A national survey conducted in 2019 by Joint Elka and the Myers-Brookdale Research Institute found that 30% of CEOs and 25% of Israeli social directors claim that their board of directors is ineffective in advancing the organization’s goals. A large proportion of the boards of directors is smaller than recommended, attendance at board meetings is low and in many cases the terms of office are not defined and this leads to stagnation in corporate governance. Finally, the boards of directors of social organizations are characterized by a lack of diversity, which crucially impairs the strategic capabilities of a social organization.
In response, Joint Elka initiated the Layleadeship Team, which is a marketplace for connecting directors and non-profit associations – a national digital pool of experienced senior executives who are interested in volunteering as board members in social organizations. The team provides a professional solution to social organizations by surveying gaps in corporate governance and recruiting excellent social directors for the process of improving the organization’s ability to influence.
The ‘Home Base’ organization – which rehabilitates homeless people using sports and music as therapeutic tools and also runs a street work project – had a great need to recruit people for raising resources and assistance in developing a strategic process for the association.
The fact that the association did not have sufficient resources to employ salaried officials to fulfil this need, was in itself a manifestation of the insufficiency of its board. The association’s dilemma regarding the board of directors was about the extent to which the board would be involved in issues like this and how much to “operate” it for this purpose.
At this point, the ‘Home Base’ Association made contact with the Layleadeship Team and to its relief, the connection was very successful. The professional director – Omri Abramovich – reports that within a short time the Team was able to understand the needs of the association and to match it with two new board members: Dudi Balsar and Yael Sela, who now apply their expertise to promote the organization in various ways, on a volunteer basis.
Dudi brought contacts, helped with communication and resource mobilization. Yael brought her extensive experience in the world of non-profit organizations and fundraising. Yael and Dudi’s connection with the association was immediate and they integrated very quickly, bringing great value.
Omri summed up the process of recruiting the directors with the words: “We were surprised to find that the match was so good, and how quickly the Team managed to bring benefit to the Home Base association.”
In terms of Elka’s MAP model for systemic change, the team of Layleadeship has created an ongoing accessibility mechanism for directors for the social sector in the geographical and social periphery of Israel to increase the diversity of representation on the boards of social organizations. This is a new concept which supports NGOs by reinforcing the infrastructure and mechanisms needed for systemic change.