What could you achieve if your board got better?

As a volunteer board member you have questions.

  • Are we doing what we are supposed to be doing?
  • Are we functioning as well as we could?
  • Should I speak up about my concerns or let them go?
  • Where can I go to learn more?

You care deeply about the organization and its mission, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like you are getting anywhere.

If you can imagine a more well-functioning board, where the board’s responsibilities are more evenly shared and handled more effectively, where meetings are more productive, and between-meeting communications are more efficient, then you have come to the right place.

Working together, we can identify action steps you can take to improve the board’s performance and therefore achieve more of your mission.

The road to better board health starts here.


The Board Doctor has created two different self-assessment tools to help board members determine what, if anything, can be done to help their board get better.


The Board Doctor offers tons of curated and original resources through the network of board members (and staff, too!) in an online community called LUNA Experience. LUNA stands for Level-Up Nonprofit Accelerator and we think you’re going to love it.


The Board Doctor offers customized training for your board or association, document review, and support for board development and growth planning.

The Board Doctor is a very different kind of “consulting” practice. Because my focus is on very small, often unstaffed, nonprofits, I have developed ways to deliver help in smaller packages that are readily available right here on the website. To me, a live or virtual presentation in your boardroom is not a way to hook you for a bigger project later. That presentation IS the help. A one-hour Office Visit IS the help. Same with the board self-assessments. No upselling. Nothing you don’t need. Just help at an affordable rate.

Ten Attributes of a Healthy Nonprofit Board

“If you have seen one board, you have seen one board.” This is true. No two nonprofits are alike and no single path exists for a group to grow, get one notch better, or achieve more. But it is possible to paint a picture of what a well-functioning board looks like. Click below to download the FREE document from The Board Doctor and see what healthy boards have in common.

Have a quick question?

Same day appointments are available!

Sometimes all you need is an hour with The Board Doctor to pick her brain and get answers to your burning questions. Maybe you need a quick prescription to solve a crucial problem.

Use this option to schedule an office visit with Cathy for just $99. Come alone or bring members of the board—up to five participants total. Same day appointments are often available.

Meet Cathy Allen

“The Board Doctor”

How did a nature-loving justice fighter like me become an ardent advocate for board members of small nonprofit organizations? Well, it is a natural extension of my early career in government and politics, the product of a deeply-held belief that every person in our country has an obligation to participate in some way. We each have a duty to give back and to make sure the quality of life we enjoy now is preserved and made even better for future generations. A nonprofit organization is one way to advance that work. The people who step up and give of their time, talent and treasure to promote a cause they care about are the very best people I know, and I want to help them. My small part of promoting the greater good is to study what makes nonprofit boards of directors function well and effectively, and to impart that knowledge to others. If I do my job well, like ripples in a pond, the good can spread throughout organizations and into society. I accomplish my mission as you accomplish yours.

Cathy Allen in doctor coat with stethoscope

What Clients Are Saying

Wondering if your non-profit would benefit from bringing in a consultant? It will! Wondering if Cathy is the right person for the job? She is! Cathy transformed our Board and our organization in both measurable and immeasurable ways. She is skilled, experienced, knowledgeable and able to quickly assess the needs of a group and put forth actionable next steps. She drills down, makes specific (and robust) recommendations and will absolutely make your organization better. Bonus? She genuinely cares about making a positive impact. I would gladly work with Cathy again. She’s a rockstar!

Sarah Meyer
Executive Director, Friends of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

What Clients Are Saying

“A few years ago, several of our founding board members retired after recruiting new board members. The new board members were inexperienced and unclear about exactly what we were supposed to be doing as a board. Our secretary arranged for Cathy to give us a presentation at one of our board meetings and we knew right away what we could do to improve! Over the next year, we developed our mission and vision, gained clarity about our board roles and responsibilities, and recruited several newcomers who brought energy and great ideas to the organization. We have also upgraded our financials, grown our membership, redeveloped our website, and hosted some fun events. We still have more work to do but we now have solid plans for our organization’s future.”

Dani Bowers
Board President, Friends of the Enchanted Forest

What Clients Are Saying

“This new board self-assessment tool is great. I love the opportunity to say that a particular item is or is not an issue for us. Each organization has its focus and this gives the person taking the assessment the chance to articulate that. You have created a tool that will work with both new and experienced board members while offering the option to drill down on their responses and add additional comments. The Board Doctor’s Annual Checkup is without a doubt meaningful, thought provoking, and purposeful in its intention to build and strengthen a board so they can carry out their organization’s mission. Well done!”

Beverly DeMeyer
President and CEO, Serene Harbor

What Clients Are Saying

“Board strategic planning is not an easy task. It can be scary to evaluate yourself and make sound plans for a growing organization. However, The Board Doctor knows how to provide sound consulting and a relaxed environment for planning retreats. She made our Board feel at ease during a stressful time and helped us become more prepared for the future.”

Kendra Cope
Executive Director, Coastal Connections, Inc.

What Clients Are Saying

“Although I had worked in nonprofits for years, I was new to nonprofit management when I signed on as Executive Director five years ago after the organization had gone through a difficult period. One of our board members had met Cathy and brought her in for a board training session. Over the years she has helped our board mature and become more functional. They now focus on their governance role and leave operations to staff. The journey is not over, but The Annual Checkup has been a great way to get us back on track each year. Our organization has never been stronger, even during a pandemic. I’m not sure where we would be without Cathy’s guidance and coaching.”

Tracy Frampton
Executive Director, Florida Wildlife Hospital