Learn How To

Identify different types and structures of boards of directors, including for-profit and non-profit

Explore common stages of building a board and important considerations when nominating new board members

Understand the benefits of a carefully selected, well-designed and well-managed board for social enterprises

Course Syllabus

Welcome to the Course

Welcome to the Course

Course Logistics

Common Terms and Definitions

Global Conversation: Your Questions

The Role of a Board

What is a Board?

Types of Boards

Good Governance

Case Study: Bad Governance


Global Conversation: Your Ideas on Governance

Building a Board

Stages of Boards

The Beginning

Adding Early Investors

Activity: Moral Choice Point

Independent Members and Observers

Case Study: Foundation for Mother & Child Health


Global Conversation: Your Next Steps

Change Your View Of The World

Draw inspiration from thought-provoking readings, videos, and reflections.

Enjoy Lifetime Access

Revisit courses, refresh your knowledge, and brush up on your skills at any time.

Receive a Certificate of Recognition

Attain a "Statement of Accomplishment" recognizing your successful completion of a course.

Gain New Skills

Increase your impact by putting new skills into practice.

"The strongest boards have a sense of team as well as a sense of individual contribution.”

Carlyle Singer,

President at Acumen

Course Description

Are you an early-stage social entrepreneur thinking about forming a board of directors? Or just curious about board strategy? In this course, you’ll explore three common stages of building a board, including roles, benefits, and important considerations at each stage.

Additionally, you’ll gain insights from Acumen's experience supporting diverse social enterprises around the world to develop effective boards with good governance. While this course is primarily designed for for-profit boards, non-profits may also find this information useful.

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Carlyle Singer


Mónica Ramírez Hartmann

Colombia Fellow

Shruthi Ranganath Iyer

Foundation for Mother & Child Health India


Carlyle Singer
President, Acumen

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