Diversity On Board

The 2018 Diversity on Board application is now open. See ‘Application & Tuition’ information at the bottom of the page to apply.

Engaging Racial/Ethnic Minorities in Nonprofit Leadership

For ten years, United Way of Summit County administered Project Blueprint, a program model that a number of United Way chapters provided to advance minority representation on nonprofit boards. In 2014, United Way requested Leadership Akron to use its prototyping process for new programs/projects to re-imagine Project Blueprint. Using this framework, Leadership Akron and United Way re-designed the program as Diversity On Board.

The goal remains the same: develop more diverse talent for service on nonprofit Board of Directors through a program of leadership development, education and service.

Long-Term Goal: Create a critical mass of high caliber minority leaders that are prepared, motivated, and connected to serve on nonprofit boards.

Short-Term Goal: Within one year graduates will be serving as a committee or board member of at least one Akron area nonprofit organization.

How will the program work: The class will be divided into five teams for monthly coaching activities that take place between workshops. Each team is paired with two community leaders who provide opportunities to download perspective from their exemplary experience on nonprofit boards. The teams will share experiences, and crystallize the learning that took place in each of the workshop sessions.

Hear from the Inaugural class participants. Watch the video!


Diversity on Board program days are full-day sessions from approximately 8:30am-5pm on the following days: 

  • October 4, 2018 (mandatory)
  • November 1, 2018 
  • December 13, 2018 
  • January 3, 2019 
  • February 7, 2019 
  • March 7, 2019 
  • April 4, 2019 
  • June 2019 (Graduation Date TBD)
TOPICS COVERED: Nonprofit Board Governance, Ethics, and Policies; Strategic Planning for Nonprofits; Understanding Nonprofit Financial Health; Advocacy & Relationship Building, and more. The program will also include Opening and Closing Retreats, a Nonprofit Agency Forum and integrated Coaching experiences.


How do I apply?
We utilize an online application system called draftonce. (Please see Application & Tuition information below)

What is tuition to the program?
Tuition to the program is $500. This reflects an excellent value based on underwriting support from United Way and in-kind support from a host of venues, presenters, and more. Often, employers may fund or contribute to the cost as a professional development opportunity. Partial scholarships are available to participants based on financial need.

What is the attendance policy?
Attendees are expected to attend all sessions and can miss no more than one session to be eligible to graduate. Attendees are expected to attend most of the coaching meetings and can miss no more than two coaching meetings to be eligible to graduate. The support of each participant’s employer is important to assure that attendance requirements can be met.

Where will the sessions be held?
Diversity On Board sessions will be held in a variety of community settings, enhancing the learning experience for participants. All locations will be in Summit County, and most will be central to the Akron area.

Do I need to be on a board to participate?
No. This program is intended to equip participants for board service. If you are already on a board(s), this may be a valuable learning experience to inform your current involvement.


How do I complete the application?  We utilize an online application system called draftonce. You may access the application here, or follow the link below. Please read through the instructions below on how to complete your application through draftonce:

  1. You will be prompted to create your own online account so that you can complete the application in part and come back at a later time to complete and submit the application. 
  2. When you begin your application, be sure to select Diversity on Board 2018 from the New tab.
  3. Using any of the navigation keys (Next, Finish, Back) will automatically save your application. Once you have started an application, you will be able to access it under the In-Progress tab. After you have "finished" an application, you will still be able to access it under the Completed tab; you do not need to do anything further to submit your application.

How soon must I complete the application? The application deadline is Thursday, May 31 at 5pm.

Click Here to access the application!

Tuition: $500
Application Deadline: May 31, 2018

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