Every nonprofit has a Board of Directors. Yet most people don’t understand what exactly the Board’s job is. It’s surprising how many Board members themselves are confused about their roles. Such confusion often leads to the suffering of the organizations.
It is not ideal to have a board of directors who are a little unsure what their board should do. However, as long as they’re sure about what they’re doing now, the organization is safe. But, board members need to stay aware of their Board’s responsibilities. Especially, in the nonprofit organization can come across as such a big mess. If the situations do not get handled properly, people will get frustrated and unhappy, and ultimately Board members will resign. Therefore, I bring a list of responsibilities that every board member should know about beforehand.
Responsibilities of Board Members
Whether you are an existing board member or someone who wants to become one. You must learn about the responsibilities of a board member. It will help you to do your job more adequately. Furthermore, it will serve as a great reminder for anyone slacking in the organization.
Set a Vision, Purpose, and Mission
The vision of the organization is the founding members' view of what the organization should look like and what should be its purpose. The board is also responsible for writing a mission statement of what the organization intends to do to fulfill the vision. Incorporate the vision into your strategic planning to ensure your planning is continually aligned with the vision. Everyone associated directly or indirectly with the organization needs to know the vision, and the board has an important role to play in this.
Hire An Chief Executive
The boards are tasked with identifying, recruiting and appointing the most qualified person they can find to serve as executive director. In addition, the board of directors writes the job description of the CEO. Before conducting an executive search, the board must consider needs, strengths and weaknesses when considering the skills and abilities that an executive can bring to move the company forward. The new leader needs to be aware of what the board expects for their first year of service.
Every organization requires resources and it is the responsibility of the board of directors to ensure that each part of the organization has adequate resources to enable the organization to meet its commitments and mission. Boards must carefully consider how best to allocate money and other resources for the benefit of the organization and its stakeholders.
Board members of nonprofit organizations should expect to make regular donations to the organization and use their personal and professional networks to advance the organization's mission.
Have Strategic Plans to Follow
Boards should set goals in accordance with a strategic plan so that they have awareness of how to meet goals. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is a great way to have a strategic plan. The strategic plan can get created year after year with or without adjustments. Strategic planning must consider short-term and long-term goals. The board of directors monitors progress towards the goals based on reports received from management.
Maintain Legal Compliance and Ethical Integrity
All organizations must comply with regulations and laws. Board members have a critical duty to ensure that their organization meets its legal obligations. Board members must behave truthfully and ethically and set an example to others. Legal compliance also includes establishing policies that establish acceptable behavior, such as the Whistleblower Policy, Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics.
Establish Public Reputation
Reputation is an important factor in the functioning of an organization. The board serves as a link between the company and its stakeholders. Every interaction with stakeholders provides opportunities to share the organization's culture, mission, achievements and goals. Stakeholders expect boards to be transparent and accountable.
Organizations that operate openly and honestly reap the benefits of trusting relationships with their stakeholders. Boards need to have a designated spokesperson who can effectively articulate the good work of the organization or respond to stakeholders in times of crisis.
Recruitments are essential for the organization. The Board is responsible for recruiting, nominating and appointing a new board of directors. They will have to evaluate who has the right mix of skills and abilities to help the organization reach its potential. Boards should assess their own performance as objectively as possible. Most boards conduct a self-assessment each year to identify their weaknesses and create a plan to improve board performance.
Set Up Programs and Services
The boards decide which programs best exemplify the organization's mission. Given the organization's resources and needs, boards can make decisions about whether their current and proposed programs and services are consistent with the organization's mission and purpose. When programs compete for funding and other support, boards must make tough decisions about priorities.
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