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 The mission of the "Your Mark on the World Center" is to solve the world's biggest problems before 2045 by identifying and championing the work of experts who have created credible plans and programs to end them once and for all.
Crowdfunding for Social Good
Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Learn How to Build a Better Board For Your Nonprofit

Kate Hayes joined Echoing Green with a clean mission in mind: help nonprofits build better boards. Too many boards are untrained, lack diversity and aren’t fully engaged. She’s developed programs to help nonprofits and board candidates alike to be more effective.

Interview with Kate Hayes, the of Echoing Green.

The following is the pre-interview with Kate Hayes. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Nonprofit boards are ineffective – members do not reflect the communities they serve, they are not active enough in fundraising, and they are not focused on strategy. Only 16% of board members are under the age of 40; 80% of board members have received no training; and 65% of board members don’t think their fellow board members are engaged. At the same time, very few training programs exist, so we are stuck in the cycle of bad boards.

My goal was-and is- to re-imagine what board service looks like. Direct Impact is an experiential board leadership program which prepares exceptional young business leaders for high-impact nonprofit board service. We help individuals identify and unleash the skills, competencies, and qualities they need as leaders to be able to influence and impact people throughout their lives, both through board service and beyond. Through an intensive leadership development process, we are preparing them to change the game.

At the same time, I work with social entrepreneurs as they develop their own boards, and seek to bring ‘next practices’ to life in the boardroom.

A recent article by Kate Hayes:

More about Echoing Green:

Twitter: @echoinggreen



For over 30 years, Echoing Green has unleashed next-generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. These leaders, who spend their lives working with purpose, define their generations; they make society better.

Echoing Green continues to build a global community of emerging leaders – almost 800 and growing – who launched Teach For America, City Year, One Acre Fund, SKS Microfinance, and more. Whether it’s through our Fellowships or our other innovative leadership initiatives, like Direct Impact, we unleash unexpected potential by tracking down the best and the brightest leaders, bringing them together, and launching them on a path to success.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: Echoing Green is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and is funded philanthropically. The specific program I lead, Direct Impact, is a fee-for-service program, where individuals and/or corporations pay tuition for the programmatic experience.

Scale: Direct Impact is Echoing Green’s newest program, and was started three years ago. To date, we have graduated six cohorts of business leaders, for a total of over 50 graduates. The program is continuing to grow, with increasing demand from both individuals and corporations.

Kate Hayes
Photo Credit: Echoing Green

Kate Hayes’s bio:

Twitter: @kdahayes


Kate Hayes is the director of Direct Impact at Echoing Green. She oversees programming for business leaders who are dedicated to realizing their full potential as agents of social change. She leads retreats, workshops, and immersive site visits focused on leadership development, purpose, strategic governance, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Echoing Green, she worked as Director of Evaluation and Program Impact in the national office of Minds Matter. While at Minds Matter, she led several new initiatives for engaging alumni, scaling the organization, and training 1,700 skills-based volunteers across the United States. Kate currently sits on the Executive Committee at the Northfield Mount Hermon School, where she serves as Vice President of the Alumni Council. Kate writes about leadership development and governance across the web, including in Forbes and SSIR. She holds a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from Northeastern University.

I consider myself a hybrid between a social entrepreneur and intrapreneur. I joined Echoing Green to re-think the way we were working with business leaders, so in a sense, I am an intrapreneur. At the same time, I am working to solve a major challenge in the space, which is that nonprofit boards are extremely ineffective.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

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