Board Academy


Building better leaders!

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.

This program builds better leaders through:

  • Personal Development
  • Professional Development
  • Community Engagement

Program Overview

  • 6-sessions; Wednesday evenings
  • Each session led by guest presenter/technical 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 collaboration with the Leadership Fox Cities Alumni Association.


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.


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, please contact [email protected] for more information.

Course Overview

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.


The 2023 cohort is full. The 2024 application will be available fall of 2023. Contact NPLI at [email protected] for more information. 

“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!”

Lauri Asbury

Samaritan Counseling of the Fox Valley board member and 2021 Board Academy graduate

“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

Course Details and Dates

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.
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. 
Resource Development
  • 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.
Fiscal Strategy
  • Every board member is also a financial leader of the organization.  This session will equip you with the knowledge to fulfil 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. 
  • Board members have legal 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. 
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


Time: Wednesday Evenings 3:30 – 6:30 pm
Location: Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region
4455 W. Lawrence St., Appleton

March 22, 2023 – Board Roles & Responsibilities
April 6, 2023 – Governance as Leadership
April 19, 2023 – Fundraising
April 26, 2023 – Fiscal Strategy
May 10, 2023 – Ethical & Legal
May 24,  2023 – Executive Director Panel & Action Planning

2022 Graduates

  • Sridevi Yadlapati Buddi serving IndUS of Fox Valley, Rotary District 6220, ZikSA
  • James Frederick Green serving Fox Valley Literacy
  • Rachel Hansen serving Oshkosh Area Community Pantry
  • Jean Haznar serving WisconSibs
  • Andrew Konkel serving Heckrodt Wetland Reserve
  • Joe Martin serving Monarch Society Fox River Valley, Inc.
  • Kelly Mischler working with United Way Fox Cities
  • Paula Morgen serving advisory boards for Imagine Fox Cities, STAR, Basic Needs Giving Partnership
  • Jonny Richard serving Leadership Fox Cities Alumni Association
  • Shelly Rohde serving Big Brothers Big Sister East Central Wisconsin
  • Tiffany Schuette serving Girls on the Run of Northeast Wisconsin
  • Heather Sorebo serving SOAR Fox Cities
  • Mike Truyman  serving Community Benefit Tree
  • Terri Wirth serving Fox Valley Literacy

Past Graduates

  • Lauri Asbury serving Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley, Neenah Joint School District and Neenah Arts Council
  • Amanda Chavez serving Appleton Bilingual School Governance Board, Building for Kids, Casa Hispana and Citizen Review Panel
  • Tim Cody serving Fox Valley Veterans Council, Inc.
  • Lindsey Croasdale serving Jake’s Diapers
  • Kris Ferber serving Heckrodt Wetland Reserve and Nature Center
  • Michelle Frisbie serving Fox Valley Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America
  • Craig Gagnon serving Heckrodt Wetland Reserve and Nature Center, Fox Valley Literacy
  • Craig Cloudemans serving Fox Cities Marathon, United Way Fox Cities Emerging Leaders committee, Girls on the Run, Institute of Management Accountants Winnebagoland
  • Theresa Hannah serving Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship planned giving committee and audit committee, Fox Valley Literacy
  • David Kuchenbecker serving Paper Industry International Hall of Fame and Paper Discovery Center
  • Kristin Manney serving Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley
  • Laura McCormick serving SOAR Fox Cities, Outagamie County Department of Health and Human Services
  • Katie Phalin serving Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley
  • Shonna Prickette serving Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Wisconsin
  • Brian Rhodes serving Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Wisconsin
  • Wendy Steward serving Volunteer Fox Cities
  • Jim Strong serving Fox Valley Veterans Council, Inc.
  • Jen Van Elzen serving Makaroff Youth Ballet
  • Walter Zerrenner serving BEAMING, Inc, Fox Valley Memory Project, Fox Valley Veterans Council