Benefits for Nonprofit Boards

Following over a year of rapid changes due to the global health pandemic, nonprofits must adjust to ever-changing conditions, including a renewed focus on leadership, governance, and strategy to respond to community needs.

Berkeley Board Fellows provides local Bay Area nonprofit boards with at least three key benefits:

(1) diversify the board with new voices, perspectives, lived experience, and talent
(2) fresh thinking of Berkeley Haas MBA students, who are prepared to join your board by concurrently taking a course on Nonprofit Boards, while being coached by experienced nonprofit board coaches and faculty from the Center for Social Sector Leadership
(3) strategic project designed in collaboration with the board/executive director

Additionally, boards contribute to developing the next generation of future board members.

Apply for Limited Spots

  • October 2021 through May 2022 – Berkeley Board Fellows serve with nonprofits
  • Apply here for this next academic year’s program.

If you have specific questions about the application process, please email


Application Process

  • Nonprofit Applications – due September 10th, 2021
  • 9.14.21 BBF Info Session Recording
  • Student and Nonprofit Notification – end of September

Program Year

  • Kick-off Meeting – October 13, 2021
  • Final project due / Board presentation – April/May
  • Student Program Finale – End of April

Hosting a Fellow

Nonprofits in the Berkeley Board Fellows program have enjoyed the fresh energy and ideas the Fellows bring to the board, appreciated the projects completed by the Fellows, and enjoyed expanding their board’s networks.

Mentoring  An experienced board member serves as a mentor to the Fellow for the term of the Fellowship. This includes introducing the Fellows to the board, mentoring the Fellows in key issues and checking in with the Fellows during the program.

Strategically Significant Project  Fellows complete a strategically significant project identified by the Board.

Committee Service  Fellows serve on a board committee or task force, frequently associated with the project they are asked to complete.

Governing Board Structure  Fellows are expected to understand the legal and fiduciary duties of a Board. Advisory Boards do not qualify for the program.

Robust Board/Management  Participating nonprofits must have at least eight active board members and two paid staff members.

Board Meetings  Boards must have a schedule of meetings that include at least two in-person board meetings between October and April located in the Bay Area.