Lead with purpose 

Judy - BBB

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 is made up of volunteers who are committed to advancing an organization’s 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 join other board members and leadership staff to build a shared understanding of effective board service.  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 below to stay in the loop and join the next cohort.

Why Beyond Board Basics and why NEW?

As a nonprofit ourselves, we know the importance of strong board leadership. And for almost 30 years, NEW has been a trusted partner in helping other nonprofit boards succeed. 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’re offering the same exceptional content in a more accessible form. We’re excited to launch this new chapter of change with you!

“The session was very informative, and the topics discussed were very focused on real board issues. The tips for board issues were very insightful as well, especially from expert Judy Muhn.”

Beyond Board Basics Participant ‘21-’22

Carly Friedrich

Carly Friedrich
Program Manager, NEW


In Beyond Board Basics, you’ll become equipped to lead in key areas of governance through a lens of equity and justice: (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 one (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.

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.
  • Dive deeper into what it means to be a diverse and inclusive board, fostering belonging and bringing our communities closer to equity and justice.
  • Gain strategies to strengthen the impact of your board specific to your organization
  • Build connections and strengthen relationships with other organizations


Board Recruitment and Engagement

Tuesday, March 7 (03/07/23), 12pm – 1pm

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 And Stewardship

Tuesday, April 4 (04/04/23), 12pm – 1pm

Board members are expected to be good stewards of their organization’s financial resources. Fundraising and resource development is also a key component  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 nonprofit finance, 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

Tuesday, May 2 (05/02/23), 12pm – 1pm

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 about various approaches to strategy development, 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 do I know if Beyond Board Basics is a good fit for me and my organization?

This program is for you, if you’re ready to get your board engaged and on the same page. Beyond Board Basics helps leaders understand how to work with board members and volunteers to achieve missions. The program is for both staff leaders and volunteer board members. Here, you’ll get a better understanding of everyone’s roles and responsibilities, and how the roles interact.

Beyond Board Basics is also a cohort based program designed to elevate collective learning. As participants you’ll learn with and from each other, sharing your challenges and experiences along the way. We strongly encourage you to join with someone else from your nonprofit – up to two (2) people can join. This way, you can learn together and take action towards being a more effective nonprofit board.

This space is also primarily for SE Michigan organizations working towards a just and thriving society. Given NEW’s familiarity with the region, we’ll focus on our local context. (However, much of the content is relevant to organizations across the country.) You’re encouraged to apply, if your organization:

  • Operates within Southeast Michigan: Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties
  • Primarily serves BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of color) individuals and communities OR have BIPOC individuals in leadership positions
How much does Beyond Board Basics cost?

We offer three (3) tiers of participation fees for Beyond Board Basics: two hundred fifty dollars ($250), five hundred dollars ($500), or one thousand dollars ($1,000).* This fee allows two (2) people from your organization to join Beyond Board Basics. When accepted to the cohort, NEW will suggest a fee for your organization’s participation based on information from your application.

*The true cost of Beyond Board Basics is one thousand six hundred fifty dollars ($1,650.00) per organization. We’re delighted to offer below-cost fees thanks to contributions from donors and foundation partners.

Even if you are concerned about the cost, we encourage you to apply. We will do our absolute best to make it work. Our goal is to accommodate as many applicants as possible, while maintaining an effective cohort size. This means keeping the group small enough for everyone to engage and build relationships.

Again, your participation fee will allow up to two (2) people from your organization to join the program. We’ve learned that real institutional change requires real support from teams and leaders. Investing in your team can be a powerful way of achieving impact and belonging. So you’re strongly encouraged to share this opportunity and apply with others in your organization. If you apply with someone else, we encourage you to communicate ahead of time and make a plan.

What's the schedule for 2023?

The three (3) core sessions of Beyond Board Basics are scheduled monthly on Tuesdays from 12pm – 1pm.

Before each session, we expect participants  to engage on their own with provided materials and content. Plan to set aside up to one (1) hour for this pre-work per session.

Additionally, each nonprofit accepted into the cohort will be able to sign up for an hour-long consultation with NEW. These one-on-ones take place alongside the program, sometime during the same three-month (3-month) window as the sessions.

Board Recruitment & Engagement Tuesday, March 7 (03/07/23)
12pm – 1pm
Fund Development Tuesday, April 4 (04/04/23)
12pm – 1pm
Strategic Direction Tuesday, May 2 (05/02/23)
12pm – 1pm


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