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Becoming a Non-Executive Director


On 20 November 2018, and together with our partner Pimp My Cause, we hosted an event for senior marketers interested in becoming non-executive directors. It was a practical session with a panel discussion featuring an experienced NED and charities in need of marketing board members. Attendees were able to network with charities actively seeking marketers to join their boards, and many connections were made on the day. It proved so successful that we will be running another event on 12 February 2019.

The panel featured Steve Walker, advisory board chairman at Pimp my Cause and previous Sony Mobile CMO, Celia Pronto, Chief Customer Officer at Casual Dining Group and experienced NED, and CEOs from two charities, BuddyHub and FoodCycle. Celia shared with the audience her experience of becoming a non-executive director (NED) and how donating her skills and becoming a trustee of a charity helped her to land her first NED role. The charity representatives were able to discuss their needs for marketers to join their trustee boards, what skills and commitment they require and how being a trustee for a charity works. The networking session allowed marketers learn about the different types of charities and boards to get more of an idea of what opportunities may be out there for them.

Why donating your skills could develop your leadership career

There are many similarities in being a trustee on a charity board and being a non-executive director. Both require commitment outside of your day-to-day marketing job and both ask you to advise an organisation with an outsider's perspective from a strategic point of view. Indeed, Celia shared that drawing on her trustee experience certainly helped her during her NED interview process. 

Both roles require an understanding of the organisation whose board you are joining, as the commitment can vary vastly. A successful charity board partnership demands passion and commitment to the cause and its beneficiaries, while a NED supports an organisation as an advocate for its shareholders. 

Donating your management skills to a charity can drive great benefits and value for all. Marketers who donate their skills to a cause they love are able to apply that sense of purpose to their career and achievements. The charity benefits from skills and advice that would be otherwise unaffordable and the beneficiaries benefit from a charity that is able to provide more of what they need. 

"It was a really inspiring and practical event! Several of the charities that attended have already made connections with marketers interested in joining their boards  and we will continue matching up interested marketers and causes as a follow-up to the event." Anna Mullenneaux, Chief Matchmaker at Pimp My Cause

"EMR's NED event was an invaluable introduction to becoming a Non-Executive Director.  As someone who is considering becoming a NED in their next career step, it provided clarity on the role and the best path to follow. Huge thanks to the team at EMR for putting it together" Andrew Nicholson, CMO of Kulea

"A great morning indeed - much to ponder and hopefully an opportunity to help some great causes" Ceri Pearce, Group Marketing Director, Barratt Developments

"It was great to be in the room with so many great causes and senior marketing professionals. I’m excited to be following up with some." Catherine McClen, Founder of BuddyHub

Our next event on 12 February is now full. If spaces become available we will re-open the waiting list here.



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