CEN Board Consulting

At CEN, we believe that the most effective organizations are those that have high-performing boards working in partnership with a strong chief executive. Our Board Consulting program fosters this principle by offering the tailored consultation your organization needs. Whether you are looking for a basic refresher on board roles, an in-depth training, or an all day custom designed retreat, CEN can provide an engagement that meets your needs and your budget. These consultations are conducted by CEN's Jennifer Simmons & Donna Wies, both Certified BoardSource Governance Consultants.



"CEN's Donna Wies helped Pedrozzi Foundation board members fully understand and internalize its role and responsibilities.  Through an informative and engaging session, Donna explained the various roles the board performs, the relationship between board and staff, and the difference between speaking as a Board versus as an individual board member and volunteer.  During an additional training, Donna guided board members through a more in depth discussion of their import role in fundraising - from making personal donations through encouraging others to do the same.  Strong organizations have strong boards, and the insight gained from CEN consulting services is a valuable tool for the Foundation."

- Carolyn Siegfried (Executive Director, Pedrozzi Foundation)



CEN’s unique approach to Board Consulting

We believe a successful training starts well before we step into your board meeting. It is our goal to identify your organization's unique struggles and then design a custom plan. In order to customize our consultation with clients, we have developed an online board self-assessment survey based on BoardSource’s book, Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards. Once the executive and each board member have completed this survey, we debrief together and introduce your board to the nuances and hard skills of effective board service and evaluation. Armed with a baseline for expectations, we work with you to set new goals for improvement. Each survey is customized for our clients based on organization size, goals, and need.


Our Basic Board Consulting Engagement

Cost: CEN Members - $750 | Non-members - $1,000

Please note, the average engagement requires about 6 weeks lead time and includes:


An initial consultation (1+ hours) with the organization's Executive Director and/or Board Chair to assess the needs of the Board

Board self-assessment, administered and reviewed by CEN consultant - online, about 20 minutes/board member

A customized presentation (at a scheduled board meeting/retreat) which includes practical exercises and facilitated discussions, designed to promote long term board effectiveness and productivity

A resource packet which includes in-depth information on all the subjects covered and follow up exercises for your board’s continued learning

Follow-up consultation with the Executive Director and Board leaders, if desired


Custom Training & Retreats

We can provide the tailored training that your board is looking for! These engagements are available exclusively to the CEN member community. Please give us a call for pricing and additional details. 


For more information, please contact Christine  (christine@cen.org | 650.517.5855)



"Donna recently came and facilitated our board retreat this past February.  She provided a most excellent day which was filled with professional development of the board members, strategic-development activities, and a truly effective visionary planning session. She kept the board members very focused with positive supportive guidance.  I found her sense of humor, empathy, and facilitation skills to be so effective and impactful for our leadership team, and I would definitely recommend CEN and Donna Weis to any nonprofit team wanting to take their game to the next level."

- DeAnna Pursai (Executive Director, College of Adaptive Arts)



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