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Next Gen Program: Nonprofit Board Training for Young Leaders

Next Gen Student listening to older person


Board development is a critical component of nonprofit capacity building.  Strong boards create strong organizations.  And strong organizations create strong communities.  Two sentiments that we often hear from nonprofit boards and board members are “How do we get young people interested and involved in our board?” and “Board training?  I never received any board training…”


When the Sisters Health Foundation came to Marietta College seeking to engage young leaders in the nonprofit sector through board membership, the Next Generation: Nonprofit Leadership and Board Governance (Next Gen) program was born.  At first, this program was a co-curricular opportunity that matched interested college students with nonprofit boards.  As the program evolved, it became an academic credit-bearing program that places undergraduate students on nonprofit boards for three semesters.  Students not only attend board and committee meetings and engage in work on behalf of their board and their organization; they also attend weekly classes to learn about board membership, nonprofit management, capacity building, program planning, and grant writing.  And the students complete actual projects through the class on behalf of their board and their organization. 


Both students and nonprofits have to apply and interview to join the program.  Students and boards are matched based on organization mission/student interest and board meeting time/student availability.  If a nonprofit receives a student match, the nonprofit becomes a nonprofit partner who works with us to co-educate our students about the nonprofit sector, board leadership, and community development work.  The nonprofit organizations also get a chance to meet and work with the other nonprofit partners through the program.  They have access to resources and support from the Nonprofits LEAD Program at Marietta College.  And they are able send all of their board members to semester-based board development workshops such as “What are the roles and responsibilities of a board member?”  “How can we better engage our board members?” and “How to run an effective board meeting”.


Next Gen works not only to prepare the next generation of board members, nonprofit professionals, and community leaders, it also works to actively develop and support nonprofit boards in the Mid-Ohio Valley.


Next Gen applications are accepted each fall from both interested students as well as interested nonprofit organizations within 25 miles of Marietta College.  The program runs spring-fall-spring.  For questions regarding the Next Gen program or information regarding applications and the next academic cohort, contact


Recent Next Gen Nonprofit Partners

Consumer Credit Counseling Services of the Mid-Ohio Valley

Ely Chapman Education Foundation

Marietta Family YMCA

Marietta Main Street

Marietta-Washington County Convention Visitors Bureau

Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Fest

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Washington County

Washington County Harvest of Hope

The Woman’s Home

Wood County Habitat for Humanity

Betsey Mills Corporation

Downtown PKB


Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Fest

Muskingum Park Civic Association

O’Neill Center

The Right Path for Washington County



Older person working with younger Next Gen student

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