The “Unbelievable Resource” of JLW’s Get On Board Program: A Conversation with JLW Member Betsy Bennett
By: Maggie Jo Buchanan
When it comes to the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) Get On Board (GOB) training program, Betsy Bennett says that the results speak for themselves: “Boards email us all the time” when in need of new members. Bennett is a current JLW member and the former chair of the Leadership Institute, which is responsible for the GOB program.
The GOB program is designed to prepare JLW members to take on the responsibilities that come with serving on a non-profit board, including strategic planning, financial oversight, and fundraising. Over 170 JLW members have graduated from the program since it was established in 2015.
The GOB training program equips members with the fundamental skills that will make them effective board members, as well as new leadership skills that allow members to grow within the League and take on new leadership roles.
Bennett encourages members not to think of the training as “static,” but rather one that provides a network that will continue to let members develop and gain new experiences well after the program ends.
Bennett explains that a significant appeal of the training is its practical, real-world approach. For her personally, the training was an “unbelievable resource” in her journey to finding more ways to make “purposeful use” of her time. Finding ways to give back and invest in the Washington, DC, community was the primary reason she got involved in the League in 2017.
Interested participants must apply to the GOB training program. For those interested, Bennett says an important first step is to attend an information session to learn about the program before submitting an application. Due to the success of the training, being selected for the program has become more and more competitive. Therefore, League members should invest time into their applications.
Bennett encourages all JLW members to learn about and seek out the many free training resources JLW provides, such as GOB or other Leadership Institute programs. Bennet believes the GOB training program is an opportunity that continually exceeds the expectations of the participating members.
Even if the GOB program isn’t the right fit, Bennett believes all members can benefit by participating in JLW trainings that may be of interest.
Bennett’s more general advice, for when we’re all back regularly in person? “Put your phone away, sit next to [other members], and talk to them instead of scrolling!”
For more information on the GOB program, visit: https://www.jlw.org/getonboard/.