AKRON and CLEVELAND, Ohio – April 17, 2012 – A new program will prepare young professionals in Akron for service on nonprofit boards, engaging a new generation of leaders in their community.
BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence will develop the program, built on a successful model in Cleveland, with $400,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. BVU will train young professionals for nonprofit board positions and volunteer consulting and matching their skills and interests with local organizations.
The 2009 Knight-funded Soul of the Community study founded that while young people are moving to Akron for jobs, several years later they indicate they don’t feel attached to the area, which decreases their willingness to stay. The program aims to more deeply engage young professionals and increase their likeliness to remain in the city as they take on leadership positions and become involved.
“Akron continues to attract talented young professionals. We want to encourage emerging leaders to build a career and life in the region and get civically involved,” said Jennifer Thomas, Akron program director for Knight Foundation. “We hope this program will engage our next generation of talent in Akron by providing them with the skills and capacity to strengthen Northeast Ohio,”
Young professionals will be matched to nonprofit board and committee opportunities through Linking New Leaders, a speed-dating-like program, and will also be engaged as volunteer consultants to help nonprofits with operations and management, including finance, marketing, human resources, technology, and legal support. BVU plans to collaborate with Akron’s established young professionals networks to initiate this project. Akron-area business professionals will be trained about the roles and responsibilities of board members, best practices and trends in the nonprofit sector through customized Role of the Board seminars in Summit County. Future plans also include using technology to match volunteers.
“We are excited to partner with Knight Foundation to address the desires and interests of young professionals in Akron to give back through volunteerism. We look forward to engaging with the greater community and other emerging leader programs to help strengthen the nonprofits in our region and meet the nonprofits’ requests for more involvement with young and diverse professionals,” said Brian Broadbent, President & CEO of BVU.
BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence promotes business volunteerism and fosters excellence in nonprofit organizations. Founded in Cleveland in 1993, BVU merged with the Akron-based Center for Nonprofit Excellence in 2011. The merged organization, with offices in both Cleveland and Akron, strengthens nonprofits by involving thousands of volunteers from the community, engaging hundreds of business executives and professionals on nonprofit boards of directors, and providing leading-edge board and management consulting and training services for nonprofits.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.
Brian Broadbent, BVU, phone: 216-736-7711, email: email@example.com
Andrew Sherry, Knight Foundation, phone: 305-908-2677, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.