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Nonprofit board job description

This is the fourth blog in a series on nonprofit boards. Tomorrow’s blog will conclude by outlining the process for establishing 501(c)3 nonprofit status for your nonprofit. After you’ve formed your nonprofit (NGO) board, what does it do? Boards need to be trained and coached or they can vee…
By Seth Barnes
This is the fourth blog in a series on nonprofit boards. Tomorrow’s blog will conclude by outlining the process for establishing 501(c)3 nonprofit status for your nonprofit.
After you’ve formed your nonprofit (NGO) board, what does it do? Boards need to be trained and coached or they can veer off into dysfunction. For example, one of the most common forms of dysfunction is that a board that should maintain a governance model of oversight become immersed in the minutia of day-to-day management. Most boards would be better to focus on how they can empower their CEO than to try and give him operational instructions. They should not engage in staff oversight or tactical management issues.
 
Here’s a list of activities that good board directors will do.
  • Share the NGO’s vision with personal network in order to develop involvement in the ministry.
  • Perform a public relations function in local area.
  • Mobilize staff human resource needs.
  • Obtain other resources.
  • Give time to the ministry
  • Give money to the ministry.
  • Understand who the NGO’s stakeholders are and what their stake is.  Perform a fiduciary responsibility to stakeholders.
  • Cultivate a trust relationship with the NGO’s staff.
  • Cultivate new board members.
  • Help develop public relations strategy.
  • Show up at board meetings.
  •  Respond to issues involving large capital expenditures and policy decisions. 
  • Get involved in a more hands-on way outside the board by volunteering in an area of ministry.
  • Support any capital campaigns that the board agrees to undertake in the future.  Use influence and financial resources to build the organization.
  • Assess annual performance:  Are we sticking to the vision?  Are we being good stewards of all our resources?  Where should we be going?
  • Hold CEO accountable in these areas:  Performance, Time, Spiritual Life, Compensation
  • Manage CEO succession.

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