Course Description

The course is designed to give you an introduction to nonprofit organizations and nonprofit boards.   Whether you’re considering becoming a board member for the first time or you’re already serving on a board, you'll learn the essential concepts every board member should know.  

There are lots of different types of nonprofits, and this course will focus primarily on 501c3 organizations classified as public charities (if you're not sure what that means, don’t worry, it's explained in the course).  If you’re a board member of a 501c3 private foundation, or a non-501c3 organizations such as a chamber of commerce or homeowners association, some of the information in this course may not be relevant to you.

In the course, you'll learn what a nonprofit is and isn't, the different roles of a nonprofit board, and what to look for before you agree to join a board.

Your registration includes access to the course and course materials for 30 days.


Minimum System Requirements:

This course includes downloads of PDF documents (Portable Document Format) and streaming video. Viewing the documents will require Adobe Acrobat Reader or other PDF viewing software.  Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free from the Adobe website.

The video player will run on Mac OS, Windows and Linux as well as most mobile devices and tablets on any browser that supports Adobe Flash and/or HTML5.  Supported browsers include Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9,10,11, and Microsoft Edge.  Internet Explorer 8 is not supported on Windows XP for security reasons, but is supported on Windows 7 or higher operating systems.

An internet connection with a minimum speed of 768 kilobits per second is required.  At least 5MB/sec is recommended to stream video in full HD quality.  Please note that the video player may downgrade the quality of the video to accommodate lower connection speeds.

Course Instructor

  • Stacey Papa, Esq.

    Stacey Papa, Esq.

    Stacey Papa is an attorney who currently serves as a Child Custody Mediator and Hearing Officer for the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County. A graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Stacey's past legal experience includes practice as a Title Analyst for Chevron, an Attorney Examiner for the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance, and private practice with the law firm of Elliott and Davis in Pittsburgh.

    Stacey also has more than eighteen years' experience working with nonprofit organizations including work as a grant writer, a consultant, and as an attorney. She also served as the Executive Director of Connect to Classrooms, a nonprofit organization providing social services to school districts, for six years.

Course curriculum

  • 1
    Board Basics
    • How to Navigate This Course
    • Course Materials
    • What's a Nonprofit?
    • Board Roles Part 1: Legal Duties and the Organization's Mission
    • Board Roles Part 2: Governance and Chief Executives
    • Board Roles Part 3: Fiduciary Duties
    • Board Roles Part 4: Fundraising and Advocacy
    • Before You Join a Board
    • Due Diligence and Resources
    • Course Feedback