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Board Fellows for Nonprofits

Board Fellows – Nonprofit Application is Now Open

Program Overview

The Board Fellows Program places MBA and MPA students as non-voting board members of local nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits receive short and long-term benefits; gain new perspectives and ideas on key organizational issues, receive access to resources at the University of Washington, and build the next-generation business and civic leaders.

Student fellows attend monthly board meetings, join a board committee, complete a board-level project, and participate in seminars taught by UW Foster School of Business faculty.


  • Nonprofit must have an established board of directors
  • Nonprofit must have at least one full-time paid staff member
  • Board must hold monthly or bimonthly meetings*
  • Board should have at least one standing committee
  • Organizational stability – nonprofits who have not been in operation for at least a year will not be considered
  • Capacity to support the Board Fellows project
  • Nonprofits agree to host two selected student Board Fellows
  • Nonprofits must appoint a board mentor to guide and coach Board Fellows

*Boards who meet bimonthly (every other month) will be considered if they have active committees. Because students receive credit for this program, they are required to spend a minimum of 6 hours per quarter attending board or committee meetings.

Application Timeline and Notification Dates

Start Date End Date
Nonprofit Application Opens December 16, 2020 February 12, 2021 (11:59 pm PST)
Nonprofit Application Review* December 16, 2010 February 24, 2021
Board Fellows Application Opens March 1, 2021 April 9, 2021 (11:59 pm PST)
Board Fellows’ Applications Reviewed by Nonprofits April 12, 2021 April 23, 2021 (11:59 pm PST)
Interview Schedule Available April 30, 2021
Interview/Matching Day May 7, 2021 @ 1:00 pm

Note: A Board member, the executive director or a designated staff member should complete the application.

*Nonprofits’ applications will be reviewed simultaneously between December 16, 2020 and February 24, 2021.

Matching Process
Matching Process


The program provides nonprofit boards:

  • Gain new skills and a fresh perspective from MBA and MPA students
  • Experience recruiting and working with young leaders
  • Leverage student expertise to advance a special board project
  • A foundation for the next generation of board leadership

Nonprofit organizations host two student Board Fellows who will serve as non-voting members of the board from September through May. The nonprofit board appoints a board mentor who should anticipate spending about one hour per month to guide and coach the Board Fellow. Often the board mentor is a committee chair or other committee member that is working with the Fellow on their board project.

Sample Projects

Financial Strategy & Analysis Business planning
Funding evaluation
Pricing Analysis/Strategies
Fundraising analysis Annual fund trends
Planned giving best practices
Fundraising innovation
Governance & Strategy Dashboard development
Junior/advisory board development
Board evaluation
Strategic Planning
Enterprise Risk Management
Marketing & Insights Brand audit
Website and social media strategy
Data analysis
Customer evaluation and data analysis
Market research
Hiring practice evaluation
Succession planning
Talent Management/Human Resources Compensation analysis

We appreciate the support of Wells Fargo Bank, UPS and the Neil and Nancy McReynolds Endowment for support of the Board Fellows Program.

Vy Nguyen, [email protected], (206) 543-3681