Leadership Council asks you to be BOLD

Step up to help guide nonprofits to better performance

According to recent research, there are gaps in nonprofit board participation across our region.

“Research on nonprofit boards in the Cincinnati region reveals a gap of several hundred board members needed in critical areas like health, education and public safety. Participation in the BOLD program can help to close that gap,” said Michael Jones, academic director of the Kautz-Uible Economics Institute at the University of Cincinnati.

Board Orientation & Leadership Development (BOLD) is a program offered by Leadership Council for Nonprofits. BOLD is designed to fill those gaps, an important need during this time when the work of nonprofits is critical to our recovery from the pandemic. BOLD is intended to “educate and empower” individuals to serve the nonprofit community as a board member. BOLD participants receive access to a curriculum that will help master the fundamentals of nonprofit board service.

Beth Short, attorney of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office during a BOLD training on nonprofit governance and compliance

One does not have to look further than the COVID-19 crisis to see the impact nonprofit organizations have had on the Cincinnati region. For instance, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati redesigned its facilities to become daycare centers, Freestore Foodbank distributed over 24 million meals, and Cincinnati Union Bethel opened affordable housing for 44 single mothers pursuing college degrees. So, why does the board member gap in the Cincinnati region matter?

Board members serve behind the scenes ensuring the best possible performance of the nonprofit for those who depend on the institution. They treat the nonprofit like one would run a household. Board members set internal controls, monitor finances, develop strategic plans, and improve top-level decision-making. As one BOLD faculty member put it, “Board members mind the business of nonprofits while changing the world.” Board members make sure their nonprofits prepare for a crisis like COVID-19.

Beth Schwartz, CEO of Cincinnati Union Bethel, during a BOLD training on nonprofit finance

“BOLD exists to fill the board member gap in our region with strong, knowledgeable board leaders, ready to serve,” said Jenny Berg, executive director of Leadership Council for Nonprofits. 

BOLD addresses the board member gap one cohort at a time through its curriculum of case studies, synchronous discussions and asynchronous resources, combined with mentoring and matching. Leadership Council has an extensive membership network of more than 220 nonprofit agencies, and can help direct BOLD graduates to its members or other nonprofits outside the network.

Our entire region is called to step up and help close the board member gap in critical service areas.

“BOLD cohorts will increase opportunities for nonprofits to find prepared, diverse and passionate board leaders,” Berg said. Upon completion of the program, participants have the opportunity to be placed onto a board of a Leadership Council member agency where board members are needed. BOLD has attracted individuals across sectors and is available to anyone with a heart and passion for service.

“Michelman recognizes that nonprofit board participation provides both good results for the community and powerful development opportunities for our team,” said Kreg Keesee, COO at Michelman. “These are both dependent upon a positive board experience. The BOLD program has prepared and will continue to prepare our associates for success that is a win-win for us and our communities.”

The next BOLD cohort begins April 29th. Applications are due by Friday, April 9, 5 p.m. EDT.

General registration is $650. For staff or board members of Leadership Council members, cost is $250. A limited number of scholarships are granted annually to members of smaller not-for-profits and entrepreneurs who require financial assistance.


This content is provided by Leadership Council for Nonprofits.

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