Project LEAD

Learn how to make a greater difference in the community by serving on a nonprofit board.

Healthy, vibrant communities are best achieved when civic leadership reflects the diversity of the community. Yet here in ethnically and racially diverse King County, too many people of color are left out of the public conversation.

Project LEAD – Leadership Effectiveness And Diversity – is a leadership training program that prepares highly qualified people of color to serve effectively on nonprofit boards. More than 1,000 individuals have graduated from Project LEAD since it began in 1992. Most are now contributing their unique perspectives to nonprofit organizations across King County.

How It Works

Project LEAD training occurs each spring. Over the course of a month, participants attend four weekday evening workshops and three full-day weekend workshops. The program concludes with a graduation ceremony and agency fair where graduates can meet representatives of nonprofit organizations that are seeking new members for their boards.

Topics addressed in training workshops include:

  • Issues facing nonprofit organizations
  • Board operations and protocol
  • Collaboration and conflict resolution
  • Learning from life experiences
  • Fiscal management
  • Strategic fundraising
  • Creating bold organizational strategies
  • Managing legal risk

Members also engage in dialogue about race and how being a person of color relates to their role on a nonprofit board.

What It Takes

Applicants must demonstrate:

  • Significant volunteer experience at a personal or community level.
  • Past success working as part of a team – at work, in the community, at church, etc.
  • Commitment to participating fully in all training sessions and serving on the committee and/or board of your choice after you graduate.

Applicants must also be prepared to take on the legal and financial responsibilities of becoming a nonprofit board member. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Helping a nonprofit organization define and stay true to its mission.
  • Making a personal financial contribution to the organization.
  • Attending all board and committee meetings and functions.
  • Participating in the fundraising, resource management, and legal oversight responsibilities of the board.
  • Assisting in the fiduciary responsibilities of the board, such as reviewing the organization’s annual financial statements.

Due to the critical need for more diverse nonprofit board leadership, Project LEAD is only open to people of color. Applicants are selected based on a written application and interview.

There is a $150 fee for program materials, due after you are accepted in the program. A limited number of scholarships are available for those facing economic hardships.

For more information, contact projectlead@uwkc.org or 206-461-5014.

When it takes place

Training takes place in Spring 2016 over four weeks. Participants must attend all sessions from March 30 — April 20. Classes are held Wednesday evenings from 6:00—8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m. Class topics range from Fiscal Management for Board Members to a Dialogue on Race—What Is Your Role on the Board? Project LEAD attracts some of the region’s most talented speakers and trainers. A graduation reception and agency fair for board recruitment takes place on the evening of April 27. Check out highlights from this year’s Project LEAD graduation.

Get Involved!

Applications for the Spring 2016 Class are due December 4. Interviews will take place in December and applicants will be selected by January 22, 2016.

Applications for the Spring 2016 Class have now closed.

Thanks to our generous sponsors:

Project LEAD is a training program that prepares people of color to serve effectively on nonprofit boards. Check out what this program can do for you today.