Direct Impact

Echoing Green’s Nonprofit Board Leadership Training

Direct Impact is an experiential board leadership training program, which prepares exceptional business leaders for high-impact nonprofit board service. We support participants as they identify and unleash the skills, competencies, and qualities they need as leaders to influence and impact people throughout their lives, both through board service and beyond.

Each cohort is comprised of a diverse group of mid-level private sector leaders who have been identified as rising stars within their sector or corporation. Participants have over six years of professional experience, are committed to social change, and are seeking nonprofit board participation.

Individual Impact

Our unique nonprofit leadership development process transforms individuals, allowing them to better understand who they are, how they operate in the sector, and what they can do to make change happen. Individuals are equipped to think critically about how the social and private sectors can work together, while learning the principles of exceptional nonprofit governance.

Employee Engagement

Investment in the professional and leadership development skills of high-potential employees leads to increased engagement, retention, and performance. The opportunity for employees to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds across the globe leads to better teamwork, management practices, and problem solving skills.


What has the board leadership training meant to recent graduates of the program?

Maria Palma

Director of Platform, RRE

“Participating in Direct Impact solidified my understanding of how I can stay actively involved in the social sector without it being my primary job. It has enabled me to more fully leverage my private sector experience in a nonprofit board capacity, while also setting an exceptionally high bar for the quality of board leadership needed.”

Kendra Nelson

Finance Manager, Toys R Us Inc.

“After completing Direct Impact, my thoughts have altered surrounding how I define 'impact'. My ability to have impact is not only dependent on my business savvy, but also on my ability to listen to, understand the needs of, and support the leaders within the nonprofit I work with.”

Marques E. Zak

Finance Director, PepsiCo

“Before joining Direct Impact, I thought nonprofit board service was about the value I could bring to an organization. Echoing Green taught me that perspective was way too narrow; nonprofit board service is about enabling transformative change for the constituents that the organization serves.”

Program Components

  • Two leadership retreats in NYC
  • Monthly workshops that include comprehensive governance training and leadership development
  • Immersive multi-day site visits with Echoing Green Fellows
  • Engagement in board placement process for Echoing Green Fellow boards
  • Continued support through the first board meeting
  • Alumni program and ongoing participation in Echoing Green network
  • For more detailed information, review our FAQs.

Apply to our Nonprofit Leadership Development Program

Applications for our fall 2017 program will open soon. To be notified when the application becomes available, please contact Kate Hayes at