Board Role and Responsibilities
Section 2 (Items 11-20) of the Annual Checkup: A Board Governance Self-Assessment
11. The best way to make sure everyone on the board is accountable for the work of the board is to agree on what the job entails, write it down, orient newcomers to it, and keep it fresh. Here is a sample Board Member Position Description. BoardSource has also published a helpful guide on writing up the board position description.
12. For those who like infographics, here are a couple good ones by BoardSource: Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Board Members and (NEW!) Six Essential Ingredients of Governance.
13. This article from BoardSource discusses the issue of quorum and suggests some good questions to ask if you are having trouble getting full attendance at board meetings.
14. In the crush of daily events it can be hard to keep the board's focus on the big picture items. The American Society of Association Executives has published a guide to high performing boards that speaks to the importance of staying focused.
15. Budget time is no time for rubberstamping. In Meaningful Budget Work by the Board Jan Masaoka says this is the best time for the big picture discussion.
16. Here are 9 Tips for Building a Fundraising Board from friend and fellow consultant Jonathan Poisner. NEW! Signed fundraising agreements with board members are a helpful tool. Here's a sample.
17. A Board Matrix is a simple tool for analyzing the current board and identifying the kinds of people it needs to recruit in order to meet the demands of the future. NEW! Curious about the board's role in recruiting newcomers? Maybe this list of CEO Do's and Don'ts will help.
18. Soured employee relations is the single biggest cause of lawsuits against boards of directors. Too many resources to link up here but the Nonprofit Risk Management Center is a great resource for board members looking to make sure they are properly organized to employ staff.
19. Lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities can have major consequences. BoardEffect's blogpost relates the board's role directly to the three duties.
20. UPDATED! The Board Doctor's Annual Checkup is a great self-assessment tool. Have you downloaded your copy yet? BoardSource explains in this document why having a board self-assessment is a good idea.
- Not every valuable member of the team likes board work. Maybe an Advisory Committee is a better role for some.
- Considering joining a board of directors? Here's a good list of questions to ask before saying yes.
- It's always worth a visit to the Board Roles and Responsibilities page of the National Council of Nonprofits.
- According to Nonprofit Quarterly, financial oversight is a significant role of the board, but it is no longer sufficient. In Beyond Financial Oversight, they make the case for board involvement in sustainability.
- NEW! A few years back BoardSource put together a pretty comprehensive FAQ on all things governance and board responsibility.
- NEW! Local accounting and consulting firm Carr, Riggs and Ingram published a wonderful board governance survey and checklist.