How We Work

Board Fellows are selected through a rigorous application process and matched with a partner nonprofit whose needs and mission align with the Fellow’s skills and interests. The nonprofit appoints a mentor and assigns the Fellow to a standing board committee or working group. Fellows are expected to participate in all board meetings and complete a project specific to the needs or challenges facing the partner organization. Fellows will serve on a board for one academic year, starting with the fall semester and ending at the conclusion of spring semester.

About the Course

This nonprofit management class explores management models that address and try to balance the bottom lines of mission and money.  We do this through readings, cases and especially the experiences of participating in board governance of a nonprofit and working on a board or executive-level project.  

Combining elements of a seminar with those of a practicum, the course explores concepts in seminar format, through discussion of articles, case analyses, interviews with guest presenters, small group exercises and short lectures.

Key Points

Project-based and not an internship

Class meets formally four times a year

Research paper


Prior to academic year


Applications become available.

January to February

Student applications are reviewed, interviews held, Fellows selected for upcoming academic year.

February to March

Nonprofit organizations confirm participation for upcoming academic year.

March to April

Fellows are matched with nonprofits, introduced to executive leadership, board mentors.

Start of academic year

August to September

Fellows begin board service as well as a 3.0 credit Nonprofit Governance (SGM 5180) course.

April to May

Fellows complete project, present findings to mentor, executive leadership and/or board.