Will Your Board Members Be Willing to Ask – Who’s the One?

Who’s going to be the one? Who’s going to be the person (or persons!) I can talk to today to advance KNN‘s mission? This is a question that I ask myself every morning.

While this might be a typical thought for most nonprofit staff members, this is also an important question for our board members to be asking. Who says? Well, KNN has listed being a “goodwill ambassador” as one of the key board member responsibilities for years (many governance resources do) and this responsibility has also been listed in KNN’s Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Kentucky guide since the program launched in 2011 – see page 25, #3. And now, what I look to as THE leading authority on nonprofit boards – BoardSource has announced its making this board member responsibility a highlight in the recent re-release of their classic, must-read guide for all board members – 10 Basic Responsibilities for Nonprofit Boards.

This re-release from BoardSource and some other tools are key pieces of a new phase of the Stand for Your Mission campaign. Many groups, including the National Council of Nonprofits have joined together to begin the long-term process of breaking down false barriers and promoting the advancement of nonprofit missions through everyday advocacy. This effort to better engage board members in advocacy will positively impact your public policy efforts, as well as your fundraising, public relations and connections with your communities.

The timing on phase two of Stand for Your Mission couldn’t be better. KNN’s advocacy and awareness work to build on the sector’s legislative victories in the 2015 General Assembly is in high gear and armed with these new resources, we hope you and your board members will stand with us and other nonprofits across Kentucky. Here’s what we’ve been working on:

  • KNN has convened a task force of cross-sector leaders to continue work on updating Kentucky’s laws governing nonprofits. Two of KNN‘s task force members join me in actively serving on the task force recently reconvened by Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes. Our goal is to collaboratively work on additional legislation in 2016 that will build on the updates made to KY law with House Bill 440. If you have feedback on issues you think need to be addressed, please let us hear from you.
  • KNN also recently submitted our list of recommended members to serve on the government nonprofit contracting task force, the result of another 2015 legislative victory, HCR 89. Four nonprofit leaders will be selected from our recommendations to serve with legislators and state government officials to identify much-needed strategies to streamline our sectors’ contracts with state government. It’s anticipated that the task force will begin meeting in early fall – stay tuned.
  • And I just returned from Baltimore where I represented my National Council of Nonprofits colleagues and our sector in meetings with the Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers. These two leaders are planning a joint meeting to allow our state association and others across the nation to better collaborate with our philanthropic partners to advance our advocacy work. I am honored to be a part of this important inaugural effort.

So, even though our state legislature is not currently in session, KNN is actively working on your behalf. I look forward to having you and your board members engage with us to advance our sector. With these wonderful tools, including this handout I hope you will share with your board members, now is the perfect opportunity to get your board leaders standing for your mission and standing with our sector!

Please let us hear from you – how can KNN help you and your board members better engage in advocacy to advance your mission and our sector?

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