The Most Important Part of Your CSR Plan (And You Might Be Missing It)

Take a look at your CSR program. You've got a green plan: check. Volunteer program: check. Philanthropy: check. But what is your company doing to invest in good leadership? Leadership for the sustainability and betterment of the communities where your employees and customers live and work, and leadership for the future of your company?

What if you could develop your company's executives to become great leaders? In fact, the best investment you can make in leadership development is to encourage and support your executives to serve on nonprofit boards of directors. By participating on boards, your executives will get first-hand experience in working with peers and the nonprofit's CEO to

  1. ensure the relevance of the organization's mission
  2. envision the enterprise's greater potential
  3. create the strategy and dashboard to assess progress
  4. help establish and achieve the revenue model
  5. provide fiduciary oversight, and
  6. develop the board

Not only does board participation provide a unique experiential learning opportunity for your executives, it's also a high-impact contribution for your company and its personnel to provide. Nonprofits are eager for the expertise and experience that business people can offer.

The key is for each individual to participate in a thoughtful process to find the right board that will ignite his or her energy, and for candidates to be well prepared and coached for effectiveness in their board roles. When the match is right, then the board experience is thrilling for the board member, and a great value to the nonprofit in advancing its work in service to the community.

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