Project LEAD

Change starts with you. Project LEAD empowers people of color to take the first step toward board leadership.

Too many people of color are left out of leadership roles. For more than 25 years, we’ve been doing something to change that. Project LEAD—Leadership Effectiveness and Diversity—is a nonprofit board training program open to highly qualified people of color. We must change who is at the table in order to achieve equity in our community.

The 1,000+ Project LEAD graduates from the last 25 years are a testament to our community’s commitment to service and diversity. And now more than ever it’s crucial that we take a stand to make sure our community’s boards are representative of the communities they serve. That all voices have an equal seat at the table.

How It Works

During this month-long intensive training course, participants show up ready to listen, learn and participate. 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 include:

  • Issues facing nonprofit organizations
  • Board operations and protocol
  • Collaboration and conflict resolution
  • Choosing a board and board members
  • Fiscal management
  • Strategic fundraising
  • Creating bold organizational strategies
  • Managing legal risk
  • How race relates to the board member role

Are you ready to be a board member?

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, etc.
  • Commitment to attend ALL sessions and to serving on a committee and/or board of choice after graduation.

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.

We are excited to offer participants the opportunity to improve their fundraising skills, a critical skill for a board member. Participants will pay a $200 tuition fee once they are accepted in the program. As part of your learning, participants will be asked to raise $200 during the program. A limited number of scholarships are available for those facing economic hardships.

When It Takes Place

Training will be during the months of February and March and is at K&L Gates in downtown Seattle. Participants must attend ALL sessions. Classes are scheduled for Wednesday evenings from 6–8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

The program culminates in a graduation reception and agency fair for board recruitment in March. Check out highlights from last year’s Project LEAD graduation.

Get Involved!

For more information, contact or 206.461.5014.

Thanks to our generous sponsors: