By Alexandra Hallock, Consultant at Cause Strategy Partners, LLC
Cause Strategy Partners, LLC is approaching its two-year anniversary this February 2017. As we reflect on 2016 and look to 2017, we have a lot to celebrate! Join us as we review this year’s highlights and read on to see what’s coming.
We designed, built, and launched our signature BoardLead Program in collaboration with Heckscher Foundation for Children, Google, Barclays, and PwC in 2015. BoardLead recruits, places, trains, and supports earlier-career professionals from top companies for board service at high-impact nonprofits.
We are consulting with other Fortune 500 companies, as well, helping them build out in-house board placement and philanthropic programs. Most importantly, we are privileged to work with a great group of national, regional, and local foundations and nonprofit organizations, helping them build and professionalize their board leadership and governance.
In less than two years, we’ve run our 10-month BoardLead program 5 times, in 2 cities, with 10 corporate and 56 nonprofit partners.
To date, BoardLead has placed over 120 professionals onto the boards of 56 nonprofits in New York City and Chicago! In less than two years, we’ve run our 10-month BoardLead program 5 times, in 2 cities, with 10 corporate and 56 nonprofit partners. Our Fall 2016 program is currently underway, and this spring we launch two additional BoardLead cohorts in New York and Chicago.
Let’s look at some highlights from 2016!
2016 BoardLead Elections
This past year, 92 BoardLeaders were elected onto the Board of Directors of 39 nonprofits. Do the quick math and that’s an average of 2.4 BoardLeaders elected per organization! In fact, we’ve seen some of our nonprofit partners take as many as 4 BoardLeaders at once from the program and praise the benefits a new class of professionals brings to their existing Board of Directors.
Important Initiatives – Diversity in the Arts
This year, for the first time in BoardLead history, we brought a specific focus to our program. That focus is to foster diversity for the boards of arts organizations in New York City. According to the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, while 64% of New Yorkers are from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds, just 22% of board members represent diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds. Mayor Bill De Blasio has called for us to “find ways to foster a creative sector that opens doors for every New Yorker, regardless of their background.”1 So, Cause Strategy Partners is joining the effort by increasing diversity for 20 New York City-based arts organizations and their boards in partnership with The New York Community Trust, Goldman Sachs, Google, and MasterCard.
We launched a new BoardLead website!
We designed and built a brand new website for BoardLead. This online platform will allow us to track and manage the program efficiently, bringing huge potential for scale. We’ve already seen this investment in technology improve our day to day.
Welcoming New Staff
Continued Success of New BoardLeaders
What makes BoardLeaders successful?
BoardLeaders are passionate about the nonprofits they serve. Mission passion is our number one most important criteria when facilitating board matches between professionals and nonprofits through BoardLead.
BoardLeaders bring needed skills to their nonprofit boards. Professionals in 2016 came from top companies Barclays, BlackRock, Cushman & Wakefield, Google, LinkedIn, Macquarie, Motorola Solutions, and PwC. They brought with them expertise in finance, accounting, marketing, human resources, technology, and so on.
BoardLeaders are active fundraisers for their organizations. The average give/get commitment from BoardLeaders for 2016 was $6,247. It is an expectation of any professional placed through BoardLead to give at a personally significant amount and meet the giving requirements of their nonprofit.
Professionals in 2016 came from top companies Barclays, BlackRock, Cushman & Wakefield, Google, LinkedIn, Macquarie, Motorola Solutions, and PwC.
The fun continues in 2017. Most of our corporate partners from 2016 have jumped on board to continue in the program this spring, and some new partners as well. There’s a lot of potential in New York City and Chicago, and we continue to find new ways to work with our nonprofit, foundation, and corporate partners.
1 Report: Diversity in the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Community (January 28, 2016); 2010 U.S. Census.