Get on Board Windham County: Information for Boards
In our second year, we will serve a class of 16 board fellows and 8 nonprofit board hosts. The fellows will be aged 22-44, with a strong interest in community service and a desire to make cross-sector peer and intergenerational connections. Nonprofit board partners will demonstrate a commitment to board development and mentoring emerging leaders.
Over the eight-month program, fellows will participate in networking and team-building activities, training workshops and personal leadership development.
We will match our fellows with a host board, based on fellows’ skills and interests and board needs. To provide built-in peer support, we may assign fellows in pairs, two to an organization. Fellows will attend board meetings as non-voting apprentices, and will participate on one committee or task force. The host board will provide a mentor for the fellows.
Concurrently, fellows, and board mentors and/or other interested board members will gather for bi-monthly skill-building and networking workshops. Topics include: Board Roles and Responsibilities, Finances and Fundraising, Conflict Resolution and Strategic Thinking. The program will close with a celebration for fellows, board hosts and other supporters in May.
Benefits to Boards
- Receive training in best practices for board management.
- Enhance board effectiveness by utilizing trained volunteers.
- Improve your board orientation process.
- Participate in networking opportunities with other nonprofit organizations.
- Match with young professionals who can potentially become new board members.
- Support the nonprofit capacity of Windham County through your participation.
The Matching Process
Get On Board Fellows will be assigned to boards based on passion for issues and skill set match. Fellows will serve 6 month exploratory terms, with the hope that they will continue as full members following the completion of the program in May, 2014.
We are also happy to work with boards who may have a specific young person whom they would like to bring into the program as a fellow. You will have a chance to indicate that person’s name on your application. They would need to be accepted as a fellow.
Nonprofit Partner Expectations
- Partner will hold a minimum of three board meetings and two committee meetings between November and April, 2013. During this period, the fellow or fellows matched to your board will be regarded as non-voting members of the board and will be encouraged to participate in board activities.
- Partner will involve fellows in one active committee, task force or project during the apprenticeship.
- Partner will assign a board mentor to support the fellow and to serve as single point of contact for the program. The mentor must be available to attend the kick-off retreat on October 19. Ideally, the mentor will attend each of the remaining program events (see schedule above); if mentor is not available he/she will identify another representative from the nonprofit staff or board to attend in his/her place.
- Partners will have the option to send additional people to the training workshops, as space allows.
- During the apprenticeship, board fellows will have a chance to visit your organization to learn more about your mission and activities.
- Partners will provide detailed feedback on program design and impact to enhance the effectiveness of the program.
Qualifications for Nonprofit Partners
- Organization must be a registered nonprofit organization, or a local organization in continuous operation for at least three years.
- Organization should be committed to board training and mentoring for the board fellows.
- Board should have at least three regular meetings scheduled between November 2013 and April 2014, and have at least eight current members on the board.
- Board should have an active committee, task force or project in which fellows can participate during their Fellowship.
To partially offset some of the fees incurred with this program, we have designed a sliding scale based on operational budget. During the pilot phase, partner investment was as listed below. As we move into the 2015 program, these investments will likely increase to come closer to the actual cost of administering the program.
Annual operating budget:
- 0-$249k: $125
- $250-$499k $200
- $500-$999k: $300
- $1m and above: $375
Each fellow contributes $100 to participate.