We're putting together a kick-ass board of directors, as well as five committees, to help run regular events, raise funding, increase our visibility and expand our efforts and geographic reach so we truly can promote and highlight groundbreaking people and efforts all over the state.
Are you interested in being a part of this, or know of someone who would be a great addition? Read on.
WHO WE ARE
California Groundbreakers is a civic-engagement, community-focused organization
putting together moderated panels, interviews, discussions, events focused on cool
people doing groundbreaking things and possibly causing earth-shattering change in
California and beyond.
WHAT WE DO
We host events in Sacramento for California's Groundbreakers to talk about what they're
doing. We do that in front of a live audience who can listen, ask questions, and be
motivated to break their own ground.
We hold these events in cool venues that are the total opposite of a Sheraton Ballroom C
(the Barn, Beatnik Studios, Ruhstaller Beer’s basement taproom), and we serve food and
drink so that a standard panel talk becomes a fun “cocktail conversation.” Our goal:
Inspire change across the state – one conversation at a time.
HOW WE'VE MADE AN IMPACT SO FAR
We’ve hosted 18 events in the past 14 months, and here are some of the changes we
have helped to make so far:
• At our very first event, “The State of the Arts in Sacramento” last summer, we got the
head of the Sacramento Metro Arts Commission to change the start time of their monthly
public meeting from Wednesday at 2 p.m. to Wednesday at 6 p.m. so that more people
can attend and get involved.
• At our four-part series “California’s Crazy Housing Market,” earlier this year, a group of
attendees, who hadn’t known each other prior, started talking at the events and decided to
create their own group – House Sacramento is a pro-housing, pro-infill, pro-YIMBY
• At our inaugural “Food for Thought” event, Andrea Lepore discussed her vision and
plans for Food Factory, a business incubator and accelerator for food-based startups, and
immediately got an article in the Sacramento Business Journal – and two calls from
investors interested in helping her with the $5 million startup costs.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS - REQUIREMENTS
We’re comprised of leaders from the nonprofit and for-profit sector who are dedicated to our
mission. Serving on the board is a great opportunity for someone who:
1) has strong leadership and governance skills
2) views nonprofit management through an entrepreneurial “startup venture” lens
3) is passionate about boosting and improving civic engagement in California, and getting
citizens more knowledgeable about – and involved in – the relevant issues and matters we’re
Board members are expected to have financial acumen to read and understand CA
Groundbreakers’ financial statements, and to help the board fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities.
Board members are expected to:
* attend 75% of the meetings per year
* read board materials in advance of board meetings and come prepared to ask questions
and participate in discussions
* serve on one or more committees of the board and to actively participate in committee
work (see page 4 for committee descriptions and committees)
* play an active role in securing the financial resources necessary for us to achieve our
* to leverage personal relationships and connections to help the development committee
and staff identify and solicit potential funders, as well as directly invest in CA Groundbreakers
work by making a personal contribution each year
* to responsibly represent CA Groundbreakers to their respective communities and to
publicly advocate for our mission, programs, and services as appropriate
Board terms last for one or two years, and board members can serve for up to two
Previous board members who want to be nominated for another term must be off the board
for at least one year before being considered again.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS - DESIRED SKILLS AND EXPERTISE
We are currently recruiting for diverse leaders with expertise in the following areas:
* Philanthropy and Sponsor Cultivation
We’re looking for people with extensive professional experience and significant executive
leadership accomplishments in business, government and philanthropy. In particular, we seek
someone who has a commitment to and understanding of CA Groundbreakers’ potential donors, sponsors and partners, preferably based on experience.
This person should have savvy diplomatic skills and a natural affinity for cultivating relationships and for persuading individuals, businesses and organizations about the benefits of helping CA Groundbreakers succeed and grow via their financial/in-kind contributions.
This person should also have the essential qualities of integrity, credibility, and a passion for
expanding CA Groundbreakers’ efforts across the state.
* Government Relations and Legislative Issues
We’re looking for someone who is familiar with, and has experience in, California government,
and who understands how the state legislature works.
In particular, we seek someone who is non-partisan and has good relationships with both
Republican and Democrats in the legislature, political parties and state agencies.
This person should act as an advocacy leader for CA Groundbreakers at the State Capitol and
along Capitol Mall, and increase awareness there about the importance of our mission, and
expand our reach.
This person should also have experience leading public awareness campaign – and running
them by them by leveraging a variety of channels, vehicles, and social media -- and the ability
to help connect CA Groundbreakers with key decision makers in state government.
* Finance and Accounting
We’re looking for a finance/accounting professional with expertise in reviewing and interpreting financial information and understanding complex financial reports.
We need a leader to act as our finance advocate, and assist us with understanding economic
The ideal candidate for our finance/accounting leader will have these qualifications:
• Experience with nonprofit financial management, including developing budgets, restricted and unrestricted grant reporting, filing Form 990s, and overseeing audits
• The willingness to bring a financial lens to strategic planning and decision making
• The willingness to lead the Finance committee and/or serve as the board treasurer
COMMITTEE MEMBERS - DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
To effectively break down the board's governance duties, we want to create committees on which our board members, and advisory members, can serve.
Some committees will be standing ("permanent") committees to handle ongoing issues (see
descriptions below), while ad hoc ("special") committees will be created to handle short-term issues and events. The goal: To handle regular needs as well as new issues as they arise.
We want to assign a board member to chair or sit on at least one board, along with 2-4 advisory members, who will meet bimonthly to:
* Research and break down complex issues and present them to the board, which can then
move forward in making informed, efficient decisions.
* Engage with an issue more deeply and consistently than the board as a whole can.
* Use their great skills and specialties as a way to serve instead of sitting on the board
* Consider the committee as a "test the waters" training ground for newcomers to increase their involvement, learn leadership skills and develop confidence before moving on to board leadership
* Compliance - The nuts and bolts of CA Groundbreakers, and the guts of our organization.
Members of this committee handle legal, finance, ethics, and make sure we're doing things right and in tip-top shape.
* Fundraising - The money people. Members of this committee seek out the best ways -- and the best people and organizations -- who will fund, sponsor and donate to us to ensure we have the cash needed to run our programs and events.
* Marketing - The preachers who spread the word. Members of this committee are media- and
marketing-savvy who know how to reach the right audience for every event, target the people who are most likely to become Groundbreaker members, and get local/state media to shed more light on our efforts.
* Programming - The event planners. Members of this committee will help put on events, everything from picking topics and panelists to finding venues and vendors, and making sure everything runs smoothly all the way until the last person has left the event.
* Expansion - The "big idea" people. Members of this committee will be tasked with finding ways for making our short-, mid- and long-term plans become reality, and also suggesting their own ideas and methods for how California Groundbreakers can expand its efforts and its geographic reach while staying true to its mission.
DOES THIS INSPIRE YOU?
If you want to be a part of this, please send a detailed cover letter and resume to Vanessa Richardson, Board President, at email@example.com