Agency Information

Kellogg Board Fellows

How to Apply


What we look for in our partner organizations

A successful fellowship is one in which the board fellow gains insight into the challenges and rewards of nonprofit board governance and real world experience serving on a board of directors. In addition to the fellow, two primary partners play a critical role in the fellowship experience: the CEO of the nonprofit organization and board mentor. Below is a brief list of expectations for each role.

The CEO of the nonprofit should:

  • Identify a current member of the board to serve as a mentor to the fellow.
  • Formally introduce the fellow to the board and other key constituents.
  • Send the fellow’s resume and description of the Board Fellows Program to the board before the fellow’s first board meeting.
  • Facilitate the fellow’s participation in board meetings and relevant committee meetings.
  • Add the fellow to the board mailing list so he/she receives board materials and notices before the board meetings and invitations to special events.
  • Notify KBF staff of any changes with the primary contact or board mentor.
  • Provide the fellow with an orientation to the organization.
  • Work with the fellow and board mentor to identify a project (or projects) that will be valuable to the board and which the fellow can participate actively and productively.
  • Attend the annual Kellogg Board Fellows Breakfast at the end of May.
  • Complete two evaluations of the fellow (mid-year and year-end) with input from the board mentor.

The board mentor should:

  • Help orient the fellow to the workings of the board.
  • Discuss the norms for participation at board meetings with the fellow.
  • Ensure that the fellow is introduced at his/her first board meeting.
  • Provide ongoing guidance and insight throughout the fellowship.
  • Help the fellow identify a project (or projects) that advance the work of the board.
  • Provide constructive feedback to the fellow and KBF program director.
  • Attend the annual Kellogg Board Fellows Breakfast at the end of May.

Program Timeline: Important Dates for Partner Organizations

    • October - November — Applications accepted to host the incoming class of board fellows. The fellowship lasts approximately 14 months; it begins in April of the next year and continues through May of the following year. If an organization currently has a fellow, there is a two-month period of overlap with the board fellows.
    • February - March — Fellows take Nonprofit Board Governance course.
    • February - March — Fellows interview a prospective partner organization and decide whether to join the board as an ex-officio member.
    • May — The annual breakfast is held at the end of May.
    • April — Fellowship begins, including:
      • Board fellow is introduced at first board meeting.
      • A mentor from the board of directors is assigned.
      • The project or project area is identified.
    • June through mid-September — Most fellows leave Chicago for summer internships and will engage with their organization via e-mail and conference calls. Those who remain in Chicago attend board meetings and other important events to the extent their jobs allow.
    • Late September — Fellows return to campus for fall quarter and begin working on their project(s).
    • October - May — Fellows take Advanced Board Governance course to study best practices in board governance and learn how to become an effective board member.
    • November — Fellows are required to submit a brief description of their anticipated project(s).
    • October - May — The fellow works with the organization’s board of directors to complete the project(s).
    • May — All participants attend the annual breakfast.