New Web Portal Connects Diverse Talent With Nonprofits

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Chattanooga is a very diverse city with the population accounting for 51% women and close to 40% people of color. Recognizing that most of the area nonprofit boards did not accurately reflect the diversity of the Chattanooga community as a result of having a difficult time in finding diverse talent, community leader and well known and respected attorney, Wade Hinton created Board Connector.

Board Connector is a new user-friendly networking website designed to help connect persons of color and women who desire board director opportunities to nonprofits aspiring to have more diverse and inclusive boards.

“I have been very fortunate to have served on dozens of nonprofit boards and task forces over the past 20 years,” said Wade Hinton. “Frankly, the majority of the boards I have served on do not reflect the great diversity of the community in which I was born, raised, and moved back to in 1999. I also recognized that there are individuals who wanted to serve on boards but did not know the process, so I created Board Connector to be the solution.”

Since its soft launch in the Chattanooga community in late April, more than 75 professionals and 20 nonprofits have registered.

Hinton did not do it alone. He enlisted the support and counsel from several organizations over the past twelve months to develop this web platform. One of those charter partners was the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute.

“The Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute (CWLI) is excited to partner with Board Connector to serve as a tool for our members to step into board leadership roles and likewise help those seeking new board members to identify qualified individuals who are willing to serve,” said Holly Ashley, Executive Director of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute. “CWLI is hopeful Board Connector will address this diversity gap to promote true inclusion. There is no shortage of female and minority talent in our community; it’s just a matter of connecting nonprofit nominating committees to those leaders who are ready and willing to serve. CWLI believes Board Connector will do just that.”

Other charter partners of Board Connector include the Benwood Foundation, the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, the City of Chattanooga’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Mayor’s Council for Women, the United Way’s Center for Nonprofits, and the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga.

Hinton enlisted the support and counsel from several organizations over the past twelve months to develop this web platform. The charter partners of Board Connector are the Benwood Foundation, Inc the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, City of Chattanooga’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, Mayor’s Council for Women, the United Way’s Center for Nonprofits, and the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga.

“We recently disseminated a survey to our grantees that included questions about the composition of their boards, and the outcomes of these surveys were a confirmation that diverse leadership is definitely needed in the Greater Chattanooga Area,” said Sarah Morgan, President of the Benwood Foundation, Inc. “Diverse leadership is needed not only at the nonprofit board levels but all levels of decision making. I do believe that Board Connector will be a viable resource in ensuring that women and minorities are exposed to leadership opportunities in our community.

Once successfully piloting Board Connector in the Greater Chattanooga Area, Hinton and his team plan to introduce and launch the web platform in cities throughout the United States. Additionally, the team will offer corporate memberships for companies who are seeking to place their emerging leaders on nonprofit boards.

Signup for Board Connector is free for both professionals and nonprofits, and it takes less than five minutes to complete. To connect with emerging leaders, diverse talent and nonprofit board opportunities, visit www.boardconnector.org.

Categories: Local News

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