Mission Capital and The New Philanthropists (TNP) are teaming up to bring you the 2019 Board Summit on June 6, presented by Texas Capital Bank and other generous sponsors. Mission Capital’s Director of Learning & Leadership, Ann Starr, sat down with TNP Co-Founder and Managing Director, Mando Rayo, to find out why diversity in nonprofit boards is so important.
Starr: It seems like 2018 was a busy year for TNP! Tell me a little about your first year of operations.
Rayo: Yes, 2018 was busy! We formalized as a nonprofit in March 2018, and spent much of the year recruiting members – people of color that are interested in serving on nonprofit boards – and working with select nonprofit organizations that want to learn how to build more diverse, equitable and inclusive boards. We started the year with a goal of identifying 100 members, and ended 2018 with 375!
Starr: What are the obstacles that people of color encounter when exploring board service in Austin?
Rayo: One obstacle is access to these leadership positions. Sometimes when our members reach out to inquire about serving on a nonprofit board, the nonprofit simply doesn’t respond and/or there might be a presumption by the nonprofit that a person of color might not have the potential to serve. More “mainstream” boards often don’t have relationships with communities of color and the individuals who are leaders in those communities. Access is a challenge without established relationships.
Another challenge is that the culture of some boards is unwelcoming to people of color – especially when board members are predominantly white. That’s why our work with nonprofit organizations in 2018 focused on helping them evaluate and assess their readiness to welcome new kinds of leaders onto to their boards.
Starr: What advice do you give to nonprofits who want to diversify their board leadership?
Rayo: This work is all about relationship building. We tell them that they must get full board buy-in to start on that journey because this kind of strategic decision starts at the top.
Starr: So, what does 2019 look like for TNP?
Rayo: We’re launching several new initiatives in 2019, and will again produce our Speakers Series and offer nonprofit readiness assessments. We just hired our first Executive Director, Paulina Artieda, and we’re introducing a board mentors of color program and a new workshop called The Equity Chair. It’s focused on disrupting board norms and helping leaders of color and allies navigate mainstream nonprofits through a cultural conscious perspective.
We’re also excited to partner with Mission Capital on the Board Summit. The summit is a great way for us to start introducing our members to organizations who are deeply invested in making their organizations more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
A big thank you to TNP for partnering with us on the 2019 Board Summit! Learn more about the summit and purchase your ticket today!
For more information on The New Philanthropists contact Paulina Artieda, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org