eefc-temp-logo

From the Board

Understanding the EEFC Board’s Evolving Role

By Corinna Škėma Snyder, Spring 2014

Corinna Snyder EEFC Board PresidentOur spring meeting was held in Brooklyn, N.Y., in late March, at Emily Cohen and Eric Frumin’s home. One of the important issues that came up was understanding our evolving responsibilities as a board.  We started our conversation by sharing our expectations about the timing for when each of us plans to rotate off the Board, which led to a discussion as to what the role of the Board, is, and what qualities we would look for in future Board members.

Now that more and more of the operations of the EEFC have moved from being the Board’s responsibility to being the responsibility of Jay and her team, Jay and the Board recognized that the Board needs to redefine its purpose. As our conversation evolved, the Board agreed that its number one priority needs to be fundraising. We are all—each one of us—committed to keeping the EEFC alive and well, and to continuing and expanding the kinds of programs that give the EEFC its unique character. You have been hearing in the last several months about new program ideas, but what we are coming to realize is that our ability to support new programs depends on having a robust fundraising program. That is where the role of the Board comes into play.

We publish our financials on the EEFC website and they tell a pretty consistent story: despite the generosity of our community, we do not raise enough money to keep us consistently in the black, let alone invest in new programs that let us reach new audiences. As part of the process of diversifying our fundraising strategy, Jay and the Development Committee initiated the Spring Fund Drive. All of us on the Board will need to increase our own skills and comfort level with fundraising efforts like this, as well as with others yet to come. We need a Board that is focused, diverse, organized, accountable and, above all, leading the successful fundraising efforts of the organization. A successful fundraising program will include not just repeated requests to our dear community—that’s you—but will also encompass grant writing, cultivating major gifts, consistent and targeted communications, and developing donors from beyond our existing circle.

Jay’s piece, also in this issue of Kef Times, will talk about how you can take part in this effort through involvement in one of our outreach committees or in helping to document the rich stories of the organization.

Yours in music and dance,

Corinna Škėma Snyder

EEFC Board President

Click here to send an email to the EEFC Board

© 2014 East European Folklife Center