Building Board Diversity (BBD) strives to raise awareness within our nonprofit sector of the positive impact individuals on their boards with different perspectives, different lifestyles, and different experiences bring to the table. It makes a board more productive and enhances creative thinking, innovation, and decision making.
Building Board Diversity was created by a volunteer task force in the Sangamon County community which included Forefront and the United Way of Central Illinois. As the initiative gained momentum, the team expanded to include The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, Innovate Springfield, The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, and the Springfield Black Chamber of Commerce. BBD is committed to providing training and resources to support new board members, board diversity preparedness, and community connection. Through 100% volunteer effort, BBD has created a task force, executed diversity training, and created board survey tools.
Who We Are
Vision: Our vision is to create a culture of diversity in the nonprofit community, where boards assess their make-up and policies to reach their full potential of impacting the areas they serve, and employers are actively committed to nonprofit board engagement.
Our goal: To gain a commitment from nonprofits and the business community to be intentional with diversity, in order to build a better representation of their community; resulting in long term progress and community success.
Diversity: Embracing our similarities and valuing our differences. Creating a presence that includes people from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences; including culture, race, gender, gender identity, education, religion, income etc.
The purpose of Building Board Diversity (BBD) is a three-part initiative.
- The first is a focus on the nonprofit community. Gaining a commitment from nonprofit groups to be intentional in their diversity efforts through education, evaluation, and a willingness to restructure the boardroom as needed.
- The second is a commitment from local businesses. To be intentional and transparent with community volunteer time and encouragement of board participation. Allowing some of their best talent to step away from the workplace to be engaged with community efforts.
- Finally, the community. Creating one space for the community to find and seek out non-profit board opportunities that are connected to their passion. Helping to close the gap on the small list of potential board members that currently exist today.
Take the Pledge
We believe that nonprofit organizations are better able to do their work more effectively and efficiently when they are led by boards that are diverse. There is no talent shortage of diverse and qualified candidates within our communities who would make exceptional and highly effective directors.
Collectively business leaders and the nonprofit sector can work together to ensure that opportunities exist for all and endorse practices that support diverse and inclusive boardrooms. BBD aims to articulate the values of increasing diversity among our nonprofit boards and encourages both the business community and nonprofit Board of Directors to act and put these values into practice through signing the BBD pledge. By signing the pledge, organizations commit to strategies designed to infuse boards with greater diversity by creating workplace cultures where employees are given time to participate in board service and nonprofits broaden the views, background and overall composition of their boards to enhance diversity.
Business leaders and nonprofit Executives who are interested in taking the Building Board Diversity (BBD) pledge can learn more and take the pledge here. Have questions about BBD and the pledge? See our FAQ here.