Board Academy

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 the Charlottesville community. Sessions require advanced reading and outside classwork including a group project that spans the entire three-month program. The schedule entails two full-days and nine 2-hour evening workshops.

New this year, we’ve added a workshop series called Difficult Conversations. These sessions help participants hone the skills needed to engage fruitfully on tough topics, especially in relation to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Topics covered include:

  • Board roles and responsibilities
  • Strategy and evaluation
  • Collaboration
  • Board fiscal responsibilities
  • Board recruitment and retention
  • Board’s role in philanthropy
  • Navigating board dynamics
  • Engaging in difficult conversations

Time Frame

Classes will begin in January 2020 and run through May 2020.

Applications are due November 1, 2019.

Tuition and Financial Support

Tuition for CNE members is $850

Tuition for non-CNE members is $1,000

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 of up to $600. Partial scholarships are evaluated on an individual basis once participants have been selected. Scholarship applicants can also apply for an additional childcare subsidy of $200.

 Apply Now!

Questions? Contact Program Manager, Andrew Robinson

American Sign Language interpreters or other communication access accommodations are available upon request. Please submit any accommodations requests to Andrew Robinson, Program Manager, 434-951-9042 or