Effective Nonprofit Governance: Strategic Issues in Boards

Increasing Board Engagement and Effectiveness

Today’s nonprofit board members and their organizations face a challenging environment with increasing competition, sophisticated donors and new methods of solicitation. How should the nonprofit leaders change their approach to help board members react to this environment more effectively and provide leadership that supports their nonprofit organizations? How can board members use their time and commitment to become better ambassadors and help organizations increase their impact and meet their missions?

In this program, you will learn tools to assist executives and board members in maximizing the organization’s potential through understanding regulation and oversight. You will explore the strategic issues facing boards today, the key roles of vision in your strategy and understand how to approach risk management. Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management faculty and practitioners will engage you with a rich mix of classroom learning and interactive discussion.

Center for Nonprofit Management

Build trust between the board and leadership


Who Should Attend

  • All nonprofit leaders/executives
  • Professionals who serve on nonprofit boards
  • Team members of nonprofit organizations who interact with the Board of Directors

*We suggest nonprofit executives and their board chairs attend this program together.

Key Benefits

  • Discuss and share critical strategic issues facing boards and board members today
  • Understand the importance of the successful partnership of the staff leadership and board members when fundraising
  • Experience a lively panel discussion, featuring current board members discussing their experiences in nonprofit organizations

Program Content

Strategic Issues for Boards

  • Identify key issues a board might address
  • Manage risks related to finance, cyber and HR
  • Connect your organization's vision to its strategy

The Role of Vision in Strategy

  • Understand the board's role in guiding organization vision and strategy
  • Evaluate how the board can contribute to creating an organization environment ready for strategic change
  • Learn how to overcome the traditional challenges of the non-profit board structure to drive true value in the organization

Risk Management

  • Overview of risk management, risk mitigation and risk transfer and its application to all sizes and types of organizations and their business strategies
  • Application of risk management, risk mitigation and risk transfer to issues relevant to the attendees and emerging issues, to include:
    • Directors and officers
    • Employment practices
    • Cyber
    • Intellectual property
  • Take-home ideas for consideration

Cybersecurity in Nonprofit Organizations

  • Explore the cyber-threat landscape organizations are facing today
  • Understand the anatomy of a cyber-attack on an organization and identify consequences of a data breach
  • Learn best practices and key steps to reduce your organization’s cyber risk


Elise Madrick Townsend - Academic Director; Senior Program Administrator

Liz Livingston Howard - Clinical Professor of Management; Director of Nonprofit Executive Education

Jennifer Pendergast - John L. Ward Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise and Executive Director of the Center for Family Enterprises

John Peterson - Retired AON Business Leader

James (Jim) Trainor - Senior Vice President, Aon; Previous Director of the Cyber Division, FBI

Fees & Accommodations


Nonprofit Management Programs are held at Northwestern University's Chicago Campus.

Wieboldt Hall
340 East Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Chicago Campus Parking Map - Please Note: the Huron Superior Parking A lot and the Erie Ontario Parking C & D lots are available to the public and should be used when attending programs at Wieboldt Hall.

Application Deadline

The deadline for registration is 10:00 am one business day prior to the program start date.

Hospitality during the Program

We strive to provide healthy meal choices for our participants for breakfast, lunch and breaks. We typically provide a range of choices, including some vegetarian-friendly and gluten-avoidant selections. We cannot meet all dietary preferences, but we will do our best to accommodate health restrictions, religious restrictions and food allergies.


Participants are responsible for booking their hotel accommodations during their stay.

Download Nearby Hotels List

Cancellation Policy:

Participants must notify the Program Manager five business days in advance of the program start date if they are unable to attend. Otherwise, participants will be charged 20% of the stated program fees.

When canceling a program registration, participants may choose to rollover their payment to a future program or receive a refund. Participants are allowed three rollovers, after the third rollover, participants forfeit the money paid to the Center for Nonprofit Management.

*Refund or rollover must be requested at the time of the program cancellation. Once a program payment has been rolled over, a monetary refund is no longer an option. The participant must continue with the rollover process.

Learn More

Please email or call us if you would like additional information about Nonprofit Programs

2019 Session

October 29, 2019

Start: October 29 at 8:00 AM

End: October 29 at 1:00 PM

Chicago campus

This program does not count towards the Executive Scholar Certificate


Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208