BOLD Continues Moving Forward

May 14, 2020 | United Way Team

Learn how this year’s BOLD cohort is making the most out of their remaining sessions during COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic may have cancelled numerous events and activities in East Central Iowa. However, this year’s Board Orientation & Leadership Development (BOLD) cohort is continuing their training and education to become future board members.

BOLD, a program developed in collaboration with United Way of East Central Iowa (UWECI), the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, and Inclusive ICR, was created to get young professionals comfortable with serving on nonprofit boards and committees. Through a combination of interactive educational workshops and board visits, emerging leaders learn the skills needed to serve on boards.YLS-BOLD-Series-Type-Treatment

Since the start of 2020, participants have discussed board fundraising, resource development, and civic engagement. Many participants also visited local board meetings to see different responsibilities that go along with being a member. However, the cohort was unable to meet in person for their last session in late March due to COVID-19.

Thanks to some quick thinking by the Young Leaders Society (YLS) Steering Committee, who helps facilitate and improve the program, the cohort utilized available technology and conducted the last session as scheduled instead of postponing. The group utilized videos of last year’s session and sent it before a discussion session. During their Zoom session, participants were able to ask questions about the videos and discuss their thoughts on the recorded session but with the presenters there in person.

Additionally, the cohort’s graduation—scheduled for April 28—has been postponed. Once social distancing recommendations are lifted, there will be an in-person ceremony to honor this year’s graduates. However, now, the BOLD planning committee is working to connect the new graduates with nonprofits for whom they have a passion to serve. But the overall feeling among the cohort amid the pandemic: gratitude.

“Over the past couple of years, I’ve had a growing desire to get more involved in the community,” said BOLD 2020 graduate Jacob Pipkin with TrueNorth Companies. “United Way’s BOLD program was a great opportunity to learn about the community I’ve lived and worked in my entire life.”

Like Pipkin, many of the participants learned new skills and are eager to get involved in the community to strengthen area nonprofits.

“Through BOLD, I learned more about what organizations actually need and how to leverage my strengths to help those organizations I’m passionate about,” Pipkin added.