Multicultural Board Leadership Academy

Multicultural Board Leadership Academy

Multicultural Board Leadership Academy

much has been written about developing diverse boards in the nonprofit sector but to date there’s been slow progress to not only recruit, but retain board members.  In fact, while people of color make up 60% of the state’s population, they represent less than a quarter of all board members in California nonprofits

In addition, we continue to hear nonprofit leaders are challenged with recruiting, developing and retaining effective board members.  We believe that meaningful diversity and representation on boards will raise the level of leadership and provide valuable perspectives to further the goals of our community organizations.[1]  

[1] De Vita C. and Roeger K., Urban Institute, Measuring Racial-Ethnic: Diversity in California’s Nonprofit Sector, 2009



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"MBLA gave me the foundational tools to be more effective and confident in my board service. I'm now empowered to contribute more to the community through the organization I'm working on behalf of."

- Diana Camacho, 2013 MBLA Alumni


The goal of the Board Leadership Academy is to both recruit and train the next generation of diverse leaders to serve on nonprofit boards. This program is based on the Latino Board Leadership Academy launched in 2011 and has successfully trained dozens of new board members.  

Benefits of the Program

  • A deeper way to volunteer and engage in the community (beyond the one day event).
  • The flexibility to choose to serve on a board of an organizaton that addresses issues you most care about.
  • Expand your professional and personal networks.
  • Serve where you live and/or work.
  • Participate in a powerful professional development opportunity to build your leadership skills.


  • An effective way to support deeper community engagement (beyond the "one day" event or volunteer opportunity).
  • Strengthen partnerships with community organizations.
  • A cost effective way to provide meaningful professional and leadership development to employees.


  • A cost effective way to provide meaningful professional and leadership development for your staff.
  • Train potential AND new board members as part of your board recruitment and development strategy including:
    • Community members or clients
    • Individuals in your current board's personal/professional network.


  • An effective way to support deeper community engagement.
  • Strengthen partnerships with community organizations.
  • A cost effective way to provide meaningful professional and leadership development to staff.


A cohort of 15 – 30 individuals attend 8 weekly sessions led and designed by CompassPoint experts that address some of the key elements of board service. In Week 7, the cohort  will get a chance to meet nonprofits organizations interested in recruiting new board members.

Note all programs are scheduled from 5:30 - 8pm. Dinner provided.  Sessions will take place at CompassPoint's Oakland offices.

Program Fee: $175 includes all materials, follow up resources & learning opportunities, and meals. 


  • Overview of the Nonprofit Sector
  • Introduction to Nonprofit Board Service
  • Finance and Sustainability.
  • Boards and Fundraising
  • How to Select a Nonprofit
  • Boards and Advocacy

Participants also take part of a Nonprofit Meet & Greet. (June 10), where board candidates will get to put some of their skills & knowledge into action as they get a chance to meet with community nonprofits who are interested in recruiting new board members from the Academy. 

Alumni Membership:  Graduates will be provided ongoing professional development opportunities so board members can stay connected with other alumni and continue to grow and learn in their role as a board member.


Each participant must:

  • Identify as a person of color.
  • Be interested in her/his personal leadership development and growth.
  • Have a desire to join a nonprofit board & is new to board service (0 - 6 mos of experience).
  • Be committed to strive for fair, just and healthy communities.
  • Be willing to try new ideas and be open to feedback.
  • Be committed to a being part of and working towards diverse leadership in the nonprofit sector.
  • Commit to attend all sessions of the Academy.