Joanne Wilson writes about “the power of being there:”
There are a lot of books, conversations, articles, you name it about being an investor, sitting on a board, etc. but sometimes it is just about being there. One of the most important things that founders should look for when they go out there and raise the first round of capital is one person who is outside the company but cares about the success almost as much as you do and is the person who can always be there.
As an investor it is important to know what you bring to the table. Everyone has the ability to bring multiple talents from analyzing finances to creating work org charts to a big rolodex to big picture thinking. Yet knowing what you do best and can bring all day long to the party is best suited for everyone at the table.
Every organization can be thought of as a social enterprise, because every organization has a social impact. I don’t like the idea of singling out nonprofits as distinct organizations in terms of either mission or operation. Their most obvious and distinctive trait is their tax status. But organizations are defined by their mission, not their tax status.
What Joanne Wilson writes about in terms of board involvement with for-profit social enterprises applies equally for non-profit social enterprises. If a board member isn’t thinking about what he or she brings to the table, or worse, if the board thinks of itself as a volunteer body, the mission will suffer.
I think “the power of being there” involves being active and attentive.