What's the definition of an optimist? A banker who buys a weekly travel pass.
There is no doubt that the financial services industry is being hit disproportionately by redundancies in the economic meltdown. This is, of course, devastating for them, but there may be a silver lining for charities looking for those statistically rare people with commercial experience to join their boards.
Given the shrinking employment market, many financial services industry workers are likely to be out of work. Recruiting them to join your board could provide your charity with unprecedented business and financial nous.
But how do you get hold of them? A number of business schools run MBA courses, all of which have thriving alumni networks. The website www.mbaworld.com provides details of all those that have accreditation. Most of these schools provide ongoing advisory services to their graduates and are seeing increased numbers coming to them for advice about their options. Another site, www.mba-direct.com, also provides useful links to other sites.
And when you've got them, make sure there is something in it for them. Induct them properly, brief them regularly and support them in the voluntary sector environment, which may initially seem alien to them. Our guidance Start As You Mean to Go On: Trustee Recruitment and Induction (RS10) and The Essential Trustee (CC3) will provide a thorough grounding.
There are many instances of win-win links between the business and charity worlds. This might well be the latest.