Ashley Priore, founder and president of Y’22 (a Youth on Boards movement), and founder/president/CEO of Queen Gambit’s Chess Institute (a future BoardsWork! participant through our partnership with the Grable Foundation) is passionate about today’s youth. Read her perspective on why young board members can be so valuable to an organization’s makeup.
Young people, individuals under 25, belong on nonprofit boards (just as any other community member) because they, too, are a part of the community in which organizations are trying to serve. For example, organizations that support afterschool programming are trying to reach students in middle and high school. How do you best reach those students and know what they want in an organization if we don’t have direction from students? Receiving guidance and strategic direction from the population you are actually serving is key to the success of any organization. Young people provide important perspectives about the consumers of your organization.
The benefits and values of young board members is that they provide a unique perspective into the future of nonprofits. Each generation is very unique and boards that include young people will be better prepared for the future. Young people provide strategic direction, supporting nonprofits as they adjust and prepare for the future (as the younger generation becomes a larger portion of the “adult” demographic). Essentially, we can’t tackle the issues of tomorrow with the generations of yesterday.
The benefits of having young board members can be outlined in five ways:
- Young people are directly impacted by the decisions made, and as such, need to have a say in how those decisions are being made.
- Young people are “the future generation” and will be alive to experience the decisions being made now.
- Young people have the experiences of those being served and can communicate effectivelyabout needs.
- Advisory boards aren’t where the decisions actually happen. There is a separation betweenadvisory boards and trustee boards.
- Committees provide advice and don’t make decisions.
If you have questions or would like to get to know Y’22 (A Youth on Boards Movement), please visit www.y-22.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.