Improving diversity in board leadership

Submissions for Project Blueprint are now closed for the spring session. You can submit your application below for the fall session.

A limited number of participants will be selected through an application process.

Apply Now

“Project Blueprint is such a blessing. Every meeting, I walk away with valuable information and I am extremely excited to put what I’m learning into good use. Thank you United Way and Flo for allowing me the opportunity to be part of quality change.”

- Courtney Chester, 2020 Project Blueprint graduate

Nonprofit boards and committees should reflect the rich diversity of our community.

In 2019, United Way of Greater Stark County launched Project Blueprint, a program designed to recruit, train and connect diverse volunteer leaders to policy-making roles and enhance the effectiveness of nonprofit agencies.

This 9-week program is designed to increase the involvement of underrepresented groups on local nonprofit and public-sector boards, committees and leadership roles. The weekly, 90-minute sessions introduce participants to the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit board members, while sharpening their leadership skills.

Our goal is to ensure that local volunteer leadership is representative of Carroll and  Stark Counties, and that their passionate, diverse perspectives become a greater voice in our community.


Program benefits

Through this program, participants will:

  • Sharpen leadership and communication skills
  • Learn about board governance and procedures
  • Gain a deeper awareness of challenges in our community
  • Connect and network with community leaders and agencies
  • Discover opportunities for board placement

Class Topics and Program Schedule

Project Blueprint is an online 9-week training program every Thursday during the session period from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. Weekly attendance is mandatory for board certification recommendation.
  • Orientation
  • Economics
  • Board Roles/Responsibilities
  • Parliamentary Procedures/Robert Rules
  • Financial Responsibilities
  • Strategic Planning
  • Boardsmanship
  • Presentations
  • Agency Fair/Graduation

Meet our graduates

Get to know our leadership program members

Lisa Cook's story
Onwar Shaheer's story

Project Blueprint Sponsor

Thank you to program sponsor, Run to You Racing, without whom Project Blueprint would not be possible

Apply to project blueprint

Project Blueprint applications can be submitted year-round. They will be reviewed by the Advisory Committee prior to the start of each session. All applicants will be notified before the sessions begins. Cost for the total season is $200, due a week before the session starts.

All applicants are encouraged to seek employer sponsorship, either in part or in full. A limited number of partial scholarships are available based on need. Scholarship requests are considered independently from the applications.

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Director of Project Blueprint, LaFlovia "Flo" Gianni at 330-491-9984 or

    Contact Information

    Project Blueprint for diversity, equity and inclusion is a culturally diverse program; therefore, it is necessary for us to collect demographic information for all participants. This information will be used only to ensure alignment with the program's vision and goals.

    18-2526-3536-4546-55Over 55

    MaleFemalePrefer not to say

    African-American/BlackAsian-AmericanHispanic/LatinoNative AmericanCaucasianOther

    High SchoolCollegePost CollegeTechnicalOther

    Resume and Skills

    Your resume should include your contact information, education and skills and two professional references. Please upload your resume.

    Finance/AccountingFundraisingGeneral BusinessHuman ResourcesLegalMarketingProgram DevelopmentPublic RelationsStrategic PlanningTechnologyOther

    Community Involvement

    Adult educationChildren/youthCommunity improvementCrimeDomestic violenceEarly childhood educationFinancial literacyHealth/disabilitiesHousing/homelessnessHungerJob training/employmentImmigrationMental healthSenior servicesSubstance abuse/addiction treatmentVeterans

    Applicant Commitment
    Upon acceptance to United Way’s Project Blueprint, I am expected to respect and honor the opinions and beliefs of others. I am aware that this program utilizes diversity to support nonprofit board inclusion. I am expected to remain professional and mindful of the overall goal and objectives of the program. I am also aware that the program will not tolerate any behaviors such as overt alienation of participants/individuals because of their beliefs, inappropriate forms of communication, and a display of strong emotions, that would interfere with the integrity, mission and objectives of the program. If such behaviors do occur, United Way staff will take corrective action.

    I understand the time commitment and the program goals of United Way’s Project Blueprint. If selected, I plan to attend each session during its entirety. I am aware that coming and going throughout the session is not permitted. Should I leave a session for a meeting for longer than 10 minutes or arrive 10 minutes late for a session, I understand that it will be considered an absence. Because the calendar is set well in advance and I have advanced notice, I understand that only an emergency should warrant leaving or arriving late and I must check in with the program director prior to leaving or arriving late.

    All applicants are encouraged to seek employer sponsorship, either in part or in full. A limited number of partial scholarships are available based on need. Scholarship requests are considered independently from the applications.

    I understand that if I miss more than 1 session or fail to actively participate, I will not graduate and my participation fee will not be refunded.

    I further agree that the information presented herein is accurate and complete to the best of my ability and that no omissions or false statements have been made to justify my participation in the program.