Blueprint for Leadership Highlight

A note from member Nell Warthen:

This year, thanks to Junior League of Columbia (JLC), I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the United Way’s 2021 Blueprint for Leadership program. Blueprint is the only professional development program in the Midlands that focuses specifically on nonprofit board leadership.

Blueprint for Leadership, executed virtually this year, educates participants on a wealth of topics, including but not limited: Nonprofit 101 (Roles, Responsibilities and Expectations), Good Governance, Strategic Decision-Making, Fundraising, Nonprofit Financial Literacy, and Diversity on Boards and Committees. Each week participants are assigned reading to better understand the topic being presented the following session. Small group discussion helps to reinforce and contextualize concepts. Each week guest speakers from a wide variety of nonprofits share invaluable experience and perspective. This year’s program of eight two-hour intensive sessions began in mid-January and will wrap in late April.

I found out about JLC’s sponsorship of Blueprinters through my 2020—2021 JLC placement on the Community Board Bank. This committee serves to help prepare/connect JLC members who are interested in serving on nonprofit boards in our community. We held a Board Service 101 event virtually in the fall for interested JLC-ers; a wealth of veteran board members of all kinds shared their knowledge and answered questions. The well-attended event certainly sold me on the value of board service and I hope to see it repeated in fall 2021.

I’ve immensely enjoyed my experience with Blueprint for Leadership. I’ll be sad when our sessions come to an end but look forward to putting my new skills to work through future board service! JLC covers the cost each year of a select number of Blueprint participants. Please be on the lookout for information about how to apply in the fall, and you can contact the 2021-2022 Chair of the Community Board Bank Committee (Tracy Dye) if you have any questions.