New Member Application

Join us as we launch our new Membership pipeline through BoardLead – a program to help YOU get connected to nonprofit board service and support you along the way!

Applications are now closed. For questions, please contact Risa Rifkind, or 312-616-8000 x 263.


Lead with power and influence by serving on a nonprofit board.

More than 10% of Chicagoans have disabilities.

Only 1% of nonprofit board seats in the region are filled by people with disabilities.*

Nonprofit boards need more leaders with disabilities—leaders like you.

Grow professionally. Support a cause you believe in! Advancing Leadership has programs available to help you join a board.

*Based on 2019 review of Chicago Community Trust grantee data.

Download our flyers:
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Step 1: Join Advancing Leadership’s Members Network—the nation’s only advancement network for leaders with disabilities

  • Empowering network of 100+ leaders with disabilities
  • Mentoring & training
  • Opportunities for leadership, speaking & development
Step 2: Begin BoardLead — a guided process to apply for a nonprofit board seat that’s a great match for you
  • Training & coaching on nonprofit board responsibilities
  • Step-by-step matching process
  • Match with nonprofits that fit your passions and skills


  • Attend three events in downtown Chicago:
    o Advancing Leadership Half-Day Symposium: SATURDAY, SEPT. 21
    o BoardLead Full-Day Training Session: SATURDAY, OCT. 12
    o Advancing Leadership Year-End Event: THURSDAY, DEC. 12, 4-7 PM
  • If invited to join a board, meet all participation requirements set by the board
  • Pay a one-time, $200 participation fee (scholarships available)

How To Apply

1. Attend the required information session and reception on THURSDAY, APRIL 11

  • 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Info Session at Microsoft
  • 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Reception at MidAmerica Club
  • RSVP HERE or to Risa Rifkind ( or 312-616-8000 x 263) and include any accommodations needed
2. Submit your application
  • Apply by APRIL 25. You must attend the information session on APRIL 11 in order to apply.

Applications are now closed. For questions, please contact Risa Rifkind, or 312-616-8000 x 263.