Our mission is to improve the long-term sustainability of nonprofit leaders and organizations by offering the highest quality programs, consultation, training and community-building networks.


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 providing tailored consultation on roles, responsibilities, and governance best practices for nonprofit board teams.  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

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. Our most productive partnerships involve the ED and each board member completing the survey. When we debrief the survey together, CEN will introduce board members 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.


Board Consulting Engagements include:

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


Cost: CEN members: $750 / Non-members: $1,000 

For more information contact Donna Wies at donna@cen.org or 650.517.5854



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