Certificate: CNM Board Fundamentals

What does it really take to be a nonprofit board member? Join the Board Fundamentals Certificate to development the knowledge and the skills necessary to be an active nonprofit board member. Join other professionals from various sectors who are passionate about a cause and are ready to serve. This course is for individuals who are serious about board membership; this includes people who would like to be on a board, and those who are already serving a board term. Meet and network with other professionals in this three part certificate from the corporate sector, nonprofit organizations, academia, entrepreneurs, or other professions in this great volunteer state.

Board Fundamentals Certificate

Board Fundamentals Part 1: Roles, Responsibilities, the Strategic Plan

4-7pm on September 9, 2019 facilitated by Brad Gray

In this first session, participants will learn the purpose and leadership responsibilities of the board. Board expert and Global Leadership Certificate Program Director, Brad Gray will discuss why nonprofit boards exist, the nonprofit life cycle stages, and the purpose that the board serves to the nonprofit and the community. This session will be based on the National Nonprofit Standards for Excellence which looks at the legal, ethical, and operational responsibilities of serving on a board. Participants will better understand the levels of board leadership, the board’s relationship to the nonprofit staff, organizational volunteers, and how it all effects the greater community.

This session will also provide an understanding of the purpose of strategic planning and what the board’s role is in supporting a nonprofit through this process. Learn the key issues surrounding strategic planning for nonprofits and pitfalls to avoid. Participants will be introduced to a strategic planning model and experience key parts of an actual strategic planning process.

Board Fundamentals Part 2: Fundraising and Financials

4-7pm on September 30, 2019 facilitated by Becky Harrell and Michelle Conn

This session will provide an understanding of board financial requirements, and address hidden traps that all new board members should be aware of. Lead by board expert and member of KraftCPAs, Becky Harrell, participants will learn specific nonprofit accounting and financial statement reporting requirements. Participants will discuss why it is important to understand financial statements, as well as the consequences of making bad financial decisions as a board member. Through examining case studies and real-life stories, participants will leave more confident in their ability to assess the financial health of an organization.

The second half of the session will explore nonprofit fundraising and the role of the board in supporting in this effort. Explore what it means for a nonprofit to have a diversified fundraising plan, and how they can participate in an organization’s fund development plan. The session will address how the board’s role as a fundraiser is intertwined to community outreach and being a successful spokesperson for the agency.

Board Fundamentals Part 3: Mock Board Meeting

4-7pm on October 21, 2019 facilitated by Kellee Mannix and a guest panel

In this final session, participants will learn more about the local nonprofit sector here in Middle Tennessee. We will discuss how to choose a board you are interested in, and how to move forward with connecting with the organization.

Participants will then learn about new trends in the nonprofit community from current board members. These board members will share their experiences on nonprofit boards, from how they got on the board, to how they-are forwarding the nonprofit’s mission. Learn how board members and funders are utilizing strategies in their organizations such as Collective Impact.

This final part of the session involves the application of knowledge and skills acquired in previous sessions by being a part of a mock board meeting. Individuals will be assigned roles and experience the common structure and flow of a board meeting. Participants will leave with a strong foundation in nonprofit board essentials, as well as a strong network colleagues soon to be onboarded.

If participants complete all parts of the certificate, they will be eligible for our "Matching" program. In this final session, we partner with Hands on Nashville (HON) to help coordinate a match between organizations who have board openings, and interest areas participants have. We will help facilitate the introduction email, and we let participants take it from there to apply what they have learned from the certificate.

Q&A for the Board Fundamentals Certificate

The requirements for each certificate are different. See below for details about the Board Fundamentals Certificate.

How do I sign up for this certificate?

To sign up, register for the Certificate: CNM Board Fundamentals Workshop, which includes part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Does signing up here register me for all 3 certificate courses?

Yes. Signing up here automatically enrolls you for the 3 core classes and into the certificate program. There are no additional courses in this certificate.

I see the classes start at 4 pm and end at 7 pm. What if I work until 5 pm. Can I come in late?

No. Please only commit to the three sessions if you are able to attend all courses for the allotted amount of time.

I might have to miss part 2. Can I still complete my certificate?

No. This certificate is only offered once a year. There are no make up courses.

Can I just take one of the core classes? I only want to attend Board Fundamentals Part 1.

No. these courses are only for individuals signed up for the entire 3-course certificate.

I took one of the courses in the certificate last year. Does it count for the certificate this year?

No. To complete this certificate, all participants can only apply classes in 2019.

September 9, 2019; 4:00 PM to September 9, 2019; 7:00 PM
End Date
Monday, September 09, 2019
$270.00 for Members; $470.00 for nonmembers; $270.00 for students

Subject Area(s)
Board Development
Center for Nonprofit Management
Other Details
Dinner Included


This workshop has already started and registrations are no longer being accepted. If you are interested in taking this course, please refer to the list below to find another time with the course will be offered.

This workshop is not currently offered at any other times.