Board Fundamentals Certificate
8/8, 8/15, 8/22 & 8/29/2023
What does it really take to be a nonprofit board member? Join the Board Fundamentals Certificate to develop the knowledge and the skills necessary to be an active member of a nonprofit board.
In this cohort-based series, you’ll spend time getting to know other professionals who are passionate about a cause and ready to serve. Whether you’re already on a board or looking to be matched with a nonprofit, this four-part series will help you network with people from the corporate sector, nonprofit organizations, academia, entrepreneurs, and more.
(To sign up, register for Part 1 and you will automatically be enrolled in the four core workshops. To complete the Board Fundamentals Certificate, complete the four core workshops. There is no additional elective workshop requirement.)
Part 1: Board Responsibilities with Dr. Brad Gray
August 8, 2023 (9:00 AM – 11:30 AM CST)
In Part 1, participants will learn the purpose and leadership responsibilities of the board. Board expert and Global Leadership Certificate Program Director, Brad Gray will discuss why nonprofit boards exist, the nonprofit life cycle stages, and the purpose that the board serves to the nonprofit and the community. This session will be based on the National Nonprofit Standards for Excellence which looks at the legal, ethical, and operational responsibilities of serving on a Board. Participants will better understand the levels of board leadership, the board’s relationship to the nonprofit staff, organizational volunteers, and how it all affects the greater community.
This session will also provide an understanding of the purpose of strategic planning and what the board’s role is in supporting a nonprofit through this process. Learn the key issues surrounding strategic planning for nonprofits and pitfalls to avoid. Participants will be introduced to a strategic planning model and experience key parts of an actual strategic planning process.
• Define board roles and their responsibilities
• Understand the difference in roles, and the partnership, between governance and executive leadership
• Identify the legal duties of nonprofit board members and what breaches might look like
• Define best practice of board roles and effective governance
Part 2: Fundraising on a Board with Michelle Conn
August 15, 2023 (9:00 AM – 11:30 AM CST)
Part 2 will explore how board members can support the nonprofit to ensure it has the resources necessary to provide its programs and services. Explore what it means for a nonprofit to have a diversified fundraising plan, and the importance of board member participation in and support of the plan. The session will address how the board’s role as a fundraiser is intertwined with community outreach and being a successful spokesperson for the agency.
• Understand the importance of board member support in fundraising
• Identify ways that board members can participate in cultivating and stewarding donors
• Identify ways that board members can participate in securing financial support for the nonprofit
Part 3: Understanding Organizational Finances Through A Board Lens with Becky Harrell
August 22, 2023 (9:00 AM – 11:30 AM CST)
Part 3 will provide an understanding of board financial requirements, and address hidden traps that all new board members should be aware of. Lead by Becky Harrell, board expert and member of KraftCPAs, participants will learn specific nonprofit accounting and financial statement reporting requirements. Participants will discuss why it is important to understand financial statements, as well as the consequences of making bad financial decisions as a board member. Through examining case studies and real-life stories, participants will leave more confident in their ability to assess the financial health of an organization.
• Understand the role of financial oversight
• Understand the basic elements of financial statements
• Understand what is important and what to look for on financial statement
Part 4: Community Centered Leadership with Noah Spiegel
August 29, 2023 (9:00 AM – 11:30 AM CST)
This final session is focused on Board Governance leadership in practice, incorporating content and best practices from BoardSource and the Standards for Excellence Institute. Participants will learn more about the local nonprofit sector here in Middle Tennessee, and how to become an ethical and accountable leader. We will discuss how to choose a board you are interested in, how to move forward with connecting with the organization, and where to find resources and support along the way.
Participants will also engage in a panel discussion about current and emerging trends in the nonprofit community from people currently serving in a leadership role. These leaders will share their experiences on or with nonprofit boards, from how they got on the board, to how they are forwarding the nonprofit’s mission. Learn how they are utilizing strategies in their organizations such as Collective Impact, Purpose Driven Board Leadership, and integrating issues like Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice.
- Learn how to ethically engage with your nonprofit and be accountable to your colleagues.
- Be able to identify and comfortably discuss issues relating to equity and justice and how they intersect with your nonprofit’s work.
- Learn how to model best practices both from the individual and organizational perspective.
- Feel confident as a leader in the nonprofit sector that you are deeply resourced and empowered to create sustainable mission impact.
(*CNM reserves the right to move in-person workshops to Zoom or an alternate location if public health conditions or other logistical considerations warrant.)
Note: This workshop can be used as an elective for all CNM Certificate programs requiring additional electives for completion.
*Workshop times are Central Standard Time.
Nashville, TN 37209
Event Topics & Instructor