Each year, SA2020 surveys our 100+ Nonprofit Partners to learn more about their organizations and impact. While these Nonprofit Partners make up just under 3% of the total number of nonprofit organizations in Bexar County, in the last year, they employed 7,434 people and brought in $660 million in revenue. These organizations are moving the needle on all 9 Community Results that make up the shared vision and improving life outcomes for people in every City Council District in San Antonio. (You can read more about our most recent findings and key takeaways in the Nonprofit Partner Impact Report.)
Each time we conduct the survey, one thing in particular stands out to us: the number of open seats on nonprofits’ Boards of Directors. Last year, SA2020’s 115 Nonprofit Partners reported more than 400 openings.
In San Antonio, where we’ve envisioned a future in which we “foster leaders across the community who collaborate to reach shared goals” and institutions “value community-based knowledge and build trusted relationships,” it only made sense that we find a way to connect more folks to those nonprofit boards. In 2019, SA2020 launched The Board Game to do just that, and we’ve since trained 228 participants in board service and matched them with 72 nonprofits. The majority of those San Antonians are people of color, under the age of 40, and have not previously served on a board.
In addition to training individuals in nonprofit board service and demystifying the whole process, The Board Game also trains nonprofits’ senior leadership in how to advance racial equity in board recruitment and development. We know how important this is, as nonprofit Boards of Directors and Executive Directors/CEOs are responsible for identifying and eliminating the barriers to recruiting and retaining people of color. This includes, for example, recognizing lived experience as expertise, valuing work experience alongside higher education attainment, and creating fundraising policies allowing board members to donate money, time, and/or skills in ways that are personally significant and support the organization.
Participants in The Board Game have told us that without the program, they wouldn’t have known where to start, would have hesitated to get involved, or might have felt like they didn’t have the right “connections” or resources to serve. Now, they’re serving nonprofits that need their unique experience and expertise and helping move San Antonio closer to the shared Community Vision. Similarly, participating nonprofits have shared that The Board Game strengthened their recruitment process with best practices and increased their ability to onboard mission-driven community members with the exact expertise they need.
At SA2020, we’re proud to help facilitate these connections, cultivate leadership, and support nonprofits in tapping into community-based knowledge.
Interested in participating in The Board Game this year? You can learn more and apply right here. The application asks about your areas of expertise, which Community Results speak most to you, why you’re interested in serving on a nonprofit board, and your demographic information. The application is open through Sunday, July 31.