Tuesday night marked the kick-off of the 2012-13 Bridge program. With one of the largest classes we’ve had in a long time (over 30 participants), we jumped right in with networking, nonprofit overview, and public boards and commissions. Participants of Bridge 1 represent a diverse grouping organizations, backgrounds and outlets. From corporate employees, to nonprofit administrators; arts, environment, and social issues. We have a wide range of interests in this group.
I started out the evening with an icebreaker, this gave the group the opportunity to see where everyone is from. Jennifer Boehme Kumar then stole the show with Nonprofit Overview. Participants learned the importance of asking as many questions as possible before joining a board, being well-informed about what is expected of them, what they expect of an organization or board, and that passion is the key ingredient to being a successful board member. When asked what her key takeway from the night was, Rene Kendall, participant, said “Find a board that does work you have a passion for.” They got great tips like asking if the organization has Directors and Officers Liability and resources like BlueAvocado and GuideStar.
Amalia Leighton took over with a rundown on Public Boards and Commissions. Did you know that there were governmental boards at the county, city, state, and federal levels? And these boards are set-up very similarly to that of a nonprofit board. Unlike some nonprofit boards, however; these board and/or commission meetings are always open for the public to attend, so get out there and witness a city board meeting (FYI – they tend to be at 7:30 in the morning)! “A public board or commission sounds like the perfect opportunity for me. I am interested in moving my career from non-profit toward public policy or advocacy, and this could be a great way for me to learn how public decision-making works,” said Alison Saperstein, participant. There are boards and commissions for almost every project that happens. For example, there’s an advisory board for the Viaduct Replacement, a board for City Planning – the sky’s [almost] the limit.
We closed the night out with a quick case study about “the youngest person on the board.” The group said they learned valuable information, had a great time, and can’t wait to come back on Oct 9!
Finally, the Bridge has made its Twitter presence in a more “formal” way. Participants are even Tweeting from inside the HSDC conference room! #SWBridge
Stay tuned for more about this group of the Bridge and what they have to offer our community!