We asked Teresa Davidson, Partner, Ward Hadaway about her experience of being on our Culture Match:Board Bank programme and of joining the development board of a museum. Here is what she shared with us…
Why did you want to join the board of a not for profit organisation?
I was looking for an activity or area of my life where I could use my professional expertise and contacts but in a new way and a completely different environment. I was keen to meet new people outside of my usual legal environment and was, therefore, particularly interested in getting involved in an arts organisation.
How did you decide which opportunity was right for you to progress?
I found the Sponsors Club assessment process very helpful. I met with Ellie who took the time to learn about me and my interests with a view to identifying the right match for me and the organisation. The fact that I lived close to the Beamish Museum and was a big fan of this came out of our discussions. Ellie put me in contact with the Museum Director who was very inspiring and I immediately felt I would very much enjoy joining the Board there. I was particularly enthusiastic to have found an organisation where I felt I could bring something from my legal background to the Board but also one which fulfilled some of my own interests in arts and crafts and preservation of the minutiae of the past.
What was your experience of meeting an organisation for the first time?
My first introduction was a meeting with the Museum Director who took the time to explain the role of the Board and the Trustees. He also gave me an inspiring insight into the history of the organisation and the future plans. I was then invited to come to my first Board Meeting.
What made you decide to become a member/trustee of your chosen board?
Having been introduced “behind the scenes” to the organisation I was truly inspired to get more involved and to do what I could to assist. I was particularly keen to be involved in something so beloved of the area where I have chosen to live and work. I felt this would give me a real local connection outside of my usual professional circle.
What has been your experience of being inducted onto that board/committee and of your first board/committee meeting?
The first Board Meeting itself was initially intimidating as the other Trustees had, in the main, a longstanding commitment to the Board and the Museum and clearly knew each other well. Many are well known figures in the North East with many years of experience in a world where I had none. From the start, however, they were very welcoming and inclusive. Having attended around three Board meetings now, as well as other events in the interim, I am now developing relationships within the organisation and can start to contribute more fully.
If you are interested in joining a not for profit board through the Culture Match:Board Bank programme call Ellie on 0191 222 0945 or email firstname.lastname@example.org