Posts Tagged: Charitable Board

Four Takeaways from PILP’s Discusses Charitable Board Services

Lisa Goodheart, President of the Boston Bar Foundation; Allison Bauer, Senior Director of Health and Wellness for the Boston Foundation; and Stacy Malone, Executive Director of the Victim’s Rights Law Center, spoke with PILP about getting involved with charitable board service.

Lisa Goodheart, President of the Boston Bar Foundation; Allison Bauer, Senior Director of Health and Wellness for the Boston Foundation; and Stacy Malone, Executive Director of the Victim’s Rights Law Center, spoke with PILP about getting involved with charitable board service.

Lawyers have the ability to provide their services in several different ways, and last Wednesday the PILP class learned about the value of charitable board service. The discussion was led by Lisa Goodheart, President of the Boston Bar Foundation; Allison Bauer, Senior Director of Health and Wellness for the Boston Foundation; and Stacy Malone, Executive Director of the Victim’s Rights Law Center.

The speakers began with a discussion of how they got involved with charitable board service, and then transitioned to providing practical advice and considerations to make when choosing non-profit boards to serve on. Below are the four most important points that came out of the discussion:

  1. Volunteer or work with the organization before making the commitment to serving on their board. This will provide the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the work the organization does and see if you truly connect with both the organization’s mission as well as their staff.
  2. Do your research, and make sure you understand the organization’s expectations of its board members. Every organization is different so it is important to be aware of term lengths, fundraising requirements, time commitments, etc. before signing on to be a board member. Don’t be shy about reaching out to existing board members to find the information you are looking for!
  3. Serving on a non-profit board is a donation of your time and efforts. It is important that you are not taking on more responsibilities than you are capable of, and that you are enjoying the work you are doing! Find an organization that you are both passionate to be a part of, but also utilizes your skills. Many organizations have fundraising requirements for their board members – if you are uncomfortable reaching out to people for donations, serving on that organization’s board might not be the best fit for you. Just because you don’t serve on the board does not mean you can’t help the organization in other ways!
  4. Don’t be afraid to shop around! Again, serving on a non-profit board is a donation of your time and efforts. Be sure that you are enjoying the work you are doing, and the people you are working with!

The BBA would like to thank by Lisa Goodheart, Allison Bauer, and Stacy Malone for speaking to the PILP class. If you’re interested in learning more about charitable board service, save the date of April 28th for our CLE regarding charitable board service! More details are forthcoming!

Interested in applying for the 16-17 PILP class? Click here to learn about the program and the application process!

Looking Ahead in Public Service

The Annual Charitable Board Training, which always draws a big crowd, is one of the many public service events coming up in January.

The Annual Charitable Board Service Program, which always draws a big crowd, is one of the many public service events coming up in January.

Happy 2015! If you’re still looking for a New Year’s resolution, here’s one: commit to getting more involved in the BBA’s public service efforts. Take a look below at upcoming trainings and events:

M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Program Training
Tuesday, January 13th 4:30-6:00 pm

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program may be the perfect fit for you. After completing this training, volunteers go into high schools and educate students about the importance of making smart financial decisions.

Representing Debtors in Debt Collection Suits: Making Creditors Prove Ownership of Debts
Thursday, January 15th 4:00-6:00 pm

If you’re searching for a new pro bono opportunity, look no further! The Volunteer Lawyers Project is seeking volunteers to represent debtors in collection suits. Seasoned debt collection defense practitioners, Thomas Beauvais and Danielle Spang, will discuss their strategies and insights for discovery in debt defense cases.

Learning From City of Brockton v. Energy Facilities Siting Board: Environmental Justice Strategies and Collaboration
Friday, January 16th 12:00-1:00 pm

Don’t miss the Environmental Law Public Service Committee’s upcoming brown bag where practitioners Lisa Goodheart and Gene Benson share their perspective on the SJC’s decision in City of Brockton v. EFSB. The program will cover the environmental justice implications of the decision and the role of pro bono representation in environmental justice issues.

Building Your Practice Through Pro Bono
Wednesday, January 21st 4:00-6:00 pm

Learn how other solo and small firm attorneys have successfully incorporated volunteer service into their law practices and share your own successes as well.

4th Annual Charitable Board Service Program (Free)
Thursday, January 22nd 8:00 -11:30 am

Serving on a charitable board is an opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause or mission. You will also gain meaningful experience, broaden your career horizons, and use your skills to serve your community in an area of your interest. This program will address what you need to know in order to be an effective member of a charitable board, as well as how to find the right board for you.

Victim Rights Law Center’s Rape Survivors’ Law Project
Wednesday, January 14th 9:30-11:30 am
Proskauer Rose, One International Place, Boston, MA

Join our friends at the Victim Rights Law Center for a training that will address the realities and dynamics of sexual assault, how to effectively and sensitively work with a victim of sexual assault, and the best practices applicable to our most common pro bono cases. To attend, please RSVP to [email protected].

Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid Meet Up
Thursday, January 29th 10:00-11:00 am

Want to Walk to the Hill? Join the New Lawyers and the Solo & Small Firms Sections for a networking breakfast before walking over to the State House as a group. Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid is one of the largest lobbying events held at the Massachusetts State House. This annual event is critical to obtaining funding for civil legal services. Following “Investing in Justice,” the report of the BBA Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, we now know more about the justice gap than ever before.

John & Abigail Adam’s Benefit
Saturday, January 31st 6:30 pm
Museum of Fines Arts, Boston, MA

We couldn’t leave out the premier charity event in the legal field, the John & Abigail Adam’s Benefit. As you may know, 100 percent of the proceeds from the event will be used for direct grants to organizations that serve thousands of individuals and families struggling with issues such as homelessness and domestic violence. This year’s event will feature a new twist– Late Night at the Museum — a dessert and dancing event starting at 9:00 p.m. for young lawyers and law students. There will be a variety of live entertainment throughout the museum, an abundance of gourmet food and beverages and beautiful galleries and exhibits to explore.

Charitable Board Program Packs the House

Lawyers attended a free CLE to learn how to find charitable board opportunities and key information they need to know to be an effective board member.

Lawyers attended a free CLE to learn how to find charitable board opportunities and  to learn about key information they need to know to be an effective board member.

This morning, more than 100 attorneys interested in joining charitable boards filled the BBA’s conference center and tuned in online for the Tax Exempt Organizations Section’s Charitable Board Program. This annual CLE, originally created as a project of the Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP), featured two all-star panels ready to provide helpful tips for finding board opportunities and an overview of the legal, financial, and compliance information necessary for becoming an effective board member.

Beyond the Billable asked Nora Mann, Assistant Attorney General of the Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division at the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General and moderator for panel one, why lawyers are uniquely qualified to serve on boards. Here’s what she had to say:

“Lawyers can offer many things apart from legal advice to a board. They’re analytical and generally not afraid to speak their minds. And lawyers tend to want to work hard and keep learning and participation or service on a charitable board is perfect for that.”

Nevertheless, she also stressed both the awards and commitments that come along with the decision to become a board member.

“I hope that lawyers came away with a sense that board service is hard and rewarding – that it’s not a throw-away, it’s not simply charity, but its support for a vital, growing economic sector and is a tremendous opportunity to anyone.”

If you missed the program but want to learn more, contact Kristen White, CLE Manager, at [email protected] to find out how you can watch the program online.

Giving Back on a Board

It’s that time of year again. Although Boston is still reaching temperatures in the 80’s by the afternoon, there is no denying the slight coolness in the air these past few mornings. September has always been an exciting month for me, there are new classes to be taken, new friends to be made, and new extracurricular activities to be tried. It is a time to step out of your comfort zone and reinvent the person you can be this year.
 
This year I’ve had the pleasure of helping to organize the BBA’s annual, Charitable Boards Service event scheduled for September 14th. The event is an opportunity to discover how serving on a charitable board is a way to contribute to a worthy cause, gain experience, and use your skills to serve your community in an area of your personal interest. Specifically, attendees will learn how to find board membership opportunities, identify topics that board members should be aware of – such as fiduciary duties, fiscal oversight, and governance issues, and hear fellow attorneys discuss their own experiences serving on boards.

As a member of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy board, my own service has been an opportunity to expand my professional network and contribute to a personal interest of mine. I have been able to take on leadership roles and develop skills that I could never gain simply from practicing law.

Based on my personal experience I encourage all attorneys to serve on a charitable board. Board service can be valuable for any attorney, from the new attorney who is seeking substantive experience and the unemployed attorney who is hoping to expand existing networks to the soon-to-be retired attorney looking for the next challenge and the attorney taking a break from the practice of law who still wishes to sharpen those legal skills. Even the busy, well-established attorney can find a few hours here and there to contribute knowledge and expertise to a favorite cause.
 
So while I hope you enjoy these last few days of summer, I encourage you all to attend the Charitable Board Service event and consider offering your time and expertise to a worthy organization.

Jennifer R. Garcia
Metropolitan Area Planning Council