The Man Behind the Curtain

Written By: Kristin Clements-Effner, MSW Cofounder and Training Coordinator

Nonprofit boards are the man behind the curtain for most nonprofits by serving as the leadership behind the direction and strategy of nonprofits.  In challenging economic times with increased needs, boards are ever more important in ensuring the vitality of an organization.  Board Source conducted an analysis of nonprofit boards in 2010 to assess how they function, the diversity of board members, and the role they play. 

One fact that seems worth noting is that in 2007 and 2010 when this study was conducted, less than 2% of nonprofit board members were under the age of 30.  Why do you think that is?  Do 20 year olds not want to be on boards?  It has been our experience that many nonprofit boards are not structured to attract those under 30 or quite frankly don’t try to recruit younger professionals to serve in these leadership roles.

Many boards are set up to serve as fundraising leaders and members are selected based on their networks and influence.  Many 20 year olds aren’t rolling in the big bucks and don’t have wide networks of those usually seen as influential.  However by not included this demographic on your board, many opportunities are being missed to create a vibrant organization in the midst of challenging times.  Creative solutions and wide networks of individuals are needed to increase the financial and volunteer support of organizations.  Young professionals are not shy about communicating their love for your organization and who knows how many people you could engage in your mission.  We also have innovative ideas to approach challenges in new ways.

We want to assist nonprofits into tapping these young leaders to serve as leaders in your organization.  Join us on March 28th from 9-11am at the English Foundation Building to learn how to engage young volunteer leadership on your board and/or advisory committees.  RSVP to


About catalystxchange

Catalyst X-Change, Inc. is a 501c3 serving the greater Indianapolis area. Catalyst was founded by two Millennials (Kristin Clements-Effner and Melissa Noyes) with a passion and a vision for world change. We believe that significant and positive change can happen when individuals come together and match their passions with tangible actions. Our mission is to advance community through meaningful action.
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