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An engaged board is critical to helping an emerging community foundation achieve its greatest level of impact, particularly through tumultuous years where the organization is poised for growth. Successful leaders of community foundations share insights, lessons, and practical tips that can help emerging foundation leaders get the most out of their board members, both individually and collectively. The content in this paper has been developed through the experiences of a group of participants in The James Irvine Foundation Community Foundations Initiative II. Includes the “Interests and Capabilities Questionnaire.”

Top Takeaways

  1. Emerging community foundations need serious board impact, and engaged board members can help them go farther faster.
  2. The best board members for emerging community foundations are active listeners, involved supporters, and capable ambassadors.
  3. Board members, board chairs, and executive directors have the responsibility to develop board members’ individual performance, as well as that of the entire group.
For emerging community foundations, an engaged board can spell the difference between mediocre performance and spectacular achievement.