R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation: Trustee Competencies

The following characteristics are offered as a guide when identifying and assessing candidates for service as a trustee of the R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation. These characteristics, taken together, represent an ideal. No one individual is expected to display a high degree of every quality. There is hope, however, that all of these strengths will be represented among the collective resources of the Foundation’s Board.

1. Commitment to the R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the legacy of Mr. R. Howard Dobbs, Jr.
  • An understanding of the Foundation’s mission, values, and purposes as articulated in its core documents, organizational goals, and programmatic priorities.
  • A commitment to the Foundation and a willingness to align his or her behavior with the pursuit of the Foundation’s mission and purposes.
  • Genuine interest in the Foundation’s work and a willingness to allocate one’s time to preparation for and participation in meetings, committee service, and occasional special assignments.
  • It’s possible if not likely that non-family candidates will lack particular knowledge of Mr. Dobbs and the Foundation prior to their candidacy.  What’s important is a candidate’s interest in learning about the Foundation’s frame of reference, a capacity to adopt it as his or her own when serving as a trustee, and a willingness to invest sufficient time to fill the role.

2. Philanthropic spirit, moral sensitivity, and an orientation to community service

  • Character and personal spirit marked by empathy, compassion, altruism, and generosity.
  • Broad perspective on the problems of society, an understanding of issues related to the non-profit sector, and an interest in serving the sector;
  • Experience as a volunteer or board member of nonprofit organizations.

3. Objectivity and impartiality

  • Ability to serve as judge, not advocate, save with respect to the Foundation’s priorities;
  • Willingness to show restraint and avoid special pleading, temperamental bias, or personal whim;
  • Objective outlook while bringing one’s own knowledge and perspectives to the Board’s deliberations.

4. Practical wisdom and judgment

  • Capacity to see the whole picture, to recognize the validity of opposing arguments, to distinguish principle from expediency, and to temper the ideal with what is realistically possible;
  • Desire to learn and change as the Foundation’s environment and circumstances require.

5. Team work and cooperation

  • Ability to work cooperatively with others, to share responsibility and to restrain competitive urges for personal credit;
  • Capacity for harmonious teamwork, by arriving at and accepting intelligent group decisions;
  • Ability to disagree while maintaining respect for one’s fellow Trustees, striving to address differences as they emerge;
  • Ability to communicate and listen well, and to participate fully in Board discussions, bringing candor, openness and an ability to analyze complex issues.

6. Conceptual thinking and insight

  • Ability to understand a situation or problem, to think creatively and inductively, and to generate novel approaches and strategies to issues important to the Foundation and its methods of operation;
  • Strategic approach to the Foundation’s role in the community;
  • Willingness to be innovative and take risks.

Record of community engagement, especially within Greater Atlanta; experience with Statewide Georgia and the Southeastern United States will be a plus

  • Familiarity with and commitment to the Foundation’s stated service area;
  • Record of community service and demonstrated respect from one’s peers;
  • Experience leading and participating in initiatives important to the city, state, and/or region.
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Dobbs Trustee Competencies

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