Senior Moments from H.O.M.E.

5 secrets to creating a young professionals board

Posted by Amber Martin on Aug 29, 2016 10:14:12 AM

We're very proud of the members that make up our Young Professionals Board (YPB) and what they do for H.O.M.E. So when a friend of H.O.M.E. who serves on another nonprofit board in Chicago recently asked for a little insight into what makes our group work so well, I was happy to let her in on our secrets.


H.O.M.E.'s YPB has been active for almost three years. It got started with a group of volunteers and former interns who wanted to get more involved with the organization. Today it is made up of a group of young people from diverse backgrounds who have a shared interest in helping low-income seniors in Chicago maintain their independence. It has grown into an essential part of H.O.M.E.'s leadership and outreach plan.

Role of the YPB

YPB_2016.jpgOur YPB has been a big part of our Event Committee over the past three years. They have been a huge asset in executing plans for our Annual Celebration Dinner, which we hold each spring to celebrate our work with supporters, clients, and staff. In addition, they organize smaller fundraisers and volunteer projects throughout the year. Members also act as ambassadors of H.O.M.E. to their own networks, much like the Board of Directors.

Being a part of the YPB is an opportunity for professional development for members. Because of this, we mimic our board onboarding process, culture, and meeting processes with the YPB. This gives the members the chance to see how nonprofits operate and helps them develop the skills they need to become leaders of H.O.M.E. or other organizations in the community. We were delighted to have one of our YPB members become a member of our Board of Directors this year. 

Tips for creating a Young Professionals Board

If you are considering launching an associate board with a nonprofit that you are involved with (and I highly suggest that you do!), here are a few tips from H.O.M.E.:

  1. Have a dedicated staff or Board member committed to driving the efforts forward, but be sure that all key staff and board are supportive of the efforts
  2. Set goals for membership recruitment, and encourage staff and board members to recommend potential members
  3. Begin by reaching out to current volunteers, former interns, or others who have already demonstrated a strong interest in the organization
  4. Once the group is formed, allow the group to decide goals for themselves on an annual basis but be sure to use processes that are in line with your organization's culture
  5. Understand that membership will be rolling – high attrition is expected due to frequent moves, changing jobs, and education pursuits among young professionals. (We ask for members to commit to at least one year when they consider joining.)

Creating an associate board is a big undertaking, and has its ups and downs, but it is a valuable engagement tool for any nonprofit.

If you are interested in getting involved with our Young Professionals Board, or if you know someone else who might be, please click the button below! It's a great way to volunteer for seniors in a meaningful way.

I'm interesting in learning more about the  Young Professionals Board

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Topics: volunteer