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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Net Impact McCombs’ Board Fellows Program

July 7th, 2010

This July, Net Impact McCombs is launching the Board Fellows program in which students serve on the board of directors of local nonprofits in a non-voting capacity, attend meetings, serve on committee(s), and complete a Board-level strategic project. MBA students learn about Board governance, the realities of operations of nonprofits, and get to apply their business skills to serve the community, while the nonprofit benefits from a fresh perspective and gains the business insights of an MBA student.


McCombs Board Fellows was launched in 2010 as an initiative of McCombs’ Net Impact chapter. Both the club and this program are chapters of Net Impact, a national organization for socially-minded business people.  This program places MBA students on the boards of directors of local partner nonprofit organizations as non-voting board members for one year. The purpose of the program is to give talented and committed business students the opportunity to work with and learn from nonprofit leaders, while contributing their time and business skills to benefit the local community.  After Board Fellows are selected through a rigorous application process, they are matched with a partner nonprofit whose needs and mission align with the Fellow’s skills and interests. The nonprofit then assigns the Fellow to a board committee and a mentor. Board Fellows are expected to participate in all board meetings and complete a project specific to the needs or challenges facing their partner organization.

The MBA class of 2011 is currently launching this program at McCombs.  Members of this class will serve on local boards from September 2010 – May 2011 when they will graduate from UT.  All future classes (including this fall’s incoming students) will serve on a calendar-year cycle.  They will apply and be matched in the fall, and will serve from January – December.  When you apply, you will be able to choose when you’d like your Fellow to start: September, January, both periods, or either time.


The national Net Impact organization recommends the following guidelines for a Board Fellows partner organization, and is obligated to share this information with you.  Since the program is new to McCombs, the focus will be more on the student/organization match than on strict guidelines. They are flexible in their selection and matching process and encourage ALL organizations to apply.  Please be assured that a good student match, enthusiasm, and commitment to the program will outweigh these criteria.

  • Nonprofit (501(c)3) status  (STRICTLY REQUIRED)
  • An operating history of at least one year
  • An annual budget of at least $350,000
  • A minimum of 3 full-time staff members
  • Have a board member willing to serve as a mentor (STRICTLY REQUIRED)

As long as you are confident that someone at your organization could be available enough to facilitate a positive student experience (provide mentorship and needed information/data for their project in a timely manner, etc), you are encouraged to apply.


  • Attend all board meetings and relevant committee meetings for their organization
  • Attend monthly seminars at McCombs to learn more about the nonprofit sector and corporate governance
  • Commit at least 10 hours of work per month to a special project for their organization’s board


Complete the online form here:
Ideally, students and organizations will be matched in early August so they can begin work upon returning to school.

To complete the form, you will need:

  • Mission statement (or summary of your organization’s work)
  • Proposed project for the Fellow to undertake
  • Name of the project coordinator (a full time staff member at your organization who will collaborate with the Fellow on the project)
  • Name of the board member who will serve as a mentor for the Fellow