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Join  us on Sunday afternoons!

Or Monday evenings!

Volunteers with Donation Boxes

Promoting Director Effectiveness
In Canada

Want to join a non-profit board?

On a board and have questions?


Gain financial literacy and  governance skills -- and make a greater impact. 


Intensive training for board members

Being devoted to your non-profit's mission is not enough in today's fast-paced and complicated world. 

Non-profit organizations are facing complex financial, societal and other challenges, and need to rely on a strong board of directors for guidance.


We want to set up non-profit boards for success - and to support directors in being the best board members they can be.


The Better Boards!LIVE program has been designed to teach non-profit board members what they need to know to be successful, understand what "great governance' looks like, and to return brilliant board leadership to the organizations they serve.

Financial & Risk

Financial literacy and risk awareness are important skills directors need to develop.

We teach you how to read financial statements, and ask good questions that will help protect the organization and its stakeholders.

Your #1 Job As A director

Sometimes boards are not clear on their purpose, which makes it hard for directors to learn their role.

We help you understand where you should focus your attention, and how to be a great director.

Board Culture

What does a high-performing and effective board feel like? What do great boards talk about?


We'll show you how to have a great board discussion and make effective decisions. 


Part of the challenge of board work is getting the board's work organized, following good processes, and knowing what governance activities need to happen - and when.

We show you better ways to manage the board's work and keep things on track.

Participants and Sectors

  • Community-based non-profit organizations

  • Health and social services agencies

  • Educational institutions​
  • Purpose-driven organizations

  • Social enterprises

  • Housing corporations

  • Unions

Community-based board members attend Boards! LIVE
Purpose-driven Executive Directors attend Boards! LIVE
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Community-based board members attend Boards! LIVE

Michelle S.

"LOVED the content and LOVED the energy and passion. The binder was AMAZING – let people know they will receive it!
The collaborative nature and ‘safe space’ also was great for sharing."

Robert H.

“I learned so much from this program that it’s difficult to pinpoint 1 or 2 things.


I felt this program was extremely valuable and insightful.”

Barb C.

“I wanted to thank-you for a fabulous 2 days filled with gaining an immense amount of knowledge on being a board member.
It was very informative as well as practical.”
Who should attend?

  • Anyone thinking about joining a board of directors - no experience required!

  • Brand new board members 

  • Brand new board chairs

  • Board members with some experience, but want to refresh on governance basics

  • Executive Directors who want to learn more about supporting an effective board

Classroom style board governance training

Day 1 Overview (In Person Agenda)


Day 1 Agenda

8:30 am

Coffee & Networking

9:00 am

Better Board Basics

10:45 am

Non-Profit Finance

12:15 pm

Light Lunch & Networking

1:15 pm

Legal Issues for Non-Profit Boards

3:00 pm

Dealing with Conflict

4:15 pm

Wrap-Up Day 1

Join us a few minutes early for a cup of coffee, and meet to your Better Boards! teammates.

Everything you always wanted to know about non-profit governance (and were afraid to ask)!
Attendees will learn more about the purpose of a non-profit board, how great boards carry out their duties, the relationship with the Executive Director, and the role / responsibilities that individual directors play on a non-profit board.

Attendees will learn basics concepts for non-accountants, how great non-profits manage their finances, and will learn ways to enhance the board's oversight of the organization's financial matters.

A light lunch will be available for participants.

Please make sure you let us now of any dietary needs or preferences.

Participants will learn about their obligations as non-profit directors, and the issue of conflicts of interest. They will also learn about the range of legal risks that often face non-profit organizations, and best practices for protecting the organization and its stakeholders.

Serious conflicts on the board can be a sign of things going very wrong - but disagreement can actually be a mark of good governance.
Attendees will learn why diversity of thought should be encouraged, and how to apply tools and techniques to manage conflict and achieve healthy debate.

We will wrap up with a quick Question & Answer session, and invite feedback from participants on Better Boards! Day 1 content.

Image by Content Pixie

Day 2 Overview (In Person Agenda)


Day 2 Agenda

8:30 am

Coffee & Networking

Join us a few minutes early for a cup of coffee, and network with your Better Boards! teammates.

9:00 am

Good Governance As a 'System'

Attendees will learn how all the governance structures, roles, and reporting should fit together, how to design an efficient and effective board system, and how to use meeting agendas to get things done. We will also spend time on important reports that the board relies on for its information.

10:45 am

The Joy of Repeatable Routines

Attendees will learn how to systematize the board and committee work to streamline, simplify and improve board oversight -- without adding administrative headaches.

12:15 pm

Light Lunch & Networking

A light lunch will be available for participants. Please make sure to advise of any dietary needs or preferences.

1:15 pm

Getting Culture Right

Participants will learn about about healthy board discussions, the role of the Board Chair is fostering positive interactions, and how to strengthen the relationship with the Executive Director.

3:00 pm

The Delicate Matter of Performance Reviews

Measuring performance can be a tricky subject for many people, and can be extra tricky for volunteer board members. Attendees will learn about the importance of measuring board effectiveness, Executive Director performance reviews - and how to make it a positive and productive experience for everyone.

4:15 pm

Wrap-Up & Close

We will close out our Better Boards! program with final thoughts and a summary of what participants learned.

Join our community

Sign up for advance notice of upcoming Better Boards! LIVE events, plus free resources, tools and templates. 

Thanks for registering!

Meet Your Coaches

Bringing you Atlantic Canada's

Leading Non-Profit Experts


Kathryn Cosgrove
Founder, Better Boards! Live & Governance Expert 

Kathryn is a well-known governance expert and consultant in the field of corporate governance.

She has spent her entire career helping boards and senior teams align on priorities, make faster better decisions, and level up their collective impact.


She spent seven years as the Chief of Staff and Partner for Firm Governance at Canada's largest professional services firm, Deloitte, and has been a management consultant for over 20 years.

Good governance makes boardwork

a more streamlined and enjoyable activity for volunteer directors --

and helps to keep boards out of hot water! 


Stay tuned for our 2024 faculty announcement!

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An effective non-profit board meeting

Get in Touch

If you have questions about the Better Boards! LIVE training program, agenda, or general information, don’t hesitate to reach out.  We would love to hear from you!

BETTER BOARDS! LIVE is a social enterprise operated by Cosgrove & Co. Strategy Consulting Limited, management consultants with a unique specialization in governance related topics.

Better Boards! LIVE

c/o/ Cosgrove & Co.
2526 Agricola Street, Suite 6
Halifax, NS B3K 6R3

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