Ventura County Community Foundation launches initiative to support nonprofit board members

May 17, 2006
Santa Paula News

The Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF) is launching a new series of programs designed to strengthen the leadership capabilities of nonprofit board members.

The Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF) is launching a new series of programs designed to strengthen the leadership capabilities of nonprofit board members. Offered through VCCF’s Resource Center for Nonprofit Management, “Building Board Leadership” will launch in Oxnard and Thousand Oaks as follows: May 23 from 4:45 to 6:30 p.m. at Topa Tower Club, 300 Esplanade Drive in Oxnard; and May 24 from 8:15 to 10:30 a.m. at Sherwood Country Club, 320 West Stafford Road in Thousand Oaks. These events are limited to one executive director/CEO and one board chair from each nonprofit organization. There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required. To RSVP, call (805) 988-0196, ext. 110.With approximately 2,500 nonprofit organizations in Ventura County vying for qualified board volunteers, the new initiative has been specifically designed to highlight the importance of volunteer board members’ abilities to govern local nonprofit organizations, particularly as demands for public accountability increase from donors and from the local and national government.“Nonprofit board members play a critical role toward sustainability of the nonprofit sector,” noted VCCF Board Chair Mary Leavens Schwabauer. “These board members act as stewards of public trust, in partnership with donors and community leaders, and hold in their hands an increasingly important segment of the region’s economy, and the delivery of critical services to members of our various communities. With the expansion of nonprofits over the past decade, many more community leaders and volunteers are stepping into positions of leadership, public trust and accountability. And the consequences of the work of nonprofits in Ventura County, in excess of $1 billion annually, are directly felt by thousands of our neighbors and friends. In many instances, board members are faced with new responsibilities and roles, and VCCF is a natural partner to help, advise and share the benefit of our common experiences.”The new program will address issues of nonprofit board governance and leadership, including vision and mission, legal obligations, board and volunteer management, roles and responsibilities, working with the CEO and staff, as well as other topics. Comprised of a broad array of programmatic activities, “Building Board Leadership” will engage local nonprofit boards of directors and individual board members in a sustainable process of skills building, networking and information sharing.
“It is crucial that we support and nurture a pipeline of emerging leaders able to provide strategic and operational governance to our local nonprofit organizations, particularly as these organizations are called upon to serve more in our communities, and become a larger part of the fabric that sustains families, children, organizations and causes important to each of us,” added Schwabauer.Created in 1987, the Ventura County Community Foundation is a family of charitable funds whose combined assets now exceed $90 million, with over $5 million in grants projected for 2006. The Foundation’s mission is to promote and enable philanthropy and to build long-term capital to benefit Ventura County. For more information, visit

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