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Nonprofit Board Leadership Program


Nonprofit Board Leadership Program (NBLP) Assistant Director Gwen Shufro '06 with Social Enterprise Program Advisory Board Co-Chair and previous NBLP mentor Bill Lambert '72.

The Nonprofit Board Leadership Program at Columbia Business School cultivates the next generation of nonprofit board leaders while providing a valuable service to alumni and the nonprofit organizations on whose boards they serve. The program was created in response to the high level of student interest in nonprofit board service and nonprofit organizations’ growing need for board members with business training and experience.

Community Profile

Melissa Raso Profile

“Through the Nonprofit Board Leadership Program, students have the opportunity to apply their business talents and energy to real-world projects and come away with insights into board management gained through first-hand experience. The program provided our organization with invaluable skills to complete critical research and compile leading edge industry data. The work completed will be transformative for our organization.”
— Melissa Raso ‘96, Secretary of the Board, All Souls School; Social Enterprise Advisory Board member



Nonprofit Board Leadership Program Fact Sheet >

Participating students gain:

  1. Practical experience to help them better understand strategic and tactical issues facing nonprofit boards;
  2. Insight into the differing roles of board members and nonprofit managers and the challenges both parties encounter in driving the nonprofit’s success;
  3. Inspiration and excitement in anticipation of contributing as future board members in the nonprofit sector.

The program has three components: training sessions at the School; observation of the nonprofit organization and its board or appropriate committees of the board; and a student project conducted with the alumnus and the executive director of the relevant nonprofit organization.

Alumni play a key role in the program. Each alumnus introduces the student to the executive director of the nonprofit organization, and together they agree on a project to be completed during the course of the academic year. This project bolsters the alumnus board member’s and executive director’s understanding of an issue important to the nonprofit and provides the student with a meaningful experience that draws on his or her course work at the School. Before attending any board or committee meetings, students are expected to have gained an understanding of the nonprofit as a whole. To that end, we expect students to observe the nonprofit’s operations by attending one or more staff meetings and serving as a volunteer, if applicable.


2014 Social Enterprise Conference

Millennials Rising: What's Next for Sustainability?

When: October 31, 2014,
8:30 am-6:00pm

The Marriott Marquis
1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
Between 45th and 46th Streets
New York, NY 10036

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The annual Social Enterprise Conference at Columbia Business School brings together thought leaders from across private, nonprofit, public, and academic sectors to share best practices, debate critical issues, and collaborate on innovative concepts to inspire change. Through interactive sessions, keynote speakers, workshops, a pitch competition, and networking opportunities, the conference presents guests with the opportunity to partake in the most important business and societal conversation of this new era. For updates on speakers and sessions, please visit the conference website.

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