ELBA’s BoardMatch Evening

 In Community, News

ELBA had the pleasure of inviting east London’s hardworking community organisations and prospective trustees for an evening of Board Matching hosted by Nomura. This was a chance for volunteers to connect and hear about the brilliant work of 14 charities as well as the social issues that East London is challenged by, directly from the people facing them every day. The prospective trustees had a chance to circulate the room and register interest with the charities to become a candidate for their trustee positions.

We were thrilled to see the enthusiasm that the nearly 60 prospective trustees expressed for the charities and their work. Represented was a wide variety of east London organisations working with various pressing issues such as the environment, children, young people, the elderly, community cohesion, identity-based crime, anti-social behaviour ethnic minorities and music. These charities are looking to invite more trustees for their boards based on their skills.

As many charities in East London are facing financial cuts as well as widening gap in social protection and security for their respective beneficiaries, the need to build and strengthen their capacity. Joining a board is an effective way of being socially responsible by  transferring your specific skill in for example legal matters, HR, marking, business planning, legal, risk assessing, investing  to name a few. This impactful contribution to a charity suits corporate professionals who may not have the time to commit to weekly support sessions, but rather have the interest and expertise to support the governance of an organisation.

The event was enjoyed by attendees from across the board, with Vivek Gupta, a volunteer from UBS, saying:

“The event had great energy and buzz, it uniquely allowed intermingling of passionate individuals (the prospective volunteers) with inspiring personalities (the charities managers). Many thanks to ELBA for making this happen and to Nomura for facilitating.”

In April 2017, ELBA held its first BoardMatch event. Sharon Long, Manager at Partnership for Young London, attended the event and in turn was successful in recruiting two new board members. Below, Sharon shares her thoughts on the event, her experience working with ELBA and the impact that BoardMatch has made on her organisation:

Why did you want to attend Board Match?
Partnership for Young London wanted to extend the expertise of the board and gain both the perspective and partnership working with businesses. We had completed a trustees audit and identified the need for two new trustees who are currently working in the business sector. We have had contact with ELBA through a range of different programmes and the board match session offered us the opportunity to pitch the organisation to key contacts outside of our usual networks.

Board match processes ensured that we were very focused on what we needed for the board and clear in terms of articulating those needs, we are an infrastructure organisation, a concept which can prove challenging to people outside of the sector.

How was your experience working with ELBA?
ELBA were really keen to bring us on board and they provided clear guidance and briefings on the process which ensured that this was not a waste of our time or anyone else’s. We are a small charity with limited capacity and need to use our time wisely and be clear about what that investment will bring.

The process itself was both useful in terms of meeting new potential trustees but also other organisations that we could link with.  ELBA managed the recruitment process and were clear about how this would operate and why, they followed through on the interviews and also helped us to review what was needed.

What were the outcomes for your organisation?
The two new trustees have only just been recruited but after two meetings they have already brought a new perspective to the organisation asking challenging questions, bringing in additional expertise and offering their skills into a range of areas that we need additional support on.  This was exactly what we needed, we wanted to have trustees from outside of our networks who could bring a fresh perspective and dynamic to the work. It supports us to meet our current business plan objectives and they will be instrumental in providing advice and challenge as we move forward.

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