Board Members Can Be Powerful Advocates

Board Members Can Be Powerful Advocates

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“Board members don’t appreciate their power,” said Tim Delaney, president and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits. “When they talk, lawmakers will listen.”

Get Them on Board

Several years ago, the Council’s board, which is made up of nonprofit leaders from across the country, unanimously adopted a resolution affirming that “advocacy should be part of the daily routine of nonprofit organizations.”

“I’ve seen the extent to which community leaders, who often serve on boards, have a lot different connections—often with policy makers,” Delaney said. “They have a level of access and interaction that staff members sometimes do not.”

“For a board member to be standing next to the mayor, for example, and not talk about the nonprofit’s work, that’s a lost opportunity,” he added.

In the spirit of helping nonprofit boards recognize and take better advantage of advocacy opportunities, BoardSource initiated an advocacy campaign last year called Stand for Your Mission. Its focus is educating board members about leveraging their power through advocacy.

“We must unleash the full potential of our advocacy efforts by engaging a powerful and untapped resource that is available to all of us: our boards,” Anne Wallestad, the BoardSource president and CEO, said in a statement.

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