Open Call: WaWF Board of Directors

Have you thought about serving on the Washington Women’s Foundation Board of Directors? Today we announce our open call.  Read more to find out about our recruitment process and what we are looking for in candidates to join the board starting in 2023.

As a starting point, the Governance Committee of the Board has created a framework for board competency that identifies our aspirations for the board to reflect the diversity of ideas, identities, skills, and experiences needed to bring the membership voice forward and successfully govern WaWF. To learn more about the framework, click here

The board seeks candidates that will model our values, demonstrate courage to challenge assumptions, possess a deep curiosity, have the time and commitment for board service, and a willingness to serve as an ambassador for the Foundation.  We hope to attract board directors with a common dedication to our mission of collective giving and our grant-making criteria to increase racial and gender equity and reduce disparities.

For 2023, the board is also actively seeking director candidates with professional and/or volunteer experiences/skills in one or more of the following areas and an interest in sharing those skills.

  • Has served in leadership positions in volunteer and/or professional capacity; capable of facilitating rich conversation, moving groups forward, addressing issues as they arise; interested and willing to serve in a leadership role for the WaWF board and/or board committee;
  • Is a social connector and membership builder; knows people across an array of social, cultural, professional, and economic circles both inside and outside of the Foundation; makes a habit of introducing people from different circles to create, build and maintain connection;
  • Has extensive professional and/or volunteer experience branding/rebranding an organization, building public relations/media strategy and/or creating a marketing strategy for the organization;
  • Has professional or volunteer experience with public policy, advocacy, and/or community organizing;
  • Has extensive professional legal experience in general practice, not-for-profit sector, risk management, contracts and/or employment law areas

We also seek to reflect the diverse cultural, racial, generational, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic population of our broader community.

The director recruitment process is an open call to the membership. All interested candidates will be asked to complete a statement of interest, followed by a conversation with members of the Board Governance Committee. We expect to receive more applications than open board positions for this year so not all those that complete a statement of interest will be selected for board service. The Governance Committee will work to balance the board with the skills, demographics, and personal attributes needed to successfully govern.

If you are interested in board service yourself, or wish to share the name of another member you think would be a great addition to the board, please contact Cedra DuFlon-Heide, Governance Chair at cedrahdh@gmail.com or Maria Kolby-Wolfe, President & CEO at maria@wawomensfdn.org for more information.


The WaWF Board Competency Model

Together, the membership, board of directors, and staff continue to make important steps forward this past year in implementing our WaWF strategic framework. Reflecting on how the board of directorsshows up as a thoughtful partner to our strategic framework and champion for the Foundation has been the focus of the Governance Committee’s work over the past few months [as reported in our September blog]. What are the fundamental experiences and attributes we seek of our board to meet this moment in our evolution? How do we show up within our membership community and beyond to champion the work of WaWF? These were among the questions asked to develop the model.

What resulted from these conversations is an aspirational model of what is needed of the board to bring the membership voice forward and successfully govern WaWF. It is framed by our commitment to equity and inclusion, consists of individual attributes and technical expertise, and grounded in the Foundation’s values. Like all things at WaWF, the board-competency model is a work in progress. We expect it to evolve and change as WaWF changes and our board and membership needs change.

Technical skills expertise is demonstrated by a director’s education and training and extensive professional and/or volunteer experience in the field. No one director is expected to possess all of these expertise areas. She may possess more than one or she may possess none, bringing other needed experiences and attributes to her board service. The technical skills we seek to have represented on the board as a whole are:

  • Finance/Audit/Investment
  • Legal
  • Human Resources
  • Adult Training / Development
  • Philanthropy / Grant-making
  • Not for Profit
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
  • Governance
  • Branding / Marketing
  • Leadership

Each year the Governance Committee will assess the board’s current skill sets in light of our strategic priorities. We may actively recruit directors to board service that possess additional professional/volunteer skills needed to help meet WaWF’s priorities.  Examples of additional skills needed include strategic planning, advocacy and change management.

Additionally, we identified five personal attributes that are desired characteristics of every WaWF director.  These personal attributes are demonstrated through her actions and words, and are expressions of her beliefs, attitudes, and motivations. It is often these characteristics that are most critical for the board’s success. The individual attributes we aspire to demonstrate are:

  • Values Aligned – model caring and collaborating
  • Courage – challenge assumptions, champion change
  • Curiosity – listen, learn, act
  • Ambassadorship – share the story
  • Commitment – be a good director

When all pieces of the board-competency model are combined, we have a comprehensive picture of the collective expertise, lived experiences, individual attributes, and commitment to our values that are needed of the WaWF board. As we seek to build a board reflective of our membership and mission, our board recruitment efforts will be based on this intentional model.

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