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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 13, 2021 February 11, 2022 (11:59 pm PST)
Nonprofit Application Review* December 13, 2021 February 25, 2021
Board Fellows Application Opens March 7, 2022 April 15, 2022 (11:59 pm PST)
Board Fellows’ Applications Reviewed by Nonprofits April 18, 2022 April 29, 2022 (11:59 pm PST)
Last Day to Turn in Student Selection April 29, 2022
Interview Schedule Available May 6, 2022
Interview/Matching Day May 13, 2022*

*Subjected to change following state’s health guidance.

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

*Nonprofits’ applications will be reviewed simultaneously between December 13, 2021 and February 25, 2022.

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