Nonprofit Board Fellowships

Timeline for Students

  • Aug. – Student applications available
  • Sept. – Mandatory student info sessions
  • Mid-Sept. – Applications are due
  • Late Sept. – Select applicant interviews
  • Early Oct. – Board Fellows announced
  • Oct. – Mandatory orientation for fellows and nonprofit orgs
  • 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 works with graduate students like you give you project management experience and develop your executive skills as a board member of a nonprofit organization in Southeast Michigan.

This 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. 

See our 2018-19 Board Fellows and Organizations »

Read about four Board Fellows’ Experiences in 2018-19 »


Applications for the 2019-20 academic year have closed for the year.  In addition to filling out applications, all student applicants were required to attend info sessions during the first two weeks of classes.

This opportunity has proven to be more valuable than I could have hoped for. I got practice...and experience serving on the board of a nonprofit organization."

— Grace Kendra (MM ’19)

Read more in Grace’s blog post








Years of Program EXPERIENCES

Board Fellows Forum

On Tues, Feb. 12, 2019,  B+I sponsored a discussion for our board fellows and the public, focused on the value of a younger perspective on nonprofit boards and the efforts in place to adapt to a major generational shift. Panelists included Emmanuel Jones, Founder of Mentor2Youth; Diana Kern, Executive Director of Legacy Land Conservancy; and Jeff Henning, Partner at Ernst & Young.

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

Learn more about the program »


Student application is due Fri, Sept. 13 at noon.

Student Information (pdf)
Student Application (doc)
Student App Instructions (pdf)