A Win-Win for the Sector

August 2, 2011

Every year since 1998, The Nonprofit Times has put out a list of the “Power and Influence Top 50”—movers and shakers in the nonprofit world who are changing the way the world views our sector.

This year, two new faces appeared on the list:  John Griswold, executive director of Commonfund Institute, and Aaron Hurst, president and founder of the Taproot
Foundation, both members of BoardSource’s board. Here’s what the NP Times (August 1, 2011) had to say about them:

Griswold directs Commonfund’s educational, market research and professional development activities, which includes the Commonfund Forum, the most important financial conference in the sector – if you can get in. Only 550 people get to go; it’s invitation-only access to some of the world’s great financial minds and
powerbrokers.

[Hurst] wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of hooking up for-profits with nonprofit partners, but boy has he made it happen. Taproot has recruited more than 10,000 business professionals as pro bono consultants. And, they aren’t just any consultants, unless you think Yahoo! is just another search portal. It’s
capacity building at its finest.

While I didn’t need the NP Times to tell me these two gentlemen are committed, exciting game-changers, it’s nice to get the external validation. They both have taken their own organizations to new levels of success and influence by looking at sector needs in innovative ways, John by educating nonprofit board members on investment strategies and creating fantastic opportunities for networking; and Aaron by recognizing the untapped potential of pro bono service to the sector and filling that gap with thousands of professionals, who line up to volunteer.

And here’s the good news for BoardSource—and why I’m essentially tooting my own board’s horn today—Aaron and John bring the same commitment, energy, enthusiasm, and intellect to BoardSource’s board that they do to their own organizations. I feel incredibly lucky to have them—as well as 10 other amazing board members—as a collective beacon that helps me steer the organization. As you can imagine, candidates who accept an invitation to BoardSource’s board know they will be held as a standard for all nonprofit boards, and they accept that challenge. Last year, they even created their own board vision statement:  As the preeminent educational resource for nonprofit boards, BoardSource’s own board is a model of governance performance. As our organizational mission is to build exceptional boards, our own board is exceptional and inspires exceptional governance practices.

A pretty bold statement, but not out of reach for this exceptional group of individuals. Congratulations, John and Aaron, and thank you, Nonprofit Times, for recognizing their superb contribution to the sector.

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