There is always a question as to where a Board’s responsibilities end and management’s starts. There are no hard and set rules; what works for one agency may not be effective for another. Some organizations have a strong executive director and a weak board, while others have a strong board and weaker executive director. One thing is for sure, running an effective nonprofit takes an active board of directors and a dedicated staff led by a strong executive director working in harmony to forward the mission of the organization.
Roles of the Board of Directors
In general terms, the Board of Directors provides oversight and guidance to the Executive Director and the nonprofit’s other staff members. The Board ensures that the organization stays aligned with its mission and values in addition to complying with all federal and state laws.
Specifically, the Board of Directors has oversight over the following areas:
The Board ensures that it is operating in accordance with its mission and the purpose for which it was granted tax-exempt status. Board members should constantly re-read the organization’s mission statement to ensure that everything they do on behalf of the organization is in furtherance of the organization’s mission.
As safeguards of the public trust, Board members are responsible for protecting the organization’s assets; ensuring that the organization’s control environment is effective; prudently deploying resources; and providing direction and governance.