Board Academy

Board Academy will relaunch in 2022, when we fervently hope we can be back together in-person again! In the meantime, we're focused on keeping our curriculum updated and responsive to the latest trends in board service. Please reach out if you have any questions about this or any other CNE program.

The Board Academy builds the capacity of our community to effectively meet future challenges by creating an ever-expanding web of trained, committed board members.

Board Academy is open both to those new to board service as well as more experienced board members. We strongly encourage younger emerging leaders and those from historically underrepresented communities to apply.

My experience while attending “The Board Academy” far exceeded my expectations. I knew it would make me a better board member, but what I hadn’t anticipated was how much it would help our non-profit to hone our direction and focus our efforts. The lectures were incredibly interactive as well as fun and most of all, positive and uplifting to all classmates. I was fortunate to have received a scholarship and can testify to how beneficial that support was. I cannot stop talking about what I learned and how epic my experience was.

Jeff Gleason, Josephine’s Daddy and Board Member at Josephine’s Village

The academy is a well-run program with excellent administration and instructors who are seasoned professionals from the nonprofit sector. I gained so much insight about board governance, nonprofit accounting, fundraising, and recruitment, just to name a few. Although I have served on community boards for over 20 years, I now feel that I have the tools necessary to serve more effectively.

Andre Luck, Piedmont Virginia Community College

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Photos by Eze Amos


The three-month curriculum consists of interactive classes, readings, experiential learning, and network building within—and beyond—the Charlottesville community. Sessions require advanced reading and outside classwork including a group project. The schedule will include approximately 24 hours of class-time in the form of evening workshops.

Topics covered include:

  • Advocacy & Community Engagement
  • Board Management
  • Board-Staff Partnership
  • Legal, Financial, and Programmatic Oversight and Accountability
  • Organizational Culture & Resilience
  • Philanthropy & Fundraising
  • Strategy & Planning

We are working with our faculty to ensure they bring a perspective of equity and inclusion to each topic.

Tuition and Financial Support

Participants from CNE member organizations receive a discount on Board Academy tuition.

We strongly believe that diversity of experience contributes to strong board leadership. We actively encourage anyone interested in serving their community to consider applying for Board Academy.

CNE offers a limited number of scholarships. Scholarship applications are evaluated on an individual basis once participants have been selected. Scholarship applicants can also apply for an additional childcare subsidy of $200.

Questions? Contact Deputy Director of Strategic Partnerships, Cindy Colson

American Sign Language interpreters or other communication access accommodations are available upon request. Please submit any accommodations requests to CNE at staff@thecne.org or 434-244-3330.

CNE is excited to launch 7 Actionable Principles for a Strong Social Sector!

Building on themes from 10 discussion sessions with 67 community members, and several leading national frameworks for nonprofit health and impact, the 7 Actionable Principles aim to create a shared understanding of what makes a healthy nonprofit and build a supportive learning community of nonprofits and funders.

We encourage you to check out the site and you can find a recording of our launch town hall here.

CNE Members: Schedule a complimentary hour of support and coaching around the 7 Actionable Principles here.