Getting managed or worked for nonprofits most of my profession, I have noticed efficient and ineffective boards of directors. Great boards of directors are clear about their roles and responsibilities versus these of the Executive Director, and never overstep their boundaries. I really feel that the 5 most crucial responsibilities of board members are as follows:

1. Board members are accountable for recruiting, hiring, and evaluating the organization's Executive Director (ED). They should really not be accountable for employees members who report to the ED, as that is the ED's duty. If a board member becomes conscious of an challenge or difficulty with a employees member, s/he should really take this challenge straight to the ED. There are occasions when a employees particular person may perhaps be experiencing troubles with the ED. Rather of going to him/her, the employees particular person may perhaps try to method a board member to talk about the difficulty. At this point, the board member should really be clear about his/her function and direct the employees particular person back to the ED, as s/he is accountable for resolving troubles with his/her employees members. On the other hand, if the employees particular person desires to file a grievance against the ED or appeal a choice created by him/her, then the board may perhaps have to get involved. Nonprofit organizations normally have some form of policy in spot that makes it possible for a employees particular person to go to the ED's supervisor (in this case, the board) to address a complaint or challenge that can't be resolved with the ED.

2. Board members are accountable for strategic arranging, each brief-term and lengthy-term. With the ED, board members should really periodically examine the organization's mission, vision, desires, and sources, and create ambitions and objectives that help the organization's operations and market development more than a specified time period. The board should really also monitor the strategic program, either month-to-month or quarterly, to make sure its ambitions and objectives are becoming met in a timely manner.

3. Board members are accountable for building and modifying the organization's policies and procedures, each typical and personnel policies. If employees members really feel that a certain form of policy desires to be created or modified, they should really be encouraged to bring it to the focus of the ED. The ED should really then present the policy challenge to the board of directors. In presenting the challenge, the director should really state what the policy is and why an addition or modification is becoming advised. As soon as a new policy has been drafted by the board, or a modification to the current policy has been created, the board should really run it by the ED for input/feedback prior to final approval.

4. Board members are accountable for fundraising, no matter if they participate in fundraising activities, events, and campaigns, or contribute revenue. The organization's strategic program should really incorporate fundraising ambitions and objectives, and the board should really have a fundraising committee in spot to monitor the completion of these ambitions and objectives. This board committee can incorporate employees members, but at least 3 board members should really be active participants on this committee.

5. Board members should really be the organization's ears and eyes in the neighborhood. In other words, board members should really observe and listen to what stakeholders in the neighborhood are saying about their respective nonprofit organization, its applications and solutions, its employees members, how solutions are delivered, and how clientele/customers are treated. They should really share this info with the ED, no matter if it is good or damaging. Their intent in conducting this activity should really be to assistance the ED and his/her employees boost the organization's operations, responsiveness to customers and other stakeholders, and general effectiveness, efficiency, and accomplishment.

Boards of directors can have other roles and responsibilities, but the 5 that I talked about above are the most important. Make positive that you communicate these roles and responsibilities with prospective board members prior to them coming on board. It is crucial that they clearly fully grasp what is anticipated of them, each verbally and in writing (e.g., board member job description). By outlining and discussing these roles and responsibilities upfront, it will be clear what they do and what the ED does, strengthening the connection in between the two parties.