‘[…] the leader of change knows she faces a battle, and a willingness to engage in that conflict and to persevere in the face of adversity, not to give up, requires courage’ - Anthony Smith-Meyer

There is a clear perception that not enough boards walk the talk, profit and non-profit boards alike. However, how exactly do you walk the talk? I have been asking myself that very same question ever since becoming a non-profit board member for SOS Children’s Villages.

Broadly speaking, non-profits boards perform well when it comes to basic board responsibilities, such as understanding the organisation’s mission and carrying out financial oversight. In terms of fundraising, advocacy and community outreach, however, they tend to score lower.

The most important fundraising role for a non-profit board member is to act as an ambassador for the organisation. Increasingly, charities also require board members to, themselves, donate financially to the cause, as a way to ensure that each board member has a personal stake; effectively paving the way for engaged fundraising.

Since actions speak louder than words, I have decided to step outside the comfort of the boardroom and set myself a challenge. This October, I will be climbing Mount Chimborazo, the furthest point from the Earth’s centre, in order to raise funds for SOS Children’s Villages.

Through the lens of the talented photographer and filmmaker Simon Sticker, I am hoping to share what makes me proud to be part of SOS Children’s Villages and inspire a wider audience to become more involved with this great organisation and ultimately become a donor.

Embracing my role as a fundraising board member has been harder than I could ever imagine. Countless hours of physical training, a steep learning curve, not to mention a few sleepless nights, have given me a greater understanding as to why this is a road less travelled.

Time will tell if this fundraising initiative will have a significant positive impact, but I am proud to take this first step in standing up for an organisation I truly believe in.

It is my time to walk the talk, quite literally.