Benefits for Nonprofit Boards

We understand that nonprofits are wrestling with many dramatic changes in the world right now–COVID 19, continuing racial injustice—along with the demands to address these issues and adapt our organizations, while tackling the usual pressures that nonprofits face.

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

(1) diversify the board with young new talent
(2) fresh new thinking of Berkeley-Haas MBA students, who are prepared to join your board by concurrently taking a course on Nonprofit Boards, and being coached by experienced nonprofit board coaches and faculty from the Center for Social Sector Leadership (insert link to coaches’ bios)
(3) strategic project customized for the board

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

Apply and Participate (Currently full)

  • October 2020 through May 2021 – Berkeley Board Fellows serve with nonprofits
  • Sign up for Fall 2021 begins in summer. To be notified, please register here

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


Application Process

  • Nonprofit Applications – due August 14th, 2020
  • Student and Nonprofit Notification – end of September

Program Year

  • Kick-off Meeting – October 6th, 3pm – 5pm
  • 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 the networks of their boards.

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.


Next: Students

Fellow Perspective

“BBF demystified the workings of an NGO board and also provided a great example of a high functioning board which I still reference. The strong mentorship I received allowed me to grow as a professional and is a relationship I continue to uphold today. The project I undertook was challenging and as I later learned, was one of the reasons I was able to secure the next step in my career post graduation.”
– Maria Tourtchaninova, Organizational Effectiveness Program Analyst at David & Lucille Packard Foundation, Berkeley Board Fellow 2017-2018
Read the latest campus information on coronavirus (COVID-19) here. →