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Nonprofit Board Fellowships

Timeline for Students

  • Aug. 8 – Student applications posted
  • Thurs, Aug. 31Recorded Info Session | Slides
  • Tues, Sept. 5 – Ross Info Session
  • Wed, Sept. 6 – Ford School Info Session
  • Thurs, Sept. 14 -Student applications due
  • Mid Sept. – Select applicant interviews
  • Late Sept. – Board Fellows announced
  • Fri, Oct 6 @ 9 am  – Kickoff for accepted fellows and nonprofits
  • Oct. – Apr. – Students serve as Board Fellows

Nonprofit Board Fellows



For Students

Are you interested in learning what it takes to run a nonprofit from the boardroom? Do you want to work on high-level strategic issues in a functioning nonprofit organization?

The Nonprofit Board Fellows program that works with graduate students like you gives you project management experience and develops your executive skills as a board member of a nonprofit organization in Southeast Michigan.

Download BF Student BrochureThis multidisciplinary program will provide you with real-world insight into the workings and procedures of a nonprofit board, and enable you to contribute to the organization’s success while building on your tools for social impact. For the coming year, projects could focus on the COVID-19 response or on broader strategic goals.


The 2023-24 Student Application for the program closed in mid-September 2023.

This program reinforced my commitment to working in the nonprofit space, with the long-term goal of consulting for nonprofits to help them achieve their strategic goals."

— Emily Edkins (MBA ’21)








Years of Program EXPERIENCES

Board Fellows Forum

On Tues, Feb. 11, 2020,  B+I sThe board fellows forum ponsored a discussion for our board fellows and the public, focused on the relationship between board presidents and executive directors. Panelists included Jamie Buhr, Board Chair, Michigan Theater; Russ Collins, Executive Director & CEO, Michigan Theater; Lori Bennett, Board Chair, Neutral Zone; Samiksha Sneha, Youth Board Chair, Neutral Zone; and Lori Roddy, Executive Director, Neutral Zone

The program is open to all U-M graduate students, but primarily recruits students from the schools of business, public policy, and social work.

You must apply to participate in this competitive program, and you are matched to organizations based on your experience and interest. In order to participate, you must have:

  • A record of academic and professional excellence
  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the particular nonprofit organization
  • Sensitivity and commitment to issues of community needs, financial concerns, and confidentiality
  • A commitment to serving the nonprofit sector


If you are selected as a Board Fellow, you are expected to serve as a non-voting board member for one academic year, from mid-October through April. 

In addition, you should:

  • Attend all board meetings and serve on a board committee
  • Help with and attend special events, similar to other board members of the hosting organizations
  • Complete a board-level project which tackles complex organizational challenges
  • Commit approximately the same amount of time to the board as a full board member (6-10 hours a month)
  • Attend trainings and workshops hosted by B+I, as well as maintain program commitments
  • For the coming year, projects could focus on the COVID-19 response or on broader strategic goals.

Learn more about the program »