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Board Training in King County

Board Training in King County is a forum for executive directors and board chairs or key board members to network with colleagues, learn about specific governance topics, and discuss issues facing their organizations. Previously hosted by the United Way of King County, 501 Commons now manages this highly regarded board partnership series. We encourage two or more from your board to attend together.

Board Training in King County sessions are held at the Pacific Tower at 1200 12th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98144. Room details will be on your ticket.

Cost for most sessions is $40 for 501 Commons members, $45 for non-members, with a $20 discount for nonprofits with budgets under $1 million. The sessions take place biweekly from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. (subject to change)

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Upcoming Board Trainings: Quick Registration Links

Upcoming Board Trainings: Descriptions & Registration

Governance Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards

Tuesday, February 14, 9:00 am to noon

Are you new to being a board member or just never got a good overview of what it means to serve on a board? Are you a seasoned board member who needs to help your newer board colleagues understand their role? This session gives insight into effectively performing the roles and responsibilities of a board member. We will discuss the basics of nonprofits, legal obligations, personal risk, and the concepts of governance to provide a framework for more effective not-for-profit board leadership.

By the end of the session participants will understand:

  • What a “fiduciary” responsible for the governance of a not-for-profit organization means, according to federal and state laws.
  • How a board can think and govern like leaders, not managers.
Trainer: Beth McCaw is currently the President of the Washington Women’s Foundation, having retired from the practice of law in 2010. She serves on the Boards of Directors of YWCA USA, YWCA of Seattle-King County-Snohomish County, Bellevue LifeSpring, Overlake Medical Center and The Rainier Club Historic Foundation. Besides her law degree, Beth holds a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University.

Governance Matters: Create a more powerful board through Policy Governance

Tuesday, February 14, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Looking for a way to make your board more effective and efficient? Policy Governance® uses policies laid out in advance to help the board clarify its role and to define the relationship between the board and the administrative leader (executive director, head of school, or CEO). Since the board's processes are written down, clear, and more stable, the oversight and governance role of the board can be accomplished with less time but greater consistency. This frees up time for the board to focus on longer-term strategic issues, deepening community connections, and on the support role of individual board members, including fundraising.

This seminar will provide you with a solid understanding of the principles and practices of Policy Governance, a fast growing approach to governance used by many nonprofits, credit unions, religious organizations, and school districts.

Trainer: Nancy Long, executive director of 501 Commons, which uses Policy Governance for its board.  A light supper will be provided.

Speed Reading Financial Statements - Efficient Review Practices for Board Members

Thursday, March 2, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

This workshop teaches financial statement speed-reading tricks and outlines some of the key indicators that Board members sometimes overlook when they are exercising their fiduciary duties. We will talk about what the numbers mean, how they can be improved by your organization and how to spot the issues that catch the attention of external financial statement users.

By the end of the session participants will:

  1. Understand nonprofit accounting terminology,
  2. Understand and interpret basic nonprofit financial statements and Form 990,
  3. Be empowered to ask questions and identify 'red flags' in your organization's financial statements and Form 990.

Trainers: Erin Welch, CPA, Partner, Jacobson Jarvis & Howard Donkin, CPA, Partner, Jacobson Jarvis

Erin is a financial statement auditor and consultant, working with not-for-profits to prepare financial statements that accurately and effectively communicate to external audiences.  In addition to her professional service, Erin serves on the Northshore Schools Foundation board and the United Way Audit Review Committee.

Howard specializes in serving not-for-profit organizations’ tax-related needs. He has served on a number of federal and state advisory panels contributing to the development and interpretation of tax laws impacting non-profits, including the Redesigned Form 990.

Does Your Board Really Understand Fundraising Success?  How to Define, Measure and Achieve it

Wednesday, March 22, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Nonprofits try lots of things when it comes to fundraising: Events, auctions, 10K's, grants, social media, house parties, major gifts, corporate giving, and the seemingly chronic "anything and everything we can" plan. Are you tired of trying so hard at the same old game? Learn what our region's most effective fundraising organizations know, prioritize, and evaluate as they create meaningful fundraising plans to unify leaders and fuel compelling causes.

Participants will learn:

  • How to evaluate your organization's risk-exposure regarding fundraising channels
  • How to define healthy fundraising goals
  • The essential elements of a fundraising plan (including evaluative framework and metrics)

Trainer: Peter Drury is Adjunct Professor at Seattle University (Master of Nonprofit Leadership Program) and Director, Corporate & Foundation Relations at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation. He has spoken with high acclaim at national and regional conferences regarding best practices for Boards, Executives, and Major Gifts Officers.