Whether you serve on the board of a large nonprofit organization or an all-volunteer board, the board is the most important body of any nonprofit organization. The emphasis is on the word body because the board works as an entity – individuals do not make decisions by themselves, it is the group who does. Board members work as a collective to assure legal and moral health of the organization.
When we look at effective boards and how they function, you will notice that effective boards are self-aware, function in constructive partnership with their chief executive, and are committed to continually improving their performance.
Consider these 13 basic responsibilities of the board:
- Determine mission and purposes, and advocate for them.
- Select the chief executive.
- Support and evaluate the chief executive. Work in partnership with the chief executive.
- Ensure effective planning including strategic, fund development, and program planning.
- Monitor and strengthen programs and services.
- Come prepared for board meetings.
- Ensure adequate financial resources including identifying and soliciting new / existing donors.
- Think strategically and generatively.
- Protect assets and provide financial oversight.
- Build and sustain a competent board.
- Ensure legal and ethical integrity.
- Enhance the organization’s public standing and serve as an ambassador.
- Make a financial contribution at least once a year.
Adapted from: BoardSource.com