Bridging Two Cultures through Nonprofit Board Service

Posted by on January 27, 2014

White Paper #2: Bridging two Cultures through Nonprofit Board Service
by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director of The Nonprofit Center, originally prepared for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Board Leadership Series

What started as a small movement 20 years ago has become, increasingly, a massive push to bring folks from the for-profit sector onto nonprofit boards. Thus, increasingly, that is who we find sitting on these boards. Because of myths that abound about the nonprofit sector, a lack of clarity about just what a nonprofit board is supposed to be doing and often, a poor or absent process for teaching new board members what their roles and responsibilities are, we too frequently see some surprising and saddening behavior from these very board members whom we so zealously sought. As a result, each becomes disillusioned or unhappy with the other, both of which could have been avoided with a bit more conversation and a lot more education.

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