Since 2016, the Alliance for Better Nonprofits’ OnBoard Governance Certificate Program has prepared hundreds of high-potential professionals for service on nonprofit boards and introduces them to organizations that would benefit from their involvement. Through OnBoard, participants gain insights about the region and the nonprofits seeking to improve it and learn what is required for sound board-level thinking and oversight. 

At the end of the program, an inventory of participants’ personal skills and interests are taken and participants have the opportunity to be matched with local nonprofits looking for qualified board members.

ABN is offering both virtual and in-person sessions of OnBoard in 2023!

The spring program starts on March 7th and each of the six training sessions will take place virtually via Zoom on Tuesdays from 11:30am-1pm. Tuition is $500 per person.

The fall program starts on August 15th and each of the six training sessions will take place in person at the United Way of Greater Knoxville on Tuesdays from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Tuition is $750 per person (dinner is included).

Questions? Contact Jeanna Beck at

Employers: Sponsor your employees to attend this important program! Benefits for employers include:

  • Connecting your emerging leaders with a network of other high-potential, mid-career professionals
  • Retaining your talent by deepening their engagement with our region
  • Increasing your visibility as a corporate supporter of leading nonprofits
  • Developing board-level thinking among your next generation of leadership

OnBoard Testimonials:

“I enjoyed learning the ‘behind the scenes’ of operating a nonprofit. Great content, and very useful framework for contributing strategically.”

“I learned so many different things that will help me even if I never even get the chance to serve on a nonprofit board (but of course I do plan on supporting and serving on nonprofit boards and committees for many years).”

“I’m now engaged in ongoing discussions with two nonprofits about how I can help on committees or become a board member. I’m excited to put what I learned to use.”

“Dealt directly with the real issues facing boards and practical training to make an immediate impact. Case studies and group discussions were effective.”

“I enjoyed the case studies the most because they provided insight on how different nonprofits are run. The discussions during the sessions were great as well because we were able to dig into each of the case studies and collaborate about their strategies.”

2023 Schedule


Tuesdays from 11:30am to 1pm on Zoom.

  • March 7: Understanding Nonprofits & Board Basics
  • March 21: Strategic Planning & Program Evaluation
  • April 4: Fundraising & Financials
  • April 18: Imbedding Equity into Board Decision-Making
  • May 2: Leadership & Management
  • May 16: Board Governance & Recruitment


Tuesdays from 5:30pm to 7:30pm in person at the United Way of Greater Knoxville.

  • August 15: Understanding Nonprofits & Board Basics
  • August 29: Strategic Planning & Program Evaluation
  • September 12: Fundraising & Financials
  • September 26: Imbedding Equity into Board Decision-Making
  • October 10: Leadership & Management
  • October 24: Board Governance & Recruitment