Helping nonprofit leaders do better at doing good

Board Leadership Institute

A strong board is key for a successful nonprofit.

The nonprofit board is charged with:
  • Legal, fiduciary oversight
  • Attracting and stewarding resources
  • Planning and setting strategic direction
  • Hiring and evaluating the chief executive

Your leadership team can learn and adopt the practices of high performing boards. 

                   Note:  Applications for 2024/25 BLI -- San Luis Obispo County Cohort are open now!                                                                               Early Applicant Deadline:  August 9, 2024                                                                                                   Applications Close:  Friday, September 13, 2024 at 12:00 noon                                                              Meetings will include a mix of Zoom and In-Person workshop sessions.

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is excited to pilot this multi-session, capacity-building program for local nonprofit organizations.  Participants for this program will be chosen from applicant organizations headquartered in San Luis Obispo County. 

About the Board Leadership Institute

The Center for Nonprofit Leadership at California Lutheran is pleased to announce the application process for the upcoming San Luis Obispo County Cohort of the Board Leadership Institute. This five-month certificate program will enhance the knowledge and skills among leadership teams comprised of nonprofit board members and their head of staff (CEO or Executive Directors). The goal of the program is to improve board governance practices, fiduciary oversight and the skills and abilities of boards of directors to steward our region’s nonprofit organizations.

Download the 2024/25 SLO County cohort flyer

Thank You to Our Partner!

This program is generously underwritten by the The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County.



Each organization, as well as each fully participating board and staff leader, will receive a Certificate of Completion, useful for resumes, references, and grant applications. All Certificate holders will be listed on the Center for Nonprofit Leadership’s website.

Who Should Attend?

This cohort is open to nonprofit organizations headquartered in San Luis Obispo County.  Each participating organization is required to send a leadership team of two to three board members and the organization’s current head of staff (CEO or Executive Director). Ideally the participating board members are a mix of seasoned and emerging leaders. For the greatest impact, the board chair is strongly encouraged to be part of this group. We ask that the team remain consistent through the life of the program; and each person make every effort to attend all sessions to offer the greatest depth and continuity to the Board Leadership Institute experience.

How to Apply

Applications for remaining team slots are accepted on a rolling basis.

Early Applicant Deadline:  August 9, 2024

Applications Close:  12:00 noon Friday, September 13, 2024


Location, Dates and Times

The 2024/25 cohort of the Board Leadership Institute will be hosted with a mix of Zoom and in-person sessions.  There will be a mandatory 75-minute in-person orientation to launch the program.  Gatherings for Modules I-IV of the program will be conducted each month as two 2-hour sessions on Zoom with subject matter experts, tools & templates and interactive team excercises.  We kindly ask that all participants log in 15 minutes prior to the sessions to get settled and to network with other program participants. The final Module will be conducted in-person as a single session from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Zoom log-in information will be sent prior to the orientation.

 Important Dates

  • Mandatory Orientation    
    Tuesday, October 1
    In-person Session:  10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. @ Community Foundation SLO Offices
  • Board Service 101   
    Tuesdays - October 8 & 15
    Via Zoom:   Log-in: 12:45 p.m.  |  Session 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
  • Board/Staff Partnership
    Tuesdays - November  5 & 12
    Via Zoom:  Log-in: 8:45 a.m.  |  Session 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m
  • Strategic Planning & Board Recruitment
    Tuesdays - January 14 & 21
    Via Zoom:  Log-in: 8:45 a.m.  |  Session 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m
  • Financial Oversight 
    Tuesdays - February 4 & 11
    Via Zoom:  Log-in: 8:45 a.m.  |  Session 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. 
  • Development & Fundraising   
    Tuesday - March 11
    In-person Session:  9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  @ Community Foundation SLO Offices

Participating organizations will be given time during each session to develop an action plan for how best to bring what they have learned back to their organization.


Program fees for this program will be generously underwritten by The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County.  There is no cost to organizations that participate. Program particpation for a team of up to four (4) people include digital program materials, access to the Board Leadership Institute portal of resources, and a one year organizational membership in the Center for Nonprofit Leadership.

Meet the Faculty



Jennifer Lobenhoffer

Principal, JSL Community Strategies


David Greco

President & CEO, Social Sector Partners and Professional Speaker


Doug Green




Judy Guillermo-Newton, MFT

Senior Consultant, Equity Praxis Group

  Becca Merrell Headshot

Becca Merrell, CFRE

Executive Vice President, Central Coast Region of Netzel Grigsby Associates


Norbert Tan Headshot

Jarrod Schwartz

Founder and Principal Consultant, Equity Praxis Group


Steve Willmont

Vice President, Netzel Grigsby Associates