Nonprofit Board Certification & Matching

  • Build Confidence for Board Service

  • Give Back With Your Skills

  • Meet Like-Minded Professionals

Learn What It Takes to Serve on a Nonprofit Board

We offer training to help professionals prepare for effective nonprofit board service. Upon completion, you will be awarded a Nonprofit Board Service Certificate from the University of San Diego, and be connected to nonprofits in need of board members.

Who Should Participate?

People who care about social issues and are interested in contributing their time and skills to nonprofit boards:

  • Current or aspiring board members who seek to advance their general board governance knowledge and increase leadership potential
  • Nonprofit staff whose roles include working directly with board members

Program Benefits

A Nonprofit Board Service Certificate will equip you with the knowledge and experience to feel confident serving and leading nonprofit boards. You will also:

  • Increase your impact
  • Connect with local nonprofits in need of board members with your area of expertise
  • Enhance your leadership skills
  • Learn about effective governance of nonprofits
  • Meet like-minded people and network with other leaders
  • Find a nonprofit board of your interest that needs your expertise

Topics Covered

  • How to govern in a virtual world

  • Importance of building a diverse and equitable board of directors

  • Legal, financial, and ethical responsibilities of nonprofit board members

  • Identifying the right board to join

  • Brené Brown’s “Dare to Lead” and BoardSource’s “12 Principles of Governance that Power Exceptional Boards” curricula

Program Cost

A $1,000 program fee is due upon registration.

We offer a 10% discount on the program fee to LEAD San Diego participants and alumni, as well as employees of 501(c)3 organizations.

Next Cohort

Fall 2022

Upcoming Cohorts

Sign up for updates about upcoming nonprofit board member cohort dates.


Give a Scholarship

The Nonprofit Board Certification and Matching Program develops the acumen of local professionals to offer their time and talent as board members for San Diego nonprofits. Through this program, United Way of San Diego County is helping nonprofits build diverse boards and expand their organizational capacity.

With your help, we can provide scholarships to members of our community who have the time and talent to enrich the nonprofit sector but do not have the ability to pay to go through the program.

By being a $1,000 Scholarship Sponsor, you  

  • Provide one scholarship for an interested community leader who does not have the financial capacity to afford the $1,000 program fee.
  • Receive acknowledgment in the United Way of San Diego County Annual Report, if desired.

About UWSD’s Commitment to Nonprofit Board Member Training

Given our history of partnering with a wide range of individuals in the private and public sectors, United Way of San Diego County is keenly aware of the value and lasting change that dedicated community members can offer to the nonprofit sector. In partnership with The Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego, UWSD offers a Nonprofit Board Service Certification program designed to help professionals use their skills and experience to move boards forward in an ever-changing world. Through this innovative program, we also build the capacity of nonprofit organizations in San Diego and across the country. We work to pair certified program participants with organizations working in their area of interest that have a need for their specific skills and expertise.