Board Fellowship Student FAQ
What types of projects do Board Fellows undertake?
Projects assigned are board-level projects, not staff-level work, and are designed to be manageable in light of the student's other academic demands. Examples of student projects include:
- Performance measurement (developing a balanced scorecard or creating an evaluation system)
- Strategic plans (developing a strategic plan for growth, fund development or web development)
- Marketing plans (developing a strategy for public relations or branding)
- Fund development (analyzing current fundraising efforts to increase donations)
- Finance (conducting a cost/benefit analysis)
What type of training and support does NPM provide Board Fellows and organizations?
At the beginning of the fellowship, students and nonprofit partners participate in an orientation of the program. In addition, students receive training on the responsibilities of board leadership, conducted by the NEW Center. Throughout the program, NPM provides further training on topics relevant to board governance and provides avenues for students to compare learning, issues, and experiences. Nonprofits and students also receive ongoing support from NPM as needed. Support may include additional resources relevant to the board fellow project or working with the nonprofit and student to establish clear expectations.
What is the time commitment for Board Fellows?
Board Fellows voluntarily commit a similar amount of time per month as a full board member (typically 4-8 hours a month), including attending board meetings, committee meetings, and completing their project. NPM strongly encourages the Board Fellow and their organization to discuss expectations at the beginning of their term.
What is expected from Board Fellows?
- Attend most, if not all, board meetings and serve on one board committee
- Complete a project within the board and committee work that leverages your graduate-level skills
- Help with and attend special events
- Seek support and mentoring from a sponsoring board mentor and staff mentor
- Maintain consistent communication with mentors and the organization
What are the benefits of serving as a Board Fellow?
- Meaningful participation in the management of a nonprofit organization
- Professional knowledge and skills in board governance
- Skills for effective collaboration with community leaders
- Opportunities to integrate tools learned in the classroom with the board fellowship experience
- September - Students must attend one of the two Board Fellow kickoff events.
- September - Applications are due.
- Late September - Select applicants are invited for interviews.
- Early to mid October - Board Fellows are announced.
- October - Mandatory orientation for selected Board Fellows and nonprofit partners.
- Mid October - April - Students serve as Board Fellows
Who should I contact with questions or concerns?
Please contact NPM staff at (734) 764-0382 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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