Board Matching the Silicon Valley Way
What a thrill to see headlines about Palindrome Advisors, a year-old nonprofit that matches business executives with nonprofit boards, mentors social entrepreneurs, and holds “salons” for board members to discuss nonprofit challenges and opportunities. Engaging corporate professionals on nonprofit boards through a thoughtful and purposeful matching process, and training and coaching them for successful service is the most powerful way that businesses can help advance the nonprofit sector in the US and around the world. It’s also the best way to develop global leadership. On a large scale, helping to build better boards with quality matching could be transformative.
Having trained and placed a few hundred corporate leaders on nonprofit boards for the past eighteen years, I have seen the impact that these board candidates have in advancing nonprofits, improving communities, and even becoming better leaders back at their companies. My early experience in training and placing corporate executives on nonprofit boards was considered so audacious that it warranted a page one article in The Wall Street Journal. Through my NYC-based firm for the past several years, I have been training and placing executives on boards on behalf of global corporations and private equity firms, providing CSR consulting to businesses, and consulting to NGO and nonprofit boards. My book, “Leveraging Good Will: Strengthening Nonprofits by Engaging Businesses,” (Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint, 2005) provides a blueprint for communities seeking to establish robust and effective board-matching programs.
Keys to excellence in board-matching include the following: