United Way seeks professionals to help nonprofits

  • November 10, 2015
  • /   Louis Cooper
  • /   community-dashboard

Sometimes organizations that specialize in helping those in need could use a little help themselves.

The United Way of Escambia County is launching a new program called BoardServePNS – or Board Serve Pensacola – connecting professionals in the community with nonprofit United Way agencies that have specific needs.

A healthy and thriving community service sector is important to a community's quality of life. Not only does it allow people to develop themselves and their talents, it connects nonprofits with expertise that can enhance the work they do.

Potential volunteers should:

— Live and/or work in Escambia County.
— Have a diversity of life experience, age, ethnicity, and profession, including expertise in any of the following fields: accounting, finance, governance, human resources, law, information technology, management/operations, marketing, public relations, fundraising, strategic planning, engineering and others.
— Have enthusiasm and interest in board service and volunteerism.
— Be able to commit at least five hours per month.
— Be willing to undertake this training sessions one hour training offered on the duties and responsibilities of board members.
— Be willing to share interest, expertise and commitment through five minute timed table visits with agencies who will share their mission, organizational needs and commitment required of board members.
— Bring business cards or contact information to share with prospective agency partners.

For more information or to RSVP for the training, email [email protected] or call (850) 444-7120.

“The overall purpose of BoardServPNS is to train interested local professionals on board member responsibilities and connect them to nonprofits seeking board members,” said Tony Eberhardt, a spokesman for the United Way.

“Some agencies have identified financial oversight as an area where they need assistance from a strengthened board. Others need individuals who can connect them to community philanthropists and change makers. Some need help with marketing and media support. The issues are as diverse as our nonprofits.”

The United Way is launching BoardServePNS with a training/interview session on Dec. 11 from 8 a.m. to noon. The cost to participate is $20.

Those who attend will receive an in-depth look at the local nonprofit sector and the responsibilities of nonprofit board members, including fundraising and financial oversight. The goal of the training is help people with a heart for community service learn the best way to apply their talents to the nonprofits that most need the help.

“A volunteer provides oversight for the agency and will likely serve on a committee that relates to the volunteer’s specific strengths,” Eberhardt said. “Board members govern the policies, procedures and activities of the organization, ensuring the nonprofit remains fiscally sound and operating within the parameters of the organization’s mission. They hire, guide and evaluate the CEO or executive director.”

Both the agency and the volunteer should benefit from the relationship, he said.

“Organizations will become prepared to build their capacity, respond strategically to new challenges, and to garner the human and financial resources needed to strengthen, stabilize and sustain their work,” Eberhardt said.

Eberhardt said he expects about 16 agencies to attend the training/interview session.

As of now, organizations that have signed up include: My Fathers Arrows, Gulf Coast Veterans Advocacy, Pathways for Change, Chain Reaction, Early Learning Coalition, Independence for the Blind, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast and the Pensacola Humane Society.

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