Boards in Gear recognizes the large role boards play in a nonprofit’s success. As a board, you want your nonprofit to thrive and make a difference in the communities served by your organization. Designed to provide actionable information and tools to elevate your board practices, this toolkit is a starting point and an invitation to be curious, ask questions, and share your learning with others at your organization. Explore the resources in this toolkit offered in different formats to meet your learning needs.

Upcoming Boards in Gear Events

Boards in Gear logo, with Washington state behind it, circled by the 5 pieces of the curriculum.

What We Cover in Boards in Gear


Start by understanding how getting your board in gear can help put your organization on a clear path forward.

Connection to Cause

Connecting your nonprofit’s mission to the larger cause strengthens the organization’s ability to achieve its mission.


 When board members’ responsibilities are met, the board provides needed oversight to steward the organization’s mission and valuable assets.

Board Composition and Development

Strong board composition makes certain the ideal people are in place with the skills and experiences needed to respond to new opportunities and challenges.

Board Operations

Efficient and effective board operations are a key part of advancing an organization’s work. 


Board members help nonprofits secure adequate resources for the organization in ways that allow for financial stability over time. 

Boards in Gear Guide

The Boards in Gear Guide includes information, activities, worksheets, and reflection questions. Use the guide on it's own, or along with the other resources in the toolkit.

Download the Guide

Take the Course

The self-paced Boards in Gear Course works through the material presented in the guide in interactive lessons including videos, activities, and additional resources.

Boards in Gear Videos

In these short videos, we talk with nonprofit professionals about their experiences working on nonprofit boards. Use these videos to learn on your own, or play one at your next board meeting to start important conversations. 

Document Vault

Check out these documents and templates to deepen your learning and help put what you learned into practice. Looking for something specific? Use the subtopic filters to filter by chapter, or search keywords you are looking for. 

Board Matrix Template

Use this template to map your board's demographic and experiential diversity to help inform your recruitment.

Continue Learning

Looking for somethingthing else? Check out all of NAWA’s resources and upcoming events on nonprofit boards on the By Topic – Boards page.

Important Note: This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or technical advice. If you are unsure about anything covered in Boards in Gear, we suggest that you contact the appropriate agency or seek professional advice.

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