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BoardSource Leadership Forum

BoardSource gathers more than 1,000 board members, chief executives, staff, and nonprofit professionals for two days to discuss the newest thinking and best practices in nonprofit governance and leadership. Through plenary sessions, workshops, discussions, presentations, and networking events, participants learn how to guide their organizations toward greater impact and mission fulfillment.

Thursday, May 7

4:30pm – 5:30pm: Arts and Culture Organization Mergers: The Board’s Role

Over the last few years, organizations of all types and sizes have come under increasing financial pressure. In many cases, mergers were seen as a way to increase revenues, reduce costs, or achieve other efficiencies. Much has been written about the subject, and several case studies are accessible. However, almost nothing has been written about the role of the board, especially when it pertains to the subsector of nonprofits dedicated to the arts and culture.

The organizations featured on the panel will come from different areas of the arts and culture subsector, providing audience members with firsthand reflections from board members who have guided organizations through the merger process. Panelists will talk about what worked, what did not work, what surprised them during the process, and what they would advise board members of organizations considering a merger to think about before moving ahead.


Friday, May 8

9:30am – 11:00am: The Board’s Role in Embracing an Equity Lens to Build “Relational Capacity”

When the Deaconess Foundation created the Anchor Institution Initiative, it set out to build the “community capacity” of five nonprofits committed to solving complex social problems through advocacy and influencing policy change across the St. Louis region. But while doing so, it realized something important—working with other organizations that lots of other entities and people depend on requires embracing an equity lens across all aspects of everything they do. And that can’t be done successfully without board leadership.

In this panel, six key players from three of the organizations involved in the initiative will share discoveries from its first year. Participants will familiarize themselves with multiple examples of how board members have begun to apply an equity lens to their governance responsibilities for the nonprofits they serve. Both board and staff leadership will take away practical skills, along with a heightened awareness of the board’s essential role in any capacity building effort, especially relational capacity building.

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