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Nonprofit Learning Institute


Presented by Bank of America Charitable Foundation and Associated Grant Makers, the Nonprofit Learning Institute each year brings twenty nonprofit organizations from a broad cross-section of​the nonprofit sector together to participate in a series of technical assistance and capacity building sessions. Each organization sends two attendees to sessions led by experts from leading service organizations and/or consultants in different topic areas. In addition to the sessions, there are a number of supplementary opportunities to meaningfully engage, network, and share experiences with your peer participants. The program was founded in 2011 and is sponsored by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Over the last six years, this program has increased the effectiveness of 120 nonprofit organizations from throughout Massachusetts.

2017-18 Nonprofit Learning Institute

Nonprofit Learning Institute 2017-18 Session Descriptions:

  • Launch of Nonprofit Learning Institute (January 9, 2018, 8:00am - 8:30am)
    This will be the orientation for the Nonprofit Learning Institute. During this orientation, we will go over goals and expectations for the program, as well as learn more about the organizations in the program.

  • Board Management & Development (January 9, 2018, 8:30am-12:30pm)
    This session will focus on managing and developing a board; member purpose, roles and responsibilities; opportunities for board leadership; and, strategic board recruitment.

  • Board Engagement (February 6, 2018, 8:00am - 12:00pm)
    This session will focus on strategically engaging board members and creating a healthy board culture; organizational involvement; and, the role of the board in organizational fundraising.

  • Capitalization & Financial Stability (March 6, 2017, 1:00pm - 5:00pm)
    This session will focus on the role of executives and board leadership in effectively identifying a sustainable business model; understanding how to address breaks within a business model; and, strategizing how to effectively capitalize an organization (i.e. how to build financial resources required to support your mission).

  • Closing Reception (March 6, 2017, 5:00pm - 7:00pm)
    This will be a closing reception with the informal opportunity to meet with other organizations who have participated in the Nonprofit Learning Institute. 



  • Organizations must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in Massachusetts

  • Annual operating budget should be between $500,000 and $2 million
    (Budget size should not deter organizations from applying. Organizations outside this range will also be considered. See Application Form Question 7 for details.)

  • One primary senior staff member must commit to attending all sessions
    At each session, organizations may send two representatives. The second representative may be different for each session. It is strongly recommended that the second representative be either a board.member or additional senior staff member.



  • All sessions (with the exception of the closing reception) will be hosted at Bank of America (225 Franklin Street, 5th Floor, Post Office Square Room, Boston, MA 02110)

  • Food and refreshments will be served at each of the sessions

Application Timeline:

  • September 2017: Application released

  • October 15, 2017, 11pm: Deadline for application submission

  • October 30, 2017: Participants notified of application status

  • January 2018 – March 2018: Nonprofit Learning Institute Sessions    

For the complete guideline and application questions, please click here. Note that the application must be completed online, and the application questions in the following document are just for reference.



“It is definitely worth the time and effort. A large key to taking what is learned and implementing it is to have both board & staff representation at the sessions. It provides a great opportunity to hear the same story, share takeaways and to learn that your organization is not alone in its struggles and challenges. You build a sense of community and a stronger knowledge base of how you can meet some of the challenges”

"Having one consistent board member attend with me was really key in helping us implement some of the ideas from NPLI. This way, suggestions for change were coming from both a board member and the executive director, giving it more credibility and strength”

"As a new (and young) executive director, this series was incredibly helpful. I've used a lot of the information and tools in everyday worklife"

"Our board recruitment and vetting has become much more organized, as well as a formalized rotation plan so that the board continuously brings on new members and doesn't get stale”

“Very helpful for both board development and prospective donor ‘pitches.’ Was especially helpful to be able to bring key board members with me on specific subjects. They got a lot of out of it”

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