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10 Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards: Dive into Our Series

June 07, 2021

Although every organization is unique, there are fundamental responsibilities that hold true for almost every board. Here’s a look inside our latest blog series.

Board members are ultimately responsible for the very survival, financial viability and program success of the non-profit organization. Our Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofits Boards Series takes a deep dive into these essential responsibilities. Here’s a sneak peek.

10 Responsibilities

  1. Responsibility #1: Mission & Purpose The Board’s responsibility is to create and ensure that the mission is valid, honest, and current. A mission statement should tell the public why the organization exists, who it serves and what needs it is meeting. Part one of our series dives into this crucial responsibility.
  2. Responsibility #2: Selecting the Chief Executive- Before starting the search for a CEO, the Board members should get a consensus on the organization's mission, strategic objectives, and most pressing priorities that will become the expectations of the CEO. We explore this in part two of our blog series.
  3. Responsibility #3: Providing Proper Financial Oversight – Mission success depends on financial success. A sound financial condition results from implementing procedures designed to maintain a financially stable organization.
  4. Responsibility #4: Accessibility of Resources- The Board's primary job is to see that the organization addresses its mission. Achieving the mission usually requires expanding resources. It is a Board's responsibility to see that the organization has adequate resources to implement its programs and address its mission.
  5. Responsibility #5: Ensuring Legal and Ethical Integrity and Maintaining Accountability- It is the Board’s ultimate responsibility to ensure the organization is adhering to legal standards and ethical norms.
  6. Responsibility #6: Ensuring Effective Organizational Planning- Through the planning process, the board and its staff will convert the organization’s mission and vision into objectives and goals. These objectives and goals will then be used to focus the organization’s resources and energy to help further the organization’s mission.
  7. Responsibility #7: Recruiting and Training New Board Members and Measuring Performance- Your governing board is only as effective as its members. As such, who is on your board is important. Personal attributes, such as commitment to the organization, professional skills, philanthropic abilities, and experience are all contributing factors that should be analyzed when recruiting new members. We have the details in part 7.
  8. Responsibility #8: Enhancing the Organizations Public Standing- The board's role as an ambassador and advocate of the Organization in the community is a critical ingredient for a non-profit organization's success. There are three primary duties related to this responsibility: 1) communicating with the public, 2) advocating for your mission, and 3) facing the media.
  9. Responsibility #9: Determine, Monitor and Strengthen the Organization's Programs and Services- In part 9, we take a look at the Board’s fundamental responsibility to ensure that current and proposed programs and services align with the Organization’s mission and purpose. Monitoring the impact of these programs and services will strengthen and create continuous improvement.
  10. Responsibility #10: Support the CEO and Assess Performance- The Board is the CEO's supervisor and mentor and must help the CEO manage the organization successfully. An annual formal assessment is part of that process; here’s what you need to know.

Questions? Contact us.

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