INCS Nonprofit Leadership Training Program

Welcome to the INCS Nonprofit Leadership Training Program.

INCS is excited to support Illinois board members to complete their required board governance training.  Board members in their first year of service must complete four hours of governance training and two hours of training in each subsequent year. The requirement is in state statute. You can find the language of the law at Public Act 101-0291.

Here at INCS, we are committed to supporting board members to meet this requirement with the highest quality training.  INCS is a certified trainer and stands ready to help Illinois’ 600 charter board members to fulfill this requirement.

Trainings must be complete by January 15, 2023 in order for INCS to provide a certificate of completion that counts toward the 2022 training year. School staff should communicate with their authorizers to understand the timeline for submitting proof of trainings. INCS staff maintains Google folders with all certificates.

There are four primary ways that INCS can help board members to satisfy the training requirement:

  • Free trainings;
  • Online modules for purchase;
  • 4-hour governance academy; and
  • A list of four INCS-approved board trainers with whom boards can contract for customized training.

Free trainings (each will count towards one hour of training)


The Ins and Outs of Illinois Charter School Law – Tuesday, May 10 @ 4 pm CT

Rowe Elementary School Board Member and General Counsel, Robert Best, will go through the critical sections of the Illinois Charter School Law.  As charter schools are creatures of state law, the contents of Section 27A-5(c-5), our charter school law, are worth getting to know. Bob will review the main sections of the law and share how its contents should guide charter school operations and decision-making. We will also be sharing recent changes and amendments to the law in the last few years. If you haven’t read the law, take a peek here now.

Performance Management & Leadership Structures – Tuesday, September 20 @ 4 pm CT 

As board members, how can you support and develop the executive director or principal? What does performance management from the board level look like? Learn about areas to consider, questions to ask and best practices to embody in talking with Beth Napleton, former Founder and CEO of Chicago Collegiate Charter School who now works to help leaders find the time, tools, space and skill sets to meet their missions. Hear from someone who spent a decade in the seat your ED sits in and ask the questions you’ve always wondered about.

The Charter School Board’s Role in Fiscal Oversight – Thursday, October 13 @ 4 pm CT

Join veteran charter finance expert, Raj Thakkar, Founder & CEO of Charter School Business Management (CSBM) to better understand the important role boards play in fiscal oversight of a charter school. Charter school boards must be knowledgeable stewards of public funds. Raj will share CSBM’s Fiscal Responsibility Method from their forthcoming book, which includes the 10 components of responsible financial management. He will also provide two Impactful one-pagers for attendees to bring back to their respective schools and networks to identify ways to improve existing practices.

RSVP to me for any of these free online trainings, which unfortunately will not be recorded.


Ed Board Partners Online Modules

Through this partnership with Ed Board Partners, INCS is pleased to offer webinars and online modules for purchase. Participants can either watch the session live or the recording.  If you watch the recording, you will have to take a short quiz to satisfy the training requirement. The cost is $50 per board member for two sessions. New board members who need to take four hours of training will cost $100.

The 2022 topics for the INCS Nonprofit Leadership Training Program Online Modules are:

  • Fundraising, Friendraising & Financial Sustainability – Tuesday, March 8, 4 to 5 pm, CT
  • Goal Setting and Prioritizing Data – Tuesday, April 5, 4 to 5 pm, CT

Existing modules in the online library include:

  • Financial Accountability: Show me the money
  • Onboarding New Board Members
  • Great Schools Need Great Boards: Gauging Board Effectiveness
  • Academic Oversight & Committee Operations: Staying Focused on the Board’s Bottomline
  • School Leaders Need Love Too: School Leader Evaluation and Support
  • Bringing a Race and Equity Lens to the Boardroom

Please email Allison if you are interested in purchasing the modules.

2022 Board Governance Academy – October 

INCS will be holding this training either in person (COVID permitting) or over two days virtually where we will bring in professional board trainers who will go over the primary roles of charter board members and strategies and tactics for effective board governance.  This session is targeted for new board members and will be especially helpful as part of new board members onboarding into their roles.  We offer a special welcome for parent board members.  We will only host this event if at least 50 board members sign up.  $100 per person. Fill out this form if you are interested; registration will close July 30.


INCS-approved board trainers

INCS has identified four INCS Nonprofit Leadership Training Program-approved partners that schools & networks can contract with to provide customized trainings.

Please feel free to reach out to the trainers directly. INCS staff will work with the trainers to obtain proof of training.


ISBE Board Training Approved Providers

ISBE also has a list of approved quality providers of board governance training.  The providers on this list offer the required trainings for Illinois district board of education members but are also approved to train charter board members. The list can be found at this link.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Allison Jack at INCS with any questions.