Last week, I began writing about the three roles of a nonprofit board of directors. As mentioned last week, a nonprofit board of directors has three roles: Setting organizational direction, Ensuring the organization has the necessary resources to do its work, and Providing oversight. To learn more about setting organizational direction, please go back and read last week’s post.
Ensuring the organization has the necessary resources
The board of directors has the responsibility of ensuring the organization has the necessary resources to fulfill its mission. First, the board has the responsibility of identifying the resources that are needed. In other words, what resources do we need to fulfill our mission? Then, the board needs to establish policies for how the resources will be acquired—will the organization engage in special events fundraising, will it write grants, and if so, who will it accept grants from? As part of the policy development, the board will also need to determine how board members will participate in resource development. For most successful nonprofits, this means that the board members are expected to contribute financially to the organization.
In addition to ensuring the organization has the financial resources it needs, the board of directors is also responsible for ensuring the organization has the human resources it needs to fulfill its mission. This is done through the selection of the Chief Executive Officer, supporting him or her and evaluating his/her performance on an annual basis. It is important to note that the Chief Executive Officer reports to the board of directors but any other staff or volunteers report to the CEO or their designated supervisor.
Finally, it is also important for the board of directors to ensure the organization has the resources it needs with a public positive image. An accurate and positive reputation will influence organizational resources at all levels. As part of this responsibility, the board will also need to ensure that all organizational stakeholders are kept informed of “happenings” (both positive and negative) within the organization.
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