Speed Dating For NonProfits & Would-Be Board Members

Business Nonprofits

Volunteer New York! Helping Match Candidates At Nonprofit Board Boot Camp

“You have this image in your head about what Nonprofit Board Boot Camp is going to be like . . . it’s the complete opposite,” said Kristine Coleman a nonprofit professional with The Children’s Village.

Coleman, who has participated in Volunteer New York! Boot Camp, says “you learn about what it takes to join a nonprofit board and most importantly you realize you don’t have to be a millionaire to be on a board of directors.”

For the first time in Rockland County, Volunteer New York! Will hold 2020 Nonprofit Board Boot Camp at Dominican College in Orangeburg, NY on March 10, March 25 and April 22. The cost for all three sessions is $15. Participating organizations are: Rockland Development Council Institute for Non-Profits, Rockland Community Foundation, Dominican College and United Hospice.

Nonprofit Board Boot Camp is designed to put together local nonprofit agencies seeking board leadership with candidates who want to make a mark in the nonprofit sector.

Many nonprofits need fresh blood and new ideas for their missions. Sometimes the best boost to an organization is to draw from a pool of outside candidates who bring a new perspective or experience from another organization.

In some cases, professionals who have not previously served on boards make for great candidates but they are not in the loop. Nonprofit Board Boot Camp has been called “speed dating” for nonprofit boards.  The Nonprofit Board Boot Camp and Board Speed Dating series was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article.

“It cuts through months or even years of the back and forth and hesitation that sits in the back of someone’s mind,” said Tony Fasciano, Director of Communication for Volunteer New York!. “There are only so many things in life we can prioritize and being a board member is something that’s very easy to put off until you think you’re ready. But in the course of just these three half-day sessions over a two month period, you can go from having no experience serving on a board, to being able to sit down with local leaders from a nonprofit that you’re interested in meeting and who are equally interested to speak with you in return, having a productive, friendly chat, and being offered a seat.”

In 2019, more than 120 board matches were made as a result of this series. Each participating nonprofit at Board Boot Camp typically sits down with up to eight participants interested in meeting with them.

“It is high level, no risk, matchmaking, but it’s catalyzing something very organic too, something that can elevate careers and bring new life into these agencies,” says Fasciano. “The feedback from hundreds we have helped has been a positive, regardless of whether the participant joined a board or not.”

Boot camp is an exploration. Participants can clear up questions such as “do I have to give money? How do I find a nonprofit that suits my expertise? How do I apply, how do I learn about openings?”

“Going through board boot camp gave me the right questions to ask,” said Joshua Konvisser, a 2019 first-time Board Boot Camp participant and local lawyer. “Meeting with a lot of organizations at once helped me understand what’s really important to me in a way that I couldn’t have done on my own.”

To find out more or to register, please visit: volunteernewyork.org/RBBC

The presenters and panelists who will be featured as part of the first two sessions include:

Boot Camp Session 1: Tuesday, March 10

Dominican College | 8:30-11:00AM


Judy Siegel, Senior Staff Attorney, Pro Bono Partnership

Dart Westphal, Consultant, Support Center for Nonprofit Management

Moderated by Kim Cross, Executive Director, The Nyack Center


Daly Flanagan, Executive Director, Rockland Center for the Arts

Marissa Freemont, Advisory, KPMG US, and Volunteer Executive Director of the Rockland County Challenger Little League/Board Member

Nathalie Riobe, Board Member, The Nyack Center

Richard Yuen, CFP, Financial Advisor, The Cherkin Group, and Rockland Community Foundation Advisory Board Member/Annual Dinner Chair


Boot Camp Session 2: Wednesday, March 25

Dominican College | 5:30-8:00PM


Joe Valenti, VP Institutional Advancement, Dominican College

Donalee Berard, Partner, Berard & Associates CPA

Moderated by Kim Cross, Executive Director, The Nyack Center


Carmine Marchionda, CEO, ARC of Rockland County

Sabrina Hosang Jordan, CEO, Caribbean Food Delights, and recent Rockland Community Foundation Board Member

Mitch Brill, Managing Director, Atrium Wealth, and Past President of The Jewish Community Center

Joe Coe, Education & Digital Strategy Director, Global Healthy Living Foundation, and Rockland Pride Center Board Member


The agencies selected to take part in Nonprofit Board Speed Dating on April 22 will be chosen, based on the interest of the first two Board Boot Camp Sessions. For more info, please contact Jennifer Machuca at jennifer@volunteernewyork.org with questions or to find out more about how to take part in future events.