Developing Leading Professionals into Effective Boardmembers

August 8, 2012

Giving in L.A. takes on many forms.

Prior to becoming Mayor, Richard Riordan observed a lack of succession planning in nonprofit board governance and wanted to solve this problem. With advisory direction from Coro Southern California, The United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce Charity Foundation, the idea of training a new generation of volunteer leaders took hold. The Los Angeles Junior Chamber Charity Foundation administered the program beginning with an inaugural class of 15 leadership volunteers in 1990. Since then, over 1,200 participants have completed the program.

Richard Riordan’s vision was to develop and cultivate business professionals for lifelong service as boardmembers in the nonprofit sector – and this is what the Riordan Leadership Institute continues to do today more than two decades later.

The Riordan Leadership Institute prepares the future nonprofit leaders through participation in a 10-month course curriculum and nonprofit organization board placement. Courses are taught by nonprofit professionals currently active as consultants and teachers in the field.

“The personal and professional rewards I have received as a result of my experience have been incredible. As a result of my training, I have been able to determine where my personal skill set can be best applied to those nonprofits that I have chosen to support,” – Class 38 graduate

Keynote Speaker, Jerry West, at Class 41 Graduation (January 2012)

Developing leaders is only one half of the solution, however. Placement and access are also equally important. The institute, therefore, offers nonprofits the opportunity to recruit new board members for their boards. During each leadership cohort an agency fair is organized providing an opportunity for local nonprofits to recruit potential board members for their organization.

The road to giving back is not as difficult as one may think. You can make a difference where you live and work with the skills you have as a professional in the areas you are most passionate about. Find out how you can apply and be a part of this year’s Fall leadership cohort today.

Thanks for reading,

Richard Diaz is the director of the Riordan Leadership Institute in Los Angeles. The institute’s mission is to develop and cultivate future leaders for life-long service on boards and/or committees of nonprofit organizations. 

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