Lead with purpose 

Judy Nimer Muhn, Organizational Development Consultant, NEW

How can we equip board members and nonprofit staff to govern from a shared foundation?

A board of directors exists to hold a nonprofit accountable to the communities it serves. They do this by ensuring it operates to meet its mission. Their decisions shape a nonprofit’s work and eventual impact. But that doesn’t mean board members are always on the same page about how to show up. 

In Beyond Board Basics, you’ll learn how to serve as an effective nonprofit board member. Here, you’ll have space to ask fundamental questions without judgment. You’ll gain key insight from our experienced consultants and your peer leaders. And together, we’ll transform our approaches to nonprofit governance.

Applications for Beyond Board Basics are currently closed. Click the button below to stay up-to-date on the next cohort opportunity.

Why Beyond Board Basics and why NEW?

For almost 30 years, NEW has been a trusted partner in helping nonprofit boards succeed. As a nonprofit ourselves, we know the importance of strong board leadership. Beyond Board Basics is the latest iteration to a string of services intended to elevate boards and deepen their impact. With the insight of past participants, we’ve taken the same exceptional content and made it available in a more accessible format. We’re excited to launch this new chapter of change with you!

Carly Friedrich

Carly Friedrich
Programs Associate, NEW


In Beyond Board Basics, you’ll become equipped to lead in key areas of governance: (1) Fund Development, (2) Board Recruitment and Engagement, and (3) Strategic Direction. This is a hybrid experience designed to address different approaches to learning and busy schedules. Each month, you’ll get access to an online course, including up to 1 hour of video content on the relevant topic. Then, you’ll join your peers for a virtual discussion led by NEW. This way, you can learn at your own pace and also interact with others to deepen your understanding.

In addition, your nonprofit will also be able to sign up for a one-hour, virtual consultation with NEW. Here, you’ll be able to ask detailed questions about your nonprofit’s specific situations. It’s the best first step to applying what you learn. Scheduling will open after the program begins.

Through this program, you’ll:

  • Advance your knowledge of nonprofit board development and governance, specifically in the areas of fund development; board recruitment and engagement; and strategy.
  • Gain strategies to strengthen the impact of your board specific to your organization
  • Build connections and strengthen relationships with other organizations

The Beyond Board Basics cohort is open to 12 nonprofits total. Each nonprofit must commit at least one person to attend all three virtual, live sessions. Up to three others may also attend each session, as appropriate.


Board Recruitment and Engagement

In this session, we’ll focus on board governance, recruitment, and engagement. We’ll start with an overview of the nonprofit landscape, and board roles and responsibilities. You’ll then dive into strategic board recruitment, the life stages of boards, and how to set clear expectations. We’ll also focus on prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in board recruitment and culture. A jam-packed session, you’ll also gain insight into onboarding practices, and fostering ambassadorship.

Fund Development

Fundraising and resource development are key aspects of a board’s work. In this session, we’ll discuss how to get involved and foster a culture of abundance and prosperity. You’ll learn about fundraising methods, the roles of board and staff, and practices for retaining donors. We’ll also explore the importance of the fund development plan in advancing your nonprofit’s mission.

Strategic Direction

Our final session will explore the role of strategy in nonprofits. We’ll focus on strategic decision-making, and program and service delivery. We’ll begin by unpacking the WHY for developing strategic direction. You’ll then learn sector jargon, and the different roles that boards and staff play in the process. You’ll explore guiding questions and identify actionable practices for your nonprofit. And you’ll learn practices that get your strategic plan off the shelf and into action.


How does my nonprofit sign up?

We are not currently accepting applications for Beyond Board Basics. Sign up on the interest form linked below for direct updates on the next cohort opportunities.

What's the cohort schedule?

Previous cohorts involved 3, one-hour long, live sessions scheduled across 3 (three) months.

Before each session, participants are expected to engage on their own with provided materials and content. Plan to set aside up to an hour for each.

Additionally, each accepted nonprofit was able to sign up for an hour-long consultation with NEW. These one-on-ones took place alongside the program, sometime during the same 3-month window as the cohort sessions.

At this time, we’re still evaluating whether the next cohorts will be structured the same way. More information will be made available here once those decisions hae been made.

What are the participation requirements?

To join past cohorts of Board Basics, a nonprofit must:

  • Operate within Southeast Michigan: Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties
  • Primarily serve BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of color) individuals and communities OR have BIPOC individuals in leadership positions
  • Have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, (i.e.reduced staffing, decreased revenues, program or service cutbacks, or other notable impacts)

Within these criteria, any nonprofit was previously welcome to join Beyond Board Basics.

At this time, we are still evaluating whether these criteria will hold true for future cohorts. More information will be shared here when those decisions have been made.

Who from my nonprofit is a good fit?

In past cohorts, each nonprofit must commit at least one person to consistently attend all three live sessions. You’re also welcome to invite up to three others to join each session. For example, your Board Chair might come to all three sessions, while the Development Director may only join for Fund Development. 

At this time, we’re still evaluating whether this will hold true for future cohorts. More information will be shared here when those decisions are made.


Get all the updates on the next Beyond Board Basics cohort!