Cheyenne attorney - and longtime community servant - Greg Dyekman closed this year's Snowy Range Nonprofit Institute with an absolutely perfect talk, titled "The Joy of Working in the Nonprofit Sector." Greg is an old friend of the institute. He spoke at our very first event in 2002. He's facilitated sessions on tough topics (accountability, anyone??) and left everyone informed, happy and energized. We knew what we were doing when we asked Greg to offer an inspiring close to the 2011 institute. Once again, he more than delivered.
Greg encouraged us to focus on meeting three needs in connecting with others:
- Opportunities to help. People want to help; nonprofits need to provide meaningful ways for that to happen.
- To feel needed. People want to feel good about themselves, and they want to belong. Nonprofits offer rich opportunities to engage authentically and, in the process, feed this need.
- To feel like they've made a difference. They want to matter. They want to contribute to something good and something bigger than themselves.
Days after Greg's talk, I'm still feeling inspired. I'm still feeling hopeful. I'm also thinking about how, as our marvelous speaker challenged us, we need to ensure that service via governance is a joyful experience for our boards.
My initial instinct was to offer my own interpretation of Greg's three keys as they might apply to boards. I may act on that impulse later. But today, I'd rather leave you with his marvelously succinct message and challenge us all to reflect on how we can bring joy to nonprofit governance. How are we meeting these three needs for our board members?