Today we have a special guest post:
It is possible to become a change-maker in the lives of animals and household pets, like dogs and cats. Take Robin Ganzert, a well-known animal welfare advocate, who was recently elected to the board of directors for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. Ganzert was able to use her expertise to begin making a real difference in the lives of rescued, rehabilitated and retired racehorses.
Getting elected to an advisory board, heath board or board of directors for a prominent animal organization is an amazing achievement, but it’s not easy. Your love of dogs and animal welfare can only take you so far. In order to take the leap from advocate to board member, you’ll have to jump through some pretty high hoops. This guide should help you determine what action you need to take, in order to land a highly coveted spot on a board.
Know What Makes a Good Candidate
Ganzert devoted her life to horses, before her election to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. She owned and loved horses, but her real recognition came from her achievements. She was appointed president/CEO of the American Humane Association. She helmed numerous nonprofit humanitarian efforts in her ongoing pursuit of animal rights. Ganzert was an obvious candidate, because of her devotion and success.
According to Advisory Board Architects, a good board candidate should have these 3 main characteristics:
- “Be able to think outside the box and strategically on behalf of an organization and be able to communicate those ideas to a team in such a way that challenges the team to think differently.”
- “You don’t know it all, your ideas are not always the best and you can probably learn a lot from the process and the others on the board…”
- “You have a high degree of ethical behavior and that your commitment to your beliefs are unwavering and you are willing to stand by those even when others may not agree…”
Join a Smaller Board and Build on That
If your dream is to join the board of the American Humane Society, or another nonprofit with global reach, then starting with a smaller board will help build your credibility. Say your goal is to spread awareness about stray animals and abandoned household pets. It would serve you well to join a local Animal Control Advisory Board.
The strides you make to improve local animal control efforts, promote community awareness and build your credibility will help get you noticed. Plus, you’ll be doing charitable good deeds for your community and for the animals you adore.
The Internet is a great way to connect with animal advocates and board members. You can connect and network with professionals on social websites like, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. If you become close with someone on the board, you may even be named as their successor. Inheriting a position is one of the easiest ways to join a board.
Promote Your Accolades
It’s essential that you have a quality education and some accolades to promote. Put together a resume that details all of your successes in the field.
Perhaps you put together a community action that involved canvassing neighbors and spreading awareness about animal spaying. Spaying helps reduce the amount of strays in a community and listing this accolade can only further your career.
Never Give Up
Getting on the board of your dreams is going to take years of hard work and dedication. If you don’t give up, you may see your dream become a reality. You’re doing good work for the sake of animals that can’t speak for themselves, keep trying and you’ll get to a position where your decisions can really make a difference.