www.BoardLinkStL.org Now Online Building Strong Nonprofits by Building Strong Leaders

December 08, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Eight established organizations of the St. Louis nonprofit community have together created a one-of-a-kind program for the St. Louis region: BoardLinkStL. This innovative approach to board management will prepare individuals to serve on boards and link them with nonprofits ready to take board leadership to the next level. The Web site is now live and readiness workshops will be offered monthly. By coupling the workshops with the online matching service, BoardLinkStL will fill a void in the St. Louis metropolitan nonprofit community: strategic board recruitment and development.

“The United Way of Greater St. Louis and the members of the BoardLinkStL alliance are proud to launch this unprecedented region-wide opportunity to build stronger nonprofits by building stronger leaders,” said BoardLinkStL collaborator Rick Skinner, Director of the United Way Volunteer Center of Greater St. Louis. “All of the collaboration members are hopeful that the community embraces this strategic approach to the board development process as a way to better serve the community’s needs.”

With a few clicks of the mouse, nonprofits can diversify and strengthen their boards by specifying exactly what they are seeking in new board members. Organizations can indicate preferences regarding age, race, gender or professional experience. They can also announce the need for members to contribute a set amount of financial support to the agency each year or the need for specific skills such as the ability to speak Spanish. In the same manner, individuals can specify their board service preferences including details such as location of the agency, meeting schedules, and mission, size, and scope of the nonprofit.

According to a national survey, nonprofits seeking board members often lack the resources needed to recruit individuals or to adequately prepare new board members; and individuals, motivated to serve, do not know where to find organizations that are a good fit. BoardLinkStL is a centralized, high-tech access point—think Google meets Match.com—for enhancing nonprofit board governance in the St. Louis region.

The BoardLinkStL Alliance Members are: Family Support Council/Family Resource Center; FOCUS St. Louis; Nonprofit Services Consortium; Regional Arts Commission; United Way of Greater St. Louis; University of Missouri – St. Louis, Nonprofit Management & Leadership Program (NPM&L); Volunteer Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts; Washington University’s Alliance for Building Capacity (ABC), George Warren Brown (GWB) School of Social Work.

“Readiness to Recruit Workshop” for nonprofits and “Readiness to Serve Workshop” for individuals are held monthly.

AmerenUE has made scholarships available to nonprofits that wish to partipate.

BoardLinkStL is being hosted by the United Way of Greater St. Louis. For more information or to sign up for the upcoming training workshops go to www.boardlinkstl.org
or call 314-539-4063 or 1-800-VOLUNTEER.