Providing Expertise, Gaining Leadership Skills, Building Community


    The McCombs Board Fellows, part of the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, is a student-run organization that places select MBA students on local nonprofit boards as non-voting members for one year. In return for this learning opportunity, the Board Fellows each complete an in-depth project for their nonprofit.


    The purpose of McCombs Board Fellows is to provide talented and committed graduate business students the opportunity to work with and learn from nonprofit leaders, while contributing their time and business skills to benefit the Austin community.


    Partner applications for 2025 partnerships will be updated Summer 2024. Check back in soon for application updates.

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    Key Dates:

    • Early September: Information Session
    • Mid September: Student Applications Due
    • Mid September: Board Fellows Hackathon
    • Early October: Announce 2025 Fellows & Partners
    • Late November: Board Service Training & Kick-Off Reception
    • January 1: Board Fellow service begins



      "One of the most impactful and meaningful experiences of my business school career." J. Compton, McCombs '24

      Fellow Benefits:

      • Mentorship - Each Board Fellow is paired with a mentor who serves on the board
      • Leadership - Students gain valuable insight into board governance and skills for effective and thoughtful community leadership
      • Classroom to Boardroom - Fellows have the opportunity to apply best practices in strategy, marketing, and finance to real-world issues facing partner non-profits.
      • Network - Fellows get access to a community of Austin leaders who are passionate about a cause.
      • Positive Impact - Opportunity to have a meaningful and significant impact on the community

      Fellow Responsibilities:

      • Board Participation - Attend all board meetings as a non-voting member of the board (one calendar year)
      • Project Work - Complete a strategic project (avg. 10 hours per month)
      • McCombs Board Fellows - Attend required trainings, education events, and serve on a McCombs Board Fellows committee

      Student Selection:

      Fellows are chosen through a rigorous selection process and matched with a partner non‐profit whose needs and mission align with their skills and interests. The selection process consists of 2 rounds: an online application with short answers and essay followed by an invitation to interview. Fellows will be selected based on leadership skills and passion for community impact.


      Student Application:

      The online application is due at the end of September. For questions regarding the application process, please contact Anna Fabrizio (anna.fabrizio@mba.utexas.edu) or Greer Kann (greer.kann@mba.utexas.edu).


      Partner Benefits:

      • Project work - Board Fellows students donate up to 10 hours per month to complete a strategic project, drawing on work experience and McCombs MBA leading curriculum
      • Future Leaders - Gain access to talented students leaders who can provide a fresh perspective to board decisions
      • McCombs Network - Gain access to the McCombs network and non for profit training material
      • Recruitment - Developing a relationship with potential candidates for future board and staff positions


      Partner Responsibilities:

      • Mentorship - Serve as a mentor to the Board Fellow as s/he develops as a business and community leader
      • Integrate Board Fellows in your organization - Include Board Fellows in Board meetings and keep informed of organizational development
      • Support the Board Fellows project - Agree on scope and timeline of project, allow time for Board Fellows to present findings


      Partner Selection:

      Partners must be based in Austin, have 501(c)3 status, and have Board meetings on at least a quarterly basis. Preference give to organizations with at least 6 board members, over $350,000 in operating budget, and at least three full-time employees.


      Questions regarding becoming a partner organization should be directed to Barrett Loseke (barrett.loseke@mba.utexas.edu) or Stella Seeger (stella.seeger@mba.utexas.edu).


      Applications for new organizations to be a Board Partner in 2025 will be open in Summer 2024.

      Applications for returning organizations to be a Board Partner in 2025 will be open in Summer 2024.



      Project Examples:

      Accounting and Finance:

      • Build a financial model to improve planning and tracking costs
      • Evaluate funding opportunities and revenue sources
      • Develop a model for earned revenue generation

      Board Development:

      • Design a dashboard to be used as a board and/or organizational evaluation tool
      • Evaluate board recruitment and training
      • Improve board processes and capacity
      • Create a board manual
      • Perform a board effectiveness audit


      • Assess community perspectives of organization
      • Design a process to assess customer satisfaction and needs
      • Perform a social impact assessment
      • Align communication strategy with mission
      • Perform a needs assessment to improve marketing efforts
      • Develop/enhance internal communication program
      • Analyze current fundraising efforts to increase donations
      • Benchmark best practices of similar nonprofits



      • Analyze costs and benefits of critical processes
      • Identify potential organization efficiencies
      • Develop a capacity-building plan
      • Create volunteer management training for new programs


      Organizational Strategy:

      • Develop a business plan for expanding into new regions/services
      • Evaluate the activities critical to your mission
      • Create a five-year strategic plan


      Examples of projects NOT appropriate for Board Fellows:

      • Running the organization's annual fundraiser
      • Actively managing the organization's online social media campaigns
      • General staff or volunteer management, or administrative or volunteer tasks
      • Leading a search for a new executive director
      • Identifying/leading a project to merge with another nonprofit


      The Long Center for the Performing Arts

      Amala Foundation

      Art Spark Texas

      Austin Area Urban League

      Austin Artists Project

      Austin Center for Grief and Loss

      Austin Children's Museum (Thinkery)

      Austin Parks Foundation

      Austin Pets Alive!

      Austin Youth River Watch

      Austin Speech Labs

      Austin Sunshine Camps

      Austin Symphony Orchestra

      Black Fret


      Center for Child Protection

      Comfort Crew for Military Kids

      Empowering Women out of Prison

      Every Dog Behavior & Training

      Fruitful Commons

      Generation SERVE

      Greenleaf Neurodiversity Center

      Girl Scouts of Central Texas


      Hand to Hold

      Healthstart Foundation

      Hill Country Ride for AIDS

      Holt Family Foundation

      Hispanic Scholarship Consortium

      Joshua's Stage

      Literacy Coalition of Central Texas

      Literacy First

      Meals on Wheels

      Parkside Community Montessori School

      Seedling Foundation

      Sickle Cell Association

      Ten Thousand Villages of Austin

      Texas Exes

      Texas Folklife

      Texas Tribune

      Thank You Life

      The Trail Foundation

      Thinkery Children's Museum

      Wonders and Worries

      YMCA Camp Moody

      Youth Justice Alliance

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      Girl Scouts of Central Texas

      Board Fellows

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      Joshua's Stage

      Board Fellows

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      The Texas Tribune

      Board Fellows

    • FAQ

      For further questions about the program and becoming a partner, click here.


      Have Questions? Want to partner with Board Fellows at McCombs? Reach out below!