Sunday, November 22, 2009

Creating a Laramie nonprofit partnership

How can I best support Laramie nonprofits, specifically, the boards that govern the organizations within that community?

That is a question I’m perpetually asking myself, more so now that my doctoral dissertation is behind me and the need to share what I learned about boards grows more urgent. I had a chance to think about it with friends Saturday, as I participated in a lively discussion about bridging the theory-to-practice divide during the 2009 ARNOVA conference.

I am a practitioner at heart. Concerns about whether my activities result in scholarly publications do not drive decisions about what I do, with whom, when. I am intensely driven to co-create a supportive environment where sharing and learning can occur. “Co-create” is the key in what I envision. Certainly, I have and am prepared to provide knowledge and leadership on topics related to nonprofit boards and their governance responsibilities. But I do not see my role as an exclusive one. Rather, I envision an engaging environment for our local nonprofit boards, where we each play a role in learning and growing together. Each of us can teach each other, just as we can learn from each other.

What would that look like? I have a few ideas, but it’s ultimately not about me. I’m interested in hearing from local nonprofit board members: what are your strengths, your challenges? What do you need to succeed? What do you need to stay passionate and confident about your ability to make a difference? How can we partner to make that happen? Please share your thoughts via comment, so we can have begin the conversation.

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