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June Blog 3+ Ways to Learn About Boards

3 Jun 2022 2:49 PM | ICF Edmonton (Administrator)

3+ Ways to Learn About Boards

As professional coaches, we know in our marrow that there’s nothing better than offering your head, heart and hands in meaningful service as a volunteer. Not only does volunteering get us out of our daily grind, expand our horizons and social or professional circles, but it can challenge us to build skills and competencies that stretch us. And all of this has a reciprocal and positive effect in knowing we are needed in and appreciated by our communities, professions and areas of passion. What better way to amplify that volunteer spirit and make a real impact on the coaching profession than to run for a board position? 

But wait! Perhaps, like many, you feel ill-equipped about how boards operate and you’re concerned that it’s too complex to learn. Well, when it comes to learning the ropes of board operations, you’re in luck. There are several resources out there designed to help you gain an inside track on building your board leadership know-how. Below are a handful of easily accessible resources to get you acclimated to board operations and help you make that next step in adding a board position to your résumé.  

DirectHer Network
- This non-profit network hosts a live Board Basics session a couple of times each year. The next session is slated for September and is a pay-what-you-can offering. In alignment with DirectHer’s commitment to increase board gender diversity by demystifying the boardroom, this women-led, not-for-profit has a Board Basics session that’s both informative and interactive. During this live, hands-on session that includes a mock board meeting, participants will learn about the following using a real non-profit Board as an example:
  • Why Gender Diversity on Boards Matters

  • What’s a Board and Why is it Formed?

  • The Hierarchy of Documents Critical to a Board

  • Common Board Language & Process

  • Duties & Liabilities

  • Basic Financial Literacy

Volunteer Alberta - This non-profit organization supports volunteerism throughout the province. While there are many on-offer webinars and live events individuals and volunteer organizations alike can attend listed on their site, VA has a wealth of reading material related to boards and associated duties you won’t want to miss. Interested in finance? Check out the self-guided workbook on the Financial Responsibilities of Not-for-Profit Boards. This workbook, like others on the site, is complete with reporting examples and a handy financial management checklist, to name but two tools. VA has several free, downloadable workbooks to support key board positions like governance, finance and board chair.

Board Development Program - BDP is an Alberta government unit dedicated to improving the governance of non-profit organizations through curriculum-based training, presentations and consultation services. Their Community Development event series is particularly interesting with sessions like The Role of the Board Chair, Committees & Meetings, and So, you are the Board secretary? Now what?!. Follow them on EventBrite to receive notifications about free, online board development events in the near future.

A couple more options:
International Coaching Federation | ICF Edmonton Charter Chapter 
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