What does being a finalist for this award mean for you and your organization?

Being recognized by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement is an incredible honor for each of our hard-working board members, who are deeply connected with and devoted to NVRDC’s mission of realizing survivor-defined justice for every victim of crime. We are also humbled to see the work NVRDC does to strengthen our community recognized in a region with a rich array of successful nonprofits. This honor would not be possible without the amazingly talented and devoted NVRDC staff, who put in the hard work every day to bring that mission to life. They do so by helping to build strong, resilient, and inclusive communities in which the response systems to victimization meet the diverse needs of survivors.

What have you learned through the application process for Board Leadership Award?

This has been a great opportunity to pause and celebrate our successes at NVRDC. But it also has encouraged us to consider how we can improve by reflecting on the ways the board supports innovative approaches to survivor-defined justice, ensures our staff can sustain their passion for this difficult work, and stands as an example of equity and allyship at every level. This has inspired us to redouble our efforts at being a strategic partner not just with NVRDC itself, but with the wider nonprofit community here and throughout the United States.

What advice would you offer for other organizations/board members striving for excellence in board leadership?

Be bold and, more important, give your organization the latitude and permission to take risks and be bold themselves. This requires thinking deeply about potential solutions to deep and complex problems in our communities and then making the resources available to bring those solutions to life. To do so, boards must focus on service-based leadership, which means that every action a board takes must be aimed at ensuring that the organization has the resources and support that it needs to achieve its mission. For our board, that means recognizing that we serve NVRDC’s staff and its clients, not the other way around. It also drives us to work with staff, watch them in action, lead fundraising events, and so much more.