In Brian Foss and the Horatio Alger Association’s book, Governing Effective Nonprofits in the 21st Century, board members can find a wealth of practical information about serving on a board.
Below, you’ll find a terrific job description for a nonprofit board member.
A Sample Board Member’s Job Description for Any Nonprofit
- Understand and support the mission, programs and services of the organization.
- Accept the responsibilities of being a fiduciary of a
corporation that exists for the public good using tax-exempt,
- Make a multiyear commitment to participate actively in governance meetings and programs.
- Be among the first, most generous and consistent annual donors.
- Invite new people to become involved in the organization’s work and to contribute financially.
- Assist other governance leaders in building relationships that will help the organization fulfill its mission.
- Be a steward of the public trust and a trustee of the organization’s mission and resources.
- Keep the board’s work focused on governance issues, policy
creation and setting strategic directions for the organization’s future
in a transparent and ethical manner.
- Keep the board focused on effectiveness in fulfilling the
mission and programs, and creating an organization that is
- As a fiduciary, ensure that the organization is diversely
funded, approve the annual budget and monitor fiscal affairs, conduct an
audit annually, have fiscal controls in place, review IRS Form 990, and
plan for the financial future of the corporation.
- Ensure the board has policies in place regarding board and staff conflicts of interest, self-dealing and transparency.
- Understand how the organization raises its funds and approve all
of the fundraising practices and external contracts for fundraising.
- Leave management matters to the organization’s CEO and help the
board and staff continuously differentiate the roles of governance and
- Be an advocate and ally for the CEO, assuming such support is
merited. Participate in the hiring, nurturing and evaluation of the CEO.
- Keep the board focused on the organization’s mission.
Source: Brian Foss, Governing Effective Nonprofits in the 21st Century. Reprinted with permission.