In my role as a consultant to nonprofits, one of the most common questions that comes up is “What is the role of the board?” My simplified answer, be MVP’s and lead! A lot of potential can be released in nonprofits and a lot of problems avoided if the organization is clear on the role of the board and operating that way. A printable version of this form is available if you would like to share it with your board. A Simple Guide to Nonprofit Board Roles and Responsibilities
A Simple Guide to Nonprofit Board Roles and Responsibilities
Board – Build and maintain a competent board. Boards have a responsibility to articulate prerequisites for candidates, orient new members, and regularly evaluate their own performance.
Executive Director – Select, support, and evaluate the Executive Director. Boards should reach consensus on the ED’s responsibilities, undertake a careful search to find the most qualified individual for the position, and ensure that the ED has the support she or he needs to further the goals of the organization.
Mission – It is the board’s responsibility to create and review a statement of mission that articulates what the organization does, who it does it for, and how it goes about doing it.
Vision – It is the board’s responsibility to create and review a statement of vision that articulates why the organization exists and what ends it is seeking to attain through its work.
Planning – Boards should actively participate in a strategic planning process for the organization and assist in implementing the plan and monitoring its progress.
Services – It is the board’s responsibility to determine what offerings are consistent with the organization’s mission and vision and to monitor their effectiveness.
Legal – The board is ultimately responsible for adherence to all relevant legal standards.
Ethical – The board is ultimately responsible for adherence to all relevant ethical standards.
Advocates – The board should clearly advocate for the organization’s mission and vision, goals, and accomplishments in order to garner support from the public it serves.
Dollars – The board should assist in developing the organization’s annual budget, ensure that proper financial controls are in place, and secure adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission.