6507 Wilkins Avenue
Higher Achievement Pittsburgh
Advisory Board Overview
Higher Achievement envisions a world where all students’ potential and promise are realized, regardless of their circumstances. Their mission is to close the opportunity gap during the pivotal middle school years. By leveraging the power of communities, they are committed to helping students in under-resourced communities improve and increase their grades, test scores, attendance, and opportunities to attend top high schools that put them on track for college.
In the Pittsburgh communities where Higher Achievement operates, middle school students are performing below grade level and falling short of proficiency expectations according to state tests. Interventions are necessary to get students on track for high school, and, ultimately, college. Higher Achievement goes beyond academics: Social justice principles reinforced by mentorship and research-based curriculum expose scholars to a wide range of learning experiences, including leadership development, social-emotional skill building, and college and career exploration.
Advisory Board members are local champions of Higher Achievement Pittsburgh and commit to contributing and leveraging talent, expertise, and resources. They raise awareness and advocate on behalf of Higher Achievement scholars, and support the Executive Director in his/her quest to fulfill the organization’s mission.
Advisory Board members do not have fiduciary oversight of the organization. Each affiliate is allotted one voting seat on the National Board of Directors (based in Washington, D.C.) and it is expected that this representative will act as a liaison between the affiliate and the national board.
- Roles and Responsibilities
At minimum, it is expected that Advisory Board members will:
- Provide financial and non-financial support to Higher Achievement:
- Advisory Board members commit to giving a monetary gift of personal significance on an annual basis. Advisory Board members also commit to contributing funds from other resources during the same fiscal year (e.g. company match, corporate sponsorships, leveraging grants, cultivating friends, etc.). Any amount may be contributed, but a recommended give/get minimum is $1,000. Members are also expected to attend fundraising events and participate in annual and special campaigns.
- Assist the Executive Director with mobilizing other resources (mentors, program partnerships, etc.) as needed.
2. Promote Higher Achievement:
- Host events such as mentor recruitment presentations at their place of work or host friend-raising parties at home and/or in home communities.
- Introduce friends and business associates via invitations to events and Center tours.
- Highlight Higher Achievement during speeches and in public forums.
- Shape and grow the Advisory Board:
- Identify prospects for the Advisory Board among their circles of influence.
- Invite and accompany prospects to events and tours.
- Advisory Board Structure and Support
The Advisory Board works in partnership with the Executive Director and is led by a Chairperson. The Board shall elect the Chairperson at the first Board Meeting of the fiscal year. The Board Chairperson is responsible for working with the Executive Director to establish the agenda for these meetings and presides over the meeting.
The Affiliate Executive Director and the Manager of Development provide organizational and administrative support for Advisory Board activities, including providing regular updates and materials, hosting meeting opportunities, and providing invitations to events.
- Advisory Board Terms
Advisory Board members are asked to serve three year terms with the opportunity to renew at the end of the term; members may serve two terms or a maximum six years.
The Advisory Board Chairperson is also asked to serve a two year term and may be asked to serve for two terms or a maximum of four years.
If an advisory member cannot fulfill his/her responsibilities, he/she may be asked to leave prior to the end of their term by the Executive Director and the Board Chairperson.
- Advisory Board Meetings, Committees and Special Events
The Advisory Board meets quarterly four times a year with the schedule set a year in advance. In addition to the four regular meetings, Advisory Board members are also expected to attend one half-day retreat dedicated to planning for the upcoming fiscal year (September through August).
Committees or task forces may be formed during the year on an as needed basis. For example, a few months prior to mentor recruitment a task force may be formed to assist staff in meeting their recruitment goals.
Advisory Board members are expected to participate in a site visit and/or attend one of Higher Achievements special scholar events throughout the year.
- Time Commitment
It is expected that an Advisory Board member will spend about 60 hours per year, or an average of 5 hours per month for board meetings, follow-up activities, task forces, and special events, including preparation time.
Higher Achievement is committed to building an inclusive and diverse Advisory Board from candidates committed to positively impacting the lives of middle school students throughout the Pittsburgh area. Interested candidates may contact James Doyle, Higher Achievement Pittsburgh Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-206-2973.