Nonprofit Board Fellows

Timeline for Nonprofits

  • April – Application for Nonprofits 
  • May Information Sessions in Detroit & Ann Arbor
  • Mid June – Nonprofit Applications Due
  • Aug-Sept – Student Applications Due
  • Late Sept. – Student Applicant Interviews
  • Early Oct. – Board Fellows announced
  • Oct. – Mandatory orientation for fellows and nonprofit organizations
  • Oct. – Apr. – Students serve as Board Fellows on nonprofit boards

Nonprofit Board Fellows


For Nonprofits

Are you looking to run your nonprofit on sound, strategic business principles? Could your nonprofit benefit from the knowledge that an outstanding graduate student could provide?  

Business+Impact is all about building relationships. Using our rigorous matchmaking and vetting process, students with the unique skills to work on your organization’s pressing issues will be assigned to your board as non-voting members. You will benefit from their expertise in project management, marketing, business systems, policy analysis, strategic planning, and more. As a result, your nonprofit will gain a valuable new perspective in board discussions, and the knowledge and skills of a graduate student applied to a project of your choosing. 


Applications from nonprofit organizations will be accepted on a rolling basis through Sun, June 26. Within 2 weeks of submission, the Business+Impact staff will reach out to schedule a 30-minute phone call to discuss your proposed project and application.

Further resources:

Watch the Feb. 23, 2021 Board Fellows Forum, “How Nonprofit Organizatons are Innovating and Adapting Through a Time of Crisis”:

Our Board Fellows Program projects, and the students who have been involved, have increased our capacity as an organization, so Ann Arbor SPARK can advance the region’s economy.”

— Paul Krutko, president and CEO, Ann Arbor SPARK








Years of Program EXPERIENCES

If you are a nonprofit considering participating in the Board Fellowship Program, there are a few critical elements to ensure a successful experience:

  • Provide members of the board and staff who will serve as the Board Fellow’s primary contacts and mentors
  • Provide access to information and support to help the Board Fellow complete a substantial piece of the project by mid-December, and the rest of the project by mid-April.
  • Provide a formal orientation to the organization’s work and expectations for board members
  • Work with the Board Fellow to finalize a project plan
  • Keep the Board Fellow informed about organizational developments
  • Communicate consistently and provide feedback about the progress of the Board Fellow’s project
  • Complete mid-year and final evaluations
  • Conduct a final wrap-up meeting with the Board Fellow

There are many factors we examine in considering your application for the Board Fellowship Program. Our selection criteria includes, but is not limited to:

  • Quality of leadership in the organization and assurance our students will have appropriate support and mentorship from a board mentor, board members, and executive staff
  • Challenging board-level projects
  • Frequency and location of board meetings

We match students with organizations based on the student’s skills and interests and your needs. Before placements are finalized, you will have the opportunity to review and approve the match. For the coming year, projects could focus on the COVID-19 response or on broader strategic goals.

Learn more about the program »