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Website links nonprofits, board prospects

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To the editor,

In regards to the article published on July 2, 2007, entitled:

Nonprofit boards lack diversity“:

Nonprofit boards are getting diverse members through www.boardnetUSA.org., a free resource developed and maintained by Volunteer Consulting Group that aims to connect nonprofits and prospective board members.

The site’s uniqueness is its transparency — enabling boards and candidates to learn about each other’s leadership needs and assets, and to communicate directly with each other.

Since the site launched in 2002, 1,033 board elections have occurred.

Of those elected, 6 percent are Asian Pacific, 13 are African American, 33 percent are white, 4 percent are Hispanic, 0.6 are Middle Eastern/Arab, 7 percent are multicultural, 1 percent are Native American and 35 percent are not affiliated. (Ethnicity is a voluntary field on the board candidate profile prospective board members can fill out.)

And 49 percent of those elected are under the age of 40. (A 2002 study by Booz Allen Hamilton estimated that 80 percent of the sitting trustees were over age 40).

Our goals to increase board involvement by the young and those of a broad ethnic background are most exciting.

Brooke W. Mahoney, executive director, boardnetUSA.org/Volunteer Consulting Group, New York City

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