Partners in Nonprofit Leadership: Bringing Board Chairs and Executive Directors into Strategic Alignment

As organizations face the financial turbulence of our times, nonprofit boards are becoming more critical. Good boards have always been sought after, but great boards may be the new necessity for Vermont's small and mid-sized nonprofits to survive and thrive.

A trusting and clear partnership between the Executive Director and Board Chair is the bottom line for board success. This full day Partners in Nonprofit Leadership workshop, designed for directors and chairs to attend together, will help bring your staff and your Board into strategic alignment.

When we offer board trainings we generally work with a local host who helps us with outreach and organization, in exchange for co-branding and a free seat at the workshop. Contact for more information.

Workshop objectives

Together, the director and chair will have the chance to develop a shared vision around some of the most challenging issues facing nonprofit organizations today:

  • How should boards share leadership with the Executive Director?
  • What is the difference between managing and governing?
  • How can boards spend their time wisely and strategically?
  • What are the legal duties that boards must accept?
  • What characterizes the very best boards?
  • What's new in governance, and how can these emerging best practices help your board to think bigger and avoid going from crisis to crisis?

Over the course of the Partners in Nonprofit Leadership workshop, you will clarify expectations about roles and responsibilities, learn some exciting new concepts regarding contemporary boards, and spend time working together on your own organization's board performance.

Costs & Financial Aid

Generous support from the Eagleridge Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, TDBank and the National Life Foundation allows us to keep the costs of this training very reasonable.

  • $250 for the organizational pair. Includes lunch on Friday.
  • If you are a graduate of the Certificate in Nonprofit Management, let us know! Certificate alumni will receive a $50 discount off the registration fee.
  • The United Way of Windham County has made funds available to help support the participation of local human services organizations. If you are a human services organization with 501(c)3 status and you serve Windham County, please contact Kate Jellema at 802-451-7510 to find out about possible scholarships.


8:00 am Registration
8:30-9:15 Overview & Expectations
9:15-10:15 21st Century Board Realities
10:30-11:30 Partners Session #1: Goals for Board Effectiveness
11:30-12:00 How to get the most from your Board
12:00-1:00 Working lunch
1:15-2:15 Partners Session #2: What Do We Need from Each Other?
2:30-3:30 Where the rubber hits the road
3:30-4:15 Discussion
4:15-4:30 Wrap up and evaluation

Who should attend this workshop?

The Partners in Nonprofit Leadership workshop is designed to be taken by a leadership pair who would like to strengthen their nonprofit organization. This pair would most likely the Executive Director and the Board Chair, but you will know what's right for your organization: perhaps it's a regional director and the chair of an advisory group, or the ED and a vice chair on track to take the helm in the near future.

If you have any questions about whether this workshop is right for your organization, please contact Kate Jellema at (802) 451-7510.

Registration Information

Registration will open 3-4 weeks before a given workshop.  

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Jellema at (802) 451 7510


Lead instructor Jim LeFevre is a consultant to nonprofit organizations - focusing especially on strategic planning, board governance and merger/alliance development. He has worked with more than a hundred organizations over the past thirty years.

In 1992, Jim wrote Redirecting Boards: A New Vision of Governance for Planned Parenthood.  Jim was the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England for 18 years and worked at Planned Parenthood Federation of America in New York City as its interim President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategic Officer.