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Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Certificate in Effective Nonprofit Governance

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Training for new and experienced board members

The Certificate in Effective Nonprofit Governance is a six-month program designed to set you up for success as a community board member no matter what industry you’re in. Six learning sessions will prepare you to join a board or recommit to an existing board role with new insight and enthusiasm.

Classes take place online and at IUPUI, in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Participants who attend and complete all six sessions will receive a Nonprofit Governance Certificate from Indiana University.

Program curriculum

Effective Board Membership (at IUPUI)

  • Participants will understand the big picture of effective nonprofit governance. A panel of nonprofit executive directors will participate with the class and provide an overview of their board and what it does, what they look for in a board member, and an overview of typical challenges. Stages in the board life cycle will be reviewed. This content sets the stage to discuss the ambassador role. Class meets from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ambassador Role (online)

  • Participants deepen their understanding of the ambassador role of the board member and will share information concerning the organization they are studying with specific insight into the ambassador role. The fundraising topic is discussed and learning assignments are made. Class meets from 3–5:30 p.m.

Fundraising (online)

  • Participants focus on the fundraising role of a board member and report out on the following: What fundraising strategies does the board you are learning about use? The topic of stakeholder representation is introduced. Action learning assignments are made. Class meets from 3–5:30 p.m.

Stakeholder Representation (online)

  • Participants focus on the stakeholder representation role and report out on the following: How does your expertise relate to the mission and function of the organization you are studying? How might your expertise contribute to the activities that the organization engages in? How might conflicts of interest be managed? Class meets from 3–5:30 p.m.

Personal Coaching Session (online)

  • Participants will prepare a 10-minute capstone presentation. A presentation template will be provided. Students will have a 20-minute coaching session with the instructors to help guide the development of their presentation. Coaching session is by appointment only.

  • Capstone presentations (at IUPUI)

Participants will have the opportunity to make their capstone presentation on the board they have been using as their case study. They will review their key insights and plan next steps. Class meets from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Who should attend

Enroll in this program if you are considering opportunities as a board member, new to a board member role, or an experienced board member hoping to deepen your understanding of the position.

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