Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sex in the Board Room

I feel certain that you have all been on pins and needles wondering when this post would be written since I closed my Secret #4 post with this line:

Next time, let's talk about sex.

Well, it's next time and let's talk about sex -- the sex of our non-profit board members!

NOTE:  Of course, I really mean their gender.  I have no idea about the sex lives of our board members at CPD.  At least I have no ideas that I'm willing to tell you about.  Ha!

As an agency that helps abused and neglected children, Community Partners of Dallas has always appealed to women more than to men.  Now, this may be because all of our staff are women and we know lots of women, but no matter the reason, this is the truth.

Not that I mean to imply that men do not care about abused and neglected kids -- they do -- we have great volunteers and donors and board members who are men.  But most of our supporters are women.  Our current board is 66% female.  And I like it that way because women participate.

Here is a recent example (that may get me in trouble):

As you know (if you are reading this series), I send out the email board packet about a week in advance of each board meeting (Of course all board members were given the dates of all meetings at the beginning of the year and I continue to remind them when meetings are coming just in case they need reminders...) and in that email I ask them to hit reply to let me know whether or not they are attending the meeting (so we can order the right amount of food).  The words "Don't forget to rsvp for the meeting" are in the subject line of the email.  An ask for their rsvp is in the body of the email (with a reminder why we need this).  The P.S. (in red) again reminds them to rsvp.

So, how many individual emails did I have to send out after the rsvp deadline to those who had not responded?  8.  How many of these were to men? 7.

Now, is this a reason to be removed from the BOD?  Not at all!

Am I being hard on the men?  Maybe.

Non-Profit Management Secret #5...

Women rule.

P.S.  Yes, I know that I get paid to contact board members about attending meetings and this is me just complaining.  But women still rule.


  1. Regardless, getting more women on every Board is a plus in my experience. There is nothing worse than a Board that looks exactly the same, thinks pretty much the same, starts every issue from the same life experience, etc.

    I am on a board with the former CEO of the Cook Inlet Native Corporation in Alaska (CIRI) - perhaps the most impressive board member I've ever served with - female and Native Alaskan. Talk about adding enormous value from a different life experience. And she is just as focused on numbers, operational excellence, etc, as any 51 white guy, particularly me. She just has whole areas of insight otherwise missed.

    As to the RSVPs, I have to say as a former Public Company (2x) Corporate Secretary, that's just rude regardless of gender!

  2. Sounds like you have a great board member there, John! I agree, we need board members from different walks of life -- if for no other reason than they have different points of view and (most importantly for those of us who fundraise) networks of potential supporters for the agency.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!