Board chair/executive director coaching program


This is a cohort learning program designed to clarify and deepen the partnership of new executive directors and/or new board chairs. With a focus on board performance, the program provides assessment, peer learning, individual and group coaching, and a small grant to support strong board performance.

Program goals

  • Strengthen the relationship between an organization’s executive director and board chair
  • Improve board’s overall performance and ability to impact organizational effectiveness
  • Improve board members' ability to serve as advocates for the organization

Program components

  • Cohort: consists of five to eight organizations
  • Five, two-hour group coaching sessions (9-11 a.m.) over a five-month period. Dates/topics:
    • September 25 - Roles/responsibilities of boards: a review of the board assessment
    • October 30 - The executive director and board chair relationship
    • November 20 - Board role in fund development
    • December 4 - Sharpening board member skills around financial literacy
    • January 15 - Board member recruitment and engagement
    • February 26 - (Inclement weather reschedule date, if needed)
  • Organizations will receive a one-year membership to BoardSource, providing full access to resources and tools.
  • Board members will participate in a board self-assessment provided through BoardSource.
  • Organizations will receive up to three hours of individual coaching for executive director and/or board chair, depending on organizational needs.
  • Organizations will be able to select a topic for presentation by Rhode Island Foundation staff at a future board meeting.
  • Organizations will be eligible for a small grant of up to $2,500 to fund specific board needs (e.g., board retreat facilitation, board training, or ongoing board coaching). Grants are contingent upon participation and program completion.

Application due date: August 5, 2019


Program guidelines

This program is geared toward an organizational team of an executive director with at least one year and up to three years of experience in their current role; and a board chair with at least two years remaining in their current role. Acceptance into the program requires that executive directors and board chairs of selected organizations participate in all five group coaching sessions. Upon completion of the program, all participating organizations will be asked to evaluate the program and provide feedback.

Interested organizations should submit an application (link below) via email to Keith Tavares at no later than August 5, 2019. Application must include a copy of the organization’s current strategic plan. Questions: please contact Keith Tavares at or (401) 427-4054.

Board chair/executive director coaching program application


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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