Get on Board

Filling the vacuum of leadership post-catastrophe

Get on Board

The Junior League of New Orleans

Issue Area(s): leadership development, disaster recovery, voluntarism

Awards: 2012 Community Impact Award

Metric of Success: In just three years, 329 participants were successfully trained for active roles on 60 individual nonprofit boards.


Recognizing that much of the effort to rebuild New Orleans would fall on not-for-profit organizations—and that Katrina had left many of the city’s nonprofits struggling to survive—the Junior League of New Orleans developed a six-week board-training program called Get on Board that prepares individuals who want to become board members of local nonprofits with the confidence and skills needed to get the job done.

Community partners

  • 60 individual nonprofits
  • Community activists
  • Subject matter experts

How it works

Get on Board workshops explore topics ranging from board roles, fundraising, and fiduciary responsibilities to strategic planning and leadership development. Course modules are taught by well-known local experts in their fields, lending credibility to the program. Graduates can choose to be matched by JLNO with a local nonprofit for a board internship or board service.

What’s the impact?

By the close of the 2011 session, the third year in the program, approximately 329 participants were successfully trained for active roles on nonprofit boards, and nearly 60 diverse nonprofit agencies within the Greater New Orleans area had benefited directly from their partnerships with JLNO. For the third year in a row, high interest in the program resulted in waiting lists for participation, with scholarships available to defray participant costs.

Additionally, Get on Board has provided a major branding tool for use with other New Orleans area nonprofits and corporations to educate them on the benefits of partnerships with JLNO.

The program’s success also can be seen in how participants describe their experience. More than 90 percent of graduates say they feel prepared for successful board service and 100 percent say they would recommend the program to others.