the growth and development of your organization? If you are hoping to use this group to groom potential board members, what exactly will you do to engage them? What is your longer-term intention for this group?
Is your organization prepared to dedicate a .5 FTE to staff this new board?
For groups utilizing the Benevon Model, the best role for each member on this new board is to help you get the word out about your organization, by serving as an Ambassador, hosting and filling a private Point of Entry Event once per year. There may be other roles and responsibilities (like serving on a committee or volunteering their time for other things) but asking each member of this new group to become an Ambassador will generate the greatest return on your staff investment.