Board Academy

Nonprofits play a critical role in the well-being of our community and at the helm of every nonprofit is a governing board. Effective board leadership ensures nonprofits can better achieve their mission.


  • 6-sessions; Wednesday evenings
  • Each session led by a subject matter expert
  • Emphasizes Board Source resources and The 10 Basic Roles & Responsibilities of a Nonprofit Board
  • Cohort learning model with a minimum of 15 participants
  • Selection of articles, videos and resources about nonprofit strategy and governance will be supplied.
  • Offered in partnership with the Leadership Fox Cities Alumni Association.


Wednesday Evenings 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM

2024 Dates: March 13, 20, April 10, 24, May 8, 22


Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region
4455 W. Lawrence St., Appleton


Application deadline:

February 5, 2024

Enrollment Application

Participants possess a desire to be effective social leaders who are willing to actively engage in issues impacting the community. Candidates are likely:

  • Newly seated board members who are in their first term on a nonprofit board.
  • Seasoned board members looking to revitalize and strengthen their competencies in nonprofit board service.
  • Committee members preparing to take on a board role.

We welcome more than one board member serving the same nonprofit to participate in the cohort, but we may limit to 2 members per board based on enrollment numbers.

*Read more from past participants here. Past graduates are listed below.

View Past Graduates

Leadership Fox Cities Alumni Association Member: $500

Leadership Institute Alumni & Current Cohort nonprofit board members: $500

All other participants in our service area: $750

Because of NPLI’s generous donors, we’re able to subsidize the full cost of this program, so participants pay only the above fees.

Participants outside our service area will be considered.

Have Any Questions?

“Thank you, Nonprofit Leadership Initiative, for co-hosting the first ever Board Academy workshop for nonprofit board members. It was so energizing to have the opportunity to learn from the experts and to be together with other board members to collaborate and share experiences. The connections I’ve made and the leadership strategies I’ve learned will help me to be a more effective board member, thus promoting more successful agencies and greater positive impact on our community. Thank you for the awesome opportunity, I’d do it again in a heartbeat!”

Board member and 2021 Board Academy graduate
Samaritan Counseling of the Fox Valley
“The Board Academy far exceeded my expectations and I would recommend the program to any board member, new or experienced.”

Craig Gloudemans
Fox Valley nonprofit board member and 2021 Board Academy graduate


Curriculum educates participants on the most critical roles of board service through interactive learning sessions with expert trainers. Each presenter supplies a blend of curriculum that includes materials from Board Source along with their own instructional design and experience. Click on the accordions below for more information on each session.

March 22, 2023 – Board Roles & Responsibilities
  • Determine mission and purpose: It is the board’s responsibility to create and review a statement of mission and purpose that articulates the organization’s goals, means, and primary constituents served.
  • Select the chief executive: Boards must reach consensus on the chief executive’s responsibilities and undertake a prudent search to find the most qualified individual for the leadership position.
  • Support and evaluate the chief executive: The board ensures the chief executive has moral and professional support needed to further the goals of the organization.
April 5, 2023 – Governance as Leadership
  • Ensure effective planning: Boards must actively participate in an overall planning process and assist in implementing and monitoring the plan goals. 
  • Monitor and strengthen programs and services: The board’s responsibility is to determine which programs are consistent with the organization’s mission and monitor their effectiveness. 
  • Build a competent board: All boards have a responsibility to articulate prerequisites for candidates, orient new members, and periodically and comprehensively evaluate their own performance. 
April 19, 2023 – Fundraising
  • Enhance the organization’s public standing: The board should clearly articulate the organization’s mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public and garner support from the community through advocacy.
April 26, 2023 – Fiscal Strategy
  • Every board member is also a financial leader of the organization.  This session will equip you with the knowledge to fulfill this role.  We’ll discuss how to read and analyze nonprofit financial statements to assess the financial health of the organization, how much it truly costs to deliver impact and how to approach the delicate balance between mission and money.
May 10, 2023 – Ethical & Legal
  • Board members have duties of care, loyalty and obedience. What does this mean in the context of the organization you serve? This session will explore how boards can ensure legal and ethical integrity through attention to organizational risk, compliance processes and culture. 
May 22, 2023 – Executive Director Panel & Action Planning
  • A Q&A with local executive directors: What are their greatest needs from you as a board member? (We will not include executive directors from any of the participants’ organizations.) 
  • Session wrap-up and action step planning