Making Connections & Getting Involved

42110566_1966387830115893_3853154949542182912_n“The mission of all nonprofits boils down to trying to change the world for good,” said Trenton Moulin, executive director of Bridge Builders Community Foundations (BBCF). Trenton spoke at the FLEX Speaker Series in September about running a nonprofit, networking, and serving on a board.

Trenton is one of the young professionals who helped form FLEX in 2007 and has gained much experience in the 11 years since. As executive director of BBCF, the community foundation serving Clarion, Forest, Jefferson, and Venango Counties, Trenton knows the ins and outs of running a nonprofit and spends much of his time building relationships and serving our community.

While Trenton reports to not just one Board of Trustees, but also four affiliate boards of directors, he knows the importance of having engaged community members at the board table. He shared advice for reporting to a board of directors, as well as tips for building connections and finding your own fit on a board at a local organization.

“The hardest part of starting a relationship is striking up a conversation,” he said. “Most people want to talk, but don’t know where to start, so you need to break down those barriers.”

When it comes to building connections and networking, some benefits include raising your profile, helping others, increasing confidence, and even gaining lifelong friends. These connections can lead to opportunities in your professional life, something Trenton referred to as “leadership through connection.”

When ready to further the connections you built and join a board of directors, Trenton recommends finding one that is a right fit for you by making sure the organization is something you care about, understanding what you’re getting into, and asking questions about their mission and values.

“You learn a lot along the way, but don’t be afraid to get out there and start making connections and getting involved in our community,” said Trenton.

We appreciate Trenton taking time to provide us with such great advice. We plan to have an event for the FLEX Speaker Series every few months—stay tuned for details on our next one!

This article was published in the FLEX FYI – part of the October 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.