Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards

Diverse boards are crucial to ensuring that nonprofit organizations have the broad perspectives necessary to understand the constituents they serve, creatively address emerging problems, plan effectively, and expand donor engagement. Yet national research shows 84% of nonprofit board members are white, with nearly 1 in 3 nonprofits lacking any professionals of color on their boards (BoardSource).

In a Nonprofit Leadership Center survey of nonprofit CEOs, leaders said the most significant barrier to building a diverse board is having the knowledge and understanding to identify and recruit professionals of color who are passionate about the mission. Many admitted they didn’t know where to start. 

The Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship is designed to:

  • Advance racial and ethnic diversity, equity and inclusion on nonprofit boards throughout Tampa Bay
  • Deepen the board governance knowledge and skills of professionals of color
  • Equip select nonprofits to genuinely welcome participating board fellows and ensure their organizations are ready and committed to fostering more inclusive and equitable boards and cultures

2023 Schedule & Sessions

The 2023 fellowship program takes place August 15 through November 14. During this transformative learning and networking experience, fellows participate in the following sessions:

  • Session 1: Fellowship Launch & Orientation
  • Session 2: Emotional Intelligence and Intercultural Competence
  • Session 3: Board Roles & Responsibilities
  • Session 4: Resource Development
  • Session 5: Choosing the Right Nonprofit for You
  • Session 6: Financial Management & Leadership Panel
  • Session 7: Defining Your Legacy & Graduation 


Attention nonprofit CEOs and board chairs! Join us for an upcoming info session to learn more about the fellowship, how to diversify your board and how your nonprofit could potentially participate in welcoming a fellow onto your board.

Each one-hour virtual session will feature a fellowship graduate and nonprofit CEO who will share their perspectives on and experiences with the fellowship. Register now:

How to Apply

Apply to Be a Fellow

Acceptance into the Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship program is by application only, and you must be a professional of color to apply. Applications for the 2023 program have closed. Please stay tuned for the next fellowship application process

Apply to Be a Mentor

Are you a professional of color who is experienced in nonprofit board service and would like to mentor another professional of color as they gain knowledge and skills to effectively serve our communities? We will pair selected mentors with fellows to meet virtually or in-person with mentees for one to two hours between each of the six training sessions. 

Mentor applications have closed for 2023. Please check back in early 2024 to apply for the next fellowship.

Nominate Your Nonprofit

If your nonprofit organization is interested in being considered as one of the organizations that fellows can work with through the Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship, we invite you to complete our interest form. In doing so, you acknowledge that your organization’s leaders commit to participating in group training. (Optional coaching sessions are also offered.)

What graduates are saying

Wondering what it’s like to participate in the Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship? What are the most powerful benefits? Six recent graduates share their experience.

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Thank You to Our Funders

The 2023 Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship is made possible with generous support from the Florida Blue Foundation along with corporate and nonprofit partners, including Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Bank of America,  Bloomin’ Brands, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, Fifth Third Bank, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg,  and Vistra Communications.

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For More Information

If you have questions about the new Advancing Racial Equity on Nonprofit Boards Fellowship offered by the Nonprofit Leadership Center, please contact Meriel Martínez at, or call 813-287-8779.

What fellows

are saying:

This was not about going through a program and remembering information; it was about living the experience. I will never forget this life-changing opportunity and what I learned, and I’m excited about what it has prepared me to take on next.

Paula Dang, 2021 fellowship graduate

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