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PhilanthropyU Setting Up a Nonprofit Board

Course Schedule

Course Details

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INSTRUCTORPhilanthropy University

Philanthropy University is reimagining capacity building for the digital age. Our free online university accelerates the impact of local organizations with essential courses and vibrant communities of practice focused on delivering sustainable development and improving the lives of people everywhere.

About This Nonprofit Governance Course

All nonprofit organizations need a board of directors. But how do you build a board that does more than just satisfies your legal obligations? How do you build a board that supports, guides, and multiplies your work?

This free, online course offers an introduction to establishing a productive and useful board. It will support you in identifying your own governance needs and help you plan to recruit and onboard board members.

Course Topics

  • Module 1: Roles and Responsibilities of a Board
    Understand why you need a board of directors and how to structure it
  • Module 2: Identifying Your Organization’s Governance Needs
    Assess the skills, expertise, and leadership that your organization needs on your board
  • Module 3: Recruiting Board Members
    Enlist the best possible candidates to meet your board needs
  • Module 4: Onboarding and Building an Effective Board Culture
    Plan to orient new board members to a healthy board culture

Who Should Take This Governance Course?

This free, online governance course is perfect for small to medium-sized mission-driven organizations looking to improve their governance practices. Whether you are establishing a board of directors for the first time or simply interested in improving the structure, composition, and practices of an existing board, this course will improve how your organization is governed. No previous experience or coursework is required to take this course.

You will need a device that allows you to listen to audio, access course materials, and upload your assignments.

Course Advisors

Joe Dougherty

Joe is Regional Director of the Americas region for Dalberg, global group working to build a more inclusive and sustainable world. He has served as a trusted advisor to donor agencies, governments, NGOs, and leading corporations for nearly twenty years, and has worked in more than 30 countries. He is a lecturer at Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley and teaches about nonprofit leadership.

Joshua Kyallo

Joshua is from Kenya, and he has over 25 years of experience in leading the design, development and implementation of complex, multimillion dollar programs across Africa for 7 international NGOs based in USA and Africa. He has decades of experience in leading nonprofits and working with their boards.

Ben Mangan

Ben Mangan is Executive Director of the Center for Social Sector Leadership and on the faculty at Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. He teaches Strategy and Leadership for Social Impact at Berkeley Haas. Ben brings more than 20 years of experience in social impact leadership and management, and he has served on several nonprofit boards.


The University is a non-degree, diploma or credit granting initiative. Philanthropy U, Inc. is the concept developer and sponsor of the initiative. Learners are not entitled to earn college or other academic credit.

Learners who complete this course are eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement. To earn a Certificate of Achievement for this course, you need to earn more than 50% of possible points on quizzes and assignments to obtain a passing grade. Quizzes are worth 15% of your total score, while assignments are worth 85%.

© 2018 Philanthropy U, Inc. All use, reproduction and distribution of content in this course is subject to a CC-BY-NC license.