Board Pipeline Program

About the Program

Associated Black Charities’ Board Pipeline Leadership Development Program was launched in 2011 to begin changing the landscape of nonprofit leadership in the Baltimore-Washington region. The previous year, Racial Diversity Collaborative released Measuring Racial-Ethnic Diversity in the Baltimore Washington Region’s Nonprofit Sector. The report shows that nonprofit executive directors and board members did not reflect the racial, gender, and age make-up of the region and the communities that the nonprofits served. Black people and people of color held 27% of board positions in the region even though they make up over half of the region’s population. 44% of all board members were white men. The larger the budget of a nonprofit and the larger the board of a nonprofit, the less diverse the board.

Ten years later, more recent data suggests this gap for nonprofit boards’ diversity persists both nationally and locally . Furthermore, this gap reflects differences in resources for the organization and organizational commitments to equity and inclusion. Nonprofits with more Black leadership and leadership of color carry more of the nonprofit sector’s burden of racial equity work but receive less of the available funding.

It is within this context that the Board Pipeline Program does its work. We demonstrate that there is not a lack of qualified and willing Black individuals and individuals of color for nonprofit board positions, but rather, there is a lack of opportunity. Traditional methods of board recruitment are unable to change the demographics of nonprofit leadership. The Board Pipeline Program creates these opportunities and networks of professional growth and nonprofit leadership diversification. Ultimately, as we change the nonprofit landscape, we transform the Baltimore-DC landscape that the nonprofits serve.

Program Details

For more information on program details, look at our overview document here: 

Download ABC Board Pipeline Overview

Our five sessions break down as follows. All sessions have been virtual since ABC has been fully remote during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Session 1

Nonprofit Board Service: a broad overview of the basics of what a nonprofit board does

Session 2

A Kaleidoscopic View of Board Service: participants meet a panel of experienced board leaders to talk about their real and diverse experiences and challenges

Session 3

Negotiating the Isms of Board Service: participants learn about the realities of serving in the traditionally predominantly white space of nonprofit boards and how to navigate the intersecting oppressions and marginalizations that can exist there, including racism, sexism, and ageism

Session 4

Board Financials: an overview of both the financial responsibilities of board members and fundraising as board members

Session 5

ABC & You: rotating contemporary topics in nonprofit board leadership, including what it means to advance transformational change