This Wednesday, Taproot will be attending the BoardSource Leadership Forum, a conference “focused entirely on the governing challenges facing America’s nonprofit organizations.” Joining our President and CEO Aaron Hurst for a session on the intersection of pro bono and board service are two business professionals who are walking the walk by donating their time and skills to their own local nonprofits. In the days leading up to the conference, we will be sharing their experiences and thoughts about board service. In what ways do you see your own story in their journeys to nonprofit board positions?
Marketing Director, Technicolor
I’ve always had a yearning to work with a non-profit. When I was a kid, my mom was on the board of directors for a non-profit that provided jobs and homes for the disabled. She went to meetings, served on committees, and generally set the example in demonstrating how important it is to be involved with the community.
Flash forward (many) years later, and here I am on the board of directors for LA Commons, an organization whose mission is to engage Los Angeles-area communities in artistic and cultural expression that tells their unique stories. This was made possible by my finding out about the Taproot Foundation when I was at loose ends looking for a way to keep busy while searching for a job. Bingo! It was just what I was looking for – a foundation that needed help from experienced professionals to help non-profits. Taproot provided the introduction to LA Commons, where I served as the Account Director on a key message and brand strategy project. It seemed fitting as all my marketing experience needed to be channeled somewhere productive.
My place on the board of LA Commons was borne out of developing a solid relationship with its executive director, Karen Mack, and the rest of the members during the Taproot project. Thankfully, LA Commons was very pleased with the results of the message and strategy we developed through our consulting engagement. By being involved with the organization over the five months of the project, I came to feel a passion for what the organization was trying to accomplish.
As a marketer, I realized I could provide some knowledge and expertise from the corporate world that could help with fundraising and, in general, help raise LA Commons’ profile even higher. When Karen asked me to be on the board; it was an immediate “yes.” This opportunity was too good to pass up. Putting corporate know-how to work in the non-profit sector not only feels good, it is good.
Vice President of Human Resources, Associated Third Party Administrators
I have volunteered for many years with many organizations for specific events: toy drives, numerous fundraising walks, coastal clean-up, etc. I love contributing to a good cause, but it wasn’t until I had the pleasure of working with clients of The Arc of San Francisco that I found myself intrigued by the significant impact of non-profit agencies. The Arc’s focus is to serve people who have developmental disabilities by providing access to services that advance self-determination, dignity, and quality of life. My relationship with the organization began through helping clients find employment in the hotel industry.
I found the clients motivating; they had refreshing attitudes and an infectious appreciation for life and the opportunity to work. I was so enthralled with their positive energy that when the Director of Job Placement Services asked me to join their Business Advisory Council, I immediately accepted. I served on the Business Advisory Council for years and became the Chairperson for that group. Each year I became more involved with the organization. In 2006, I was asked to join the Board and become the Chairperson for the Human Resources Committee. I was thrilled for an opportunity to share my expertise with an organization that truly makes a difference in people’s lives. The Human Resources Committee has evolved as we found new talent for the organization, and I am currently serving on the Policy and Finance Committee, which functions as the Executive Team for the Board.