A nonprofit board of directors is faced with the same question as everyone involved with a nonprofit. How can we achieve our mission? They have the advantage of objectivity regarding the daily workings of the nonprofit. Often, they come from diverse areas of business. The board of directors non profit responsibilities lie in strategic planning, fundraising, financial planning, leadership and creating partnerships.
Board of Directors Non Profit Responsibilities and Diversity
The richest mix of perspectives is found in a diverse nonprofit board. Members who work in investment banking and business have much to offer nonprofits. Business people know how to get things done and close the deal. Big business rowing in the same direction as social scientists is often difficult. Yet such collaboration is highly beneficial to achieving a nonprofit mission.
Board members from diversified areas of business present a different view and experience than nonprofit leaders. Learning how to set aside their differences to get the job done is important. How can we learn from each other to achieve our mission?
Board members range from young professionals to retirees. Often it is elderly folks who are more energetic, happy and youthful than their peers. Perhaps the reason is that an infusion of joy comes from dedication to making the world a little better each day. Board members emulate nonprofit leaders with their passion to change the world for future generations.
Nonprofit Board of Directors Roles
Board members, donors and volunteers often work behind the scenes. Nevertheless, their collective efforts are essential to a nonprofit’s success. A nonprofit board brings a wealth of local connections, life experience and true savvy to charity organizations.
Nonprofit board of directors roles include alliances with committed community leaders of local and global communities who open doors. They do so by building relationships with diverse private and public institutions important to nonprofits. They are the activists who help advance missions and form networks of influence. They bring new philanthropists to the table and help nonprofit organizations remain grassroots organizations.
Nonprofit Board of Directors Job Description
- Determining the organization’s mission and purpose and aligning goals accordingly
- Strategic planning and support of organization’s goals
- Being involved in effective organizational planning
- Uncovering which of the nonprofit’s programs are consistent with its mission and monitoring their effectiveness
- Creative financial planning and securing adequate financial resources for the organization to fulfill its mission
- Active involvement in the development of the nonprofit’s annual budget and ensuring that proper financial controls
- Recruiting and training new and diverse board members and evaluating performance
- Overseeing and cooperating in legal and ethical standards and norms
Board members are given a board packet of information ahead of retreats or meetings. Thus they’ll be able to come to the event prepared for problem solving. They’ll ask questions ahead and learn how to read financial statements.
They evaluate and monitor the nonprofit strategic plan. A revenues and expenses projection may be drawn up for the current period and the plan period. Often a three year plan is drawn for projections. Since they have a role in authoring the strategic plan there is room for innovation.
Board of directors non profit responsibilities include setting time aside to tour programs. They want to know the intimate details of the work of the nonprofit they serve. Retreats are usually designed around educating board members on programs. They get to know the expert staff involved at the nonprofit.
A diverse board which includes investors knows how to lead nonprofits toward impact capitol. This can provide nonprofits with better than market financial terms. The same board members are often donors. They are interested in using their financial acumen to protect the precious donations given by all donors.
Why Board Members Give of Their Time
Changing lives is one of the main reasons people become board members. To be engaged and give back is a common motivator. Sometimes they begin to serve on a board because they are a business leader and are told it is important to help nonprofits. They may find the ultimate motivation as they serve, and discover how good it feels to give back. As they learn about the projects, challenges and success stories their investment becomes greater.
Another popular reason business leaders serve on nonprofit boards is to learn. Applying their knowledge in the nonprofit sector requires different skills. They’ll also be in position to help nonprofit professionals to learn. Mentoring and teaching their skills to nonprofit leaders is another reward.
Leadership is an important motivating factor to serving as a board member. One of the board of directors non profit responsibilities involves a special kind of leadership. They realize that many of the talented people employed at nonprofits could earn more in the private sector. Board members are committed to making the nonprofit work environment fulfilling and appealing. This includes gender equity and racial equity.
Board members realize they are in a position to bridge the gap between business and nonprofits in profound ways. To unlock and mobilize private sector capitol, they may be able to introduce some unconventional partners to nonprofits. For example, it may help an environmental nonprofit to create a partnership with a company who pollutes the environment. One of the nonprofit board of directors roles is facilitate such partnerships. They are often better representatives than environmentalists. Educating and changing the companies has occurred through such partnerships on top of being sources of capital.
The heroism of board members helps nonprofits find ways to cooperate with entities holding diverse views. Changing lives often involves government, businesses and nonprofits to come together. Getting in the way of progress is to focus on the differences of each sector. A board of directors non profit responsibilities include finding common ground vs differences to achieve a mission.