In Tuesday’s post, Keith mentioned that I attended a BoardSource webinar this week on the roles and responsibilities of board members. Here’s a quick summary of the material.
A nonprofit board has three main roles. The first is to establish organizational direction. This covers setting the mission, as well as determining the board’s role in achieving that mission; articulating the nonprofit’s vision (what the world would look like if you achieved your mission), and outlining your values, the principles that guide you in your work. Strategic planning would also fall under this role.
The second role of a board is to ensure that the nonprofit has the resources it needs to accomplish its mission. Those include financial resources, staff leadership, a competent board, and an unblemished public standing in its community. The third role is to provide oversight of programs, finances, risk management, legal obligations, moral issues, and the nonprofit’s chief executive.
Below are the six primary responsibilities of individual board members:
– Actively participate. Give your time, talent, and treasure; attend meetings and events; serve on committees; carry out assignments; and help raise money.
– Be informed. Learn about the nonprofit’s mission and programs, prepare for meetings, stay current with related issues and organizations.
– Be independent-minded. Remember, you are there to represent the nonprofit, not any other interest.
– Ask good questions.
– Promote the organization. Spread the word and help recruit volunteers, donors, and board members.
– Fulfill any legal obligations.
By the way, the board training sessions that Keith and Wendy conduct earn excellent feedback from attendees. You know, in case you were wondering.