Each year, SA2020’s Nonprofit Partners collectively report hundreds of open seats on their Board of Directors. Beyond just those open seats, they report gaps in skills and expertise that could help strengthen their work. Meanwhile, we know San Antonians across the city are eager to grow their leadership and use their unique skills to serve the community. The Board Game, now in its third year, connects those San Antonians to the nonprofit Boards that need them.
This year, 43 Nonprofit Partners signed up to participate. We then trained them in how to advance racial equity in board development and challenged these nonprofit leaders and Board members to reimagine board service. For example, we ask nonprofits to reconsider fundraising policies that require board members to donate a specific amount – instead encouraging a “personally significant” contribution of any amount and recognizing the volunteer time and talent of board members who can offer much-needed expertise as “in kind” donations.
We also recruited and trained 103 prospective Board members in the responsibilities of nonprofit board service, including strategic planning, oversight and governance, and resource development. The training included panels with current Board members to help demystify Board service and answer questions from participants—from what to expect in your first Board meeting to knowing whether or not a nonprofit is right for you.
In order to help make local nonprofit boards more representative of San Antonio, our recruitment specifically aimed to reach people of color, people in City Council Districts 2-7, and people under 40. Of our 103 participants, 74% are people of color, 21% live in Districts 2-7, and 62% are under the age of 40. 82% percent had not served on a Board before. (Special thanks to our volunteer committee members who helped recruit these San Antonians!) These participants collectively hold the areas of expertise that our Nonprofit Partners had identified—from finance to public relations to event planning.
We then matched 100% of these prospective Board members with the participating nonprofits in need of their skills, experience, and passion for service. The participants are currently meeting with leaders from their matched organizations, and we’re so excited to see where all of them land.
“I feel like this training really helped demystify serving on a board. I especially love the racial equity lens that all of your work is done through and would recommend to people who want to advance racial equity in San Antonio.”
“I feel a lot of support from SA2020 and even from the growing network of people in my cohort. I’m excited to see my growth and future growth of San Antonio as a whole. I was always under the impression that board membership was very difficult… and appreciate the bridging of that gap.”
Since launching The Board Game in 2019, SA2020 has now matched 91 nonprofits with 331 San Antonians (that includes one of our own board members!). We’re thrilled to see so many community members make a commitment to local nonprofits, and we can’t wait to see how the newest cohort of The Board Game ends up serving the community.