Do our board recruitment strategies align with our DEI aspirations?

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My guest today on The Fundraising Talent Podcast is Paulina Artieda, executive director for The New Philanthropists, an organization that works to create more racially diverse and inclusive nonprofit boards in Austin. Their mission is to build a pipeline to leadership for people of color; cultivate diversity, equity, and inclusion among mainstream nonprofit boards; and enable nonprofits to be more effective stewards of public trust and to produce better outcomes for the people they serve. My conversation today with Paulina begs the question of whether our board recruitment strategies align with our DEI aspirations.

As Paulina and I got warmed up, we started wrestling with some of the questions boards should be asking themselves. Is it time to abandon any semblance of “give, get or get off,” the privilege of board members “buying” their way into their seats, or the habit of recruiting individuals who sit on boards everywhere else? What Paulina and her team want us to make sense of is that a board member is more than their financial gift, that boards have to ready themselves for cultural shifts, and that it all begins with cultivating genuine relationships. What I most appreciated about this conversation was how often we reminded ourselves that recruitment to any role, be it board members, major donors, or volunteers, needs to begin with our genuine desire to be in relationship those who are different from ourselves.

As always, we are especially grateful to our friends at CueBack for sponsoring The Fundraising Talent Podcast.

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