Open House (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) – April 13, 2021

Open House (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.)  – April 20, 2021

Applications Due By 5 p.m. (online only) – May 4, 2021
Selection Committee Meeting – May 18, 2021
Selection Letters Emailed to Participants – Week of May 24, 2021

Orientation Reception (5:30 to 6:30 p.m.)  – June 9, 2021



Project Diversity Pride Leadership is United Way’s inclusive nonprofit board development program designed to create impactful, diverse leaders from central Ohio’s racial minority and LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) communities. As our community becomes increasingly diverse, it’s critical that the composition of our nonprofit boards reflects this diversity to include many perspectives and approaches. The program trains participants to serve effectively by providing the knowledge, skills and experiences to contribute confidently.


Designed to give people of color— African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans and other racial minorities—a greater opportunity to serve the community, Project Diversity was launched in 1989. Known today as a premier racial minority leadership program, it boasts an impressive list of about 550 graduates, many of whom have gone on to serve on local nonprofit boards.


Founded in 2008, Pride Leadership has given close to 200 members of the LGBTQ+ community a greater voice in leadership. Since its inception, the program has gained a solid reputation as a quality leadership development program in central Ohio.


Graduates cite numerous professional benefits, particularly in these areas:

  • Skill development
  • Collaborative decision making/flexibility
  • Building a diverse professional network
  • Increased understanding of the community and local nonprofits
  • Nonprofit board/committee opportunities


The curriculum is six months of structured workshops and facilitated dialogue with monthly sessions two to four hours in length.  United Way believes it’s important for participants to immerse themselves in the community and hear first-hand from local nonprofits about the work they do in order to best address the issues impacting nonprofits and our community. Throughout both programs, United Way provides community tours, education and direct access to local nonprofits.

Sessions include lectures, hands-on workshops and other activities incorporating these subjects:

  • Retreat
  • Board governance
  • Meeting management
  • Fiscal management
  • Parliamentary procedures
  • Strategic planning
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Fundraising and resource development
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion


Participants will participate in one or two service projects designed to provide practical experience of being on a board or committee and use the knowledge and skills they are learning from the program.

During the learning sessions, participants will report on their service project experiences during the conclusion of the program.

Following graduation, United Way will facilitate introductions to nonprofit leaders whose organizational missions align with participant interests. United Way does not guarantee board or committee placement.


“Project Diversity showed me the challenges minorities have in our community. I saw different leadership styles in action and learned the importance of trusting in a team. It gave me a new group to call family.”
–Magaly Vasquez, Columbus Metropolitan Library

“Pride Leadership has been a wonderful experience because not only do I have the tools, skills, resources to move forward with supporting organizations in this city, I also have a number of new friends. That to me is a great value.”
–Justin Warren, L Brands

For any questions you may have, please contact:


Full Timeline and Employer Agreement

Ways We Invest in Project Diversity Pride Leadership:

Innovation and Systems: $25,000​​


Please fill out this form to be notified when applications become available.

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