Friday, September 4, 2009

Who are your young board turks?

I'm always thinking about boards and, more and more, about how to bring the energy of younger adults to nonprofit leadership. If boards aren't considering age part of their 'diversity' mix in recruitment goals, they need to be doing so. Now.

Today's RSS feed brought an article on the topic that really clicked for me. "Young Turns on Board" is both affirming what this Boomer already believes about the value of bringing fresh voices to the boardroom table and expanding my understanding of why doing so is good for the health of our organizations.

I would offer the same caveat that I always do about targeted recruitment from 'special' groups: do your best to avoid tokenism. Make sure that anyone you bring to your board supports your mission fully and is valued for more than membership in a demographic group. Make sure that the young person you recruit to the board (or, better yet, young persons) is also expected to contribute expertise, energy, and creative approaches to fulfilling your mission.

I'd love to hear your reactions to this article, as well as your experiences with recruiting and engaging younger members to your boards.

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