A Network of Trainers, Revisited

3-18-13 DanielleBy Danielle M. Henry, communications coordinator

Last summer BoardSource announced the Certified Governance Trainers Program, a concentrated effort to expand the reach and depth of BoardSource services throughout the country through the development of a pool of BoardSource-trained trainers. We offered the first certification program in Chicago last fall. As we prepare for this year’s three training programs, I sat down with Andy Davis to reflect on the growth of the program and what’s happening next. Andy is BoardSource’s director of training and manages the program.

When we last spoke, the Certified Governance Trainers (CGT) Program had just been announced. Tell me where the program stands now.

We now have 25 Certified Governance Trainers in the BoardSource network.  They’re out in their communities working with organizations. They’re also staying connected with each other and hearing about news in the sector through a portal that we’ve set up for them. So far, it’s a great mutual partnership.

What did you take away from that first training?

The first program was illustrative of the deep talent that is out there. Combining that talent with our methodology and resources is a winning combination.

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A Network of BoardSource Trainers

By Danielle M. Henry, communications coordinator

BoardSource recently announced that it is building a network of BoardSource certified governance trainers to better meet the ongoing need for governance training among nonprofits throughout the country. I sat down with Andy Davis, BoardSource’s director of training, to discuss the inspiration behind the new program.

How did the idea for the Certified Governance Trainer Program develop?

BoardSource has been thinking about this for quite some time. Our mission is to advance the public good by building exceptional nonprofit boards. We realized that we just couldn’t reach the thousands of smaller nonprofits that want our services. Expanding our trainer pool seemed to be the logical solution, but we needed to make sure that we had the right people in the room and that they had the information  — in terms of BoardSource methodology, curriculum, and theories— that will be of most benefit to the client. It took us a while to figure out how we could be systematic about this. We’re not trying to promote a blanket methodology, but we do need to ensure that our trainers are transferring the knowledge and information that BoardSource has gathered from working exclusively on nonprofit governance issues for 24 years.

Tell us some details about the program.

We’re inviting people to apply for the certification program and then hand-picking a select number of them to participate in a three-day, interactive, certification course in board governance topics, advanced facilitation techniques, and BoardSource training methodology. This training will take place in Chicago prior to the BoardSource Leadership Forum and be followed by attendance at the conference. Those trainers who can demonstrate at the conclusion of the training that they are effective governance trainers will be certified for one year, pending client evaluations and remaining in good standing with BoardSource.

One aspect of the program that I’m really excited about is that we’re creating an environment that will allow our trainers to talk about issues and problems and discuss the best way to deliver services among a peer network of like-minded individuals. Being an independent trainer, or even a trainer within a firm, can be a lonely job. A lot of times, you’re on the road and you don’t have someone to bounce ideas off of or talk through problems with. What we’re creating here is a network of nonprofit trainers who will be able to provide high-quality governance training to nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. and a community of trainers who are able to lean on each other to discuss problems and issues and by extension be able to serve their clients better.

I’m also excited that we have an incredible person lined up to lead the training. One of the reasons we chose her for this session is her ability to create a sense of team and a sense of camaraderie and a sense of companionship among individuals. So these three days that the trainers will spend in Chicago together will be pretty powerful and an impactful opportunity to not only learn from each other but to create friendships and to grow in one’s knowledge of nonprofit governance.

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