The Purpose of a Young Friends Board posted 02/26/13

By Kevin Haar, Jr.
Chairperson and Founding Board Member

When building a Young Friends Board, a few things to consider…

A Young Friends Board is an organizational structure comprised of Young Professionals serving under the governing Board of Directors of a nonprofit. Unlike the Board of Directors, a Young Friends Board has little to no influence on the direction or the services a nonprofit may offer, but similarly, the Young Friends Board has its own checks and balances (with the Board of Directors having the final word).

The purpose of a young friends board

The primary purpose of a Young Friends Board is building a platform to engage and educate a younger demographic on the nonprofit and the services offered in ways such as:

  • volunteering
  • leadership opportunities
  • special events

By leveraging this platform, the nonprofit can successfully develop, incubate and groom future leaders.

Nonprofits are always looking for alternate revenue sources. With a Young Friends Board, there will be opportunities to increase fundraising but it should be viewed and treated as a secondary benefit. For Young Professionals, in particular Generation Y, it is very important to have them engaged, feeling a part of the team, and most importantly, delegating responsibility to them. If facilitated correctly, the money will follow. And most importantly, so will the leadership.

The beauty of a Young Professionals Board

What makes Young Professional Boards so beautiful is that by design they benefit both parties involved. For the nonprofit, there are the benefits of leveraging your nonprofit to a new demographic, succession planning and fundraising. The advantages for the young professionals are meeting new friends and networking, personal and professional development, and most importantly, making a difference in the community.

There are, without question, successful and unsuccessful Young Professional Boards in existence today. Launch St. Louis has been involved directly and indirectly with a large number of these. Not to say we have it down to an exact science, but we do have some best practices we will continue to share.

Interested in working with Launch?

If you’re a non-profit looking to start a young professionals board, we would like to know! Click here to begin your application.

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