Boardified empowers Jewish communal organizations to reach their full potential with the support of engaged and prepared volunteer leaders, working in close partnership with senior professionals and vested stakeholders. Boardified offers customizable tools, programming, and extensive resources to strengthen nonprofit leadership skills from the inside out. We partner with organizations to generate a stronger future for boards, maximize organizations’ impact, and advance the work of the Jewish nonprofit sector.
An avid volunteer leader, Alicia S. Oberman recognized a challenge in the North American Jewish nonprofit sector: board members often lacked the engagement and development to face organizational challenges. She found herself asking organizations the same question over and over again: “Where are your board members?” She initiated an in-depth field assessment, finding that board development was nearly nonexistent in the North American Jewish nonprofit ecosystem.
A ground-breaking cohort-based board development program was born. Founded on best practices, The Board Member Institute (BMI) is taught by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School Center for Nonprofit Management, in conjunction with expert practitioners from the field. Board members of Jewish communal organizations are able to gain the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their roles, network, and create cross-sector collaborations.
Alicia’s continued work with board members and a strategic planning process surfaced the growing need for a more comprehensive initiative. The field lacked centralized board resources to help board members and senior professionals collaborate to their highest potential. Improving the ecosystem of volunteer leadership would take more than a village.
Boardified officially launched as a fiscally sponsored program of the Jewish Funders Network in January 2020. With the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, the newly formed Boardified team jumped into action: in partnership with Chicago Jewish funders and JUF, we launched and delivered the Technical Assistance Collaborative. This initiative offers timely, hands-on support to the ecosystem of Chicago Jewish organizations, and has delivered a variety of capacity and staff development support throughout the most critical phases of the pandemic.
We also launched our first cohort of Unraveling the Boardian Knot, a certificated program for senior staff professionals of Jewish communal organizations. This learning experience introduces the principles of healthy governance and board engagement, and deepens the board-staff partnership.
Boardified launched the pilot of the Board Health Assessment. Our research showed that board members and senior professionals wanted to begin their board development journey with a thorough assessment of the board. In response, we developed a comprehensive and customized board health assessment that surfaces unique needs, challenges, and opportunities of each organization and its board.
Boardified is being acquired by Leading Edge, which has been called ‘the central address for talent and culture in the Jewish nonprofit sector.’ Today, as a program of Leading Edge, Boardified serves board members, senior staff professionals, and boards across North America. We have worked with over 220 program participants, representing more than 250 different local, national, and international organizations. Our comprehensive board development services stand at the helm of fostering informed and courageous leadership for Jewish organizations, so that our community can transform the culture and ecosystem of volunteer leadership.