board, whether new or well-established, must maintain focus on its basic
responsibilities. Acting on behalf of the community, the board attends to the
organization’s impact, effectiveness, and integrity. Drawn from
here are the
Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards
Determine mission and
is the board's responsibility to create and review a statement of mission and
purpose that articulates the organization's goals, means, and primary
Select the chief executive
. Boards must reach
consensus on the chief executive's responsibilities and undertake a careful
search to find the most qualified individual for the position.
Support and evaluate the
. The board should ensure that the chief executive has
the moral and professional support he or she needs to further the goals of the
Ensure effective planning
. Boards must actively
participate in an overall planning process and assist in implementing and
monitoring the plan's goals.
Monitor and strengthen
programs and services
. The board's responsibility is to determine which
programs are consistent with the organization's mission and monitor their effectiveness.
Ensure adequate financial
of the board's foremost responsibilities is to secure adequate resources for
the organization to fulfill its mission.
Protect assets and provide
proper financial oversight
. The board must assist in developing the annual budget
and ensuring that proper financial controls are in place.
Build a competent board
. All boards have a
responsibility to articulate prerequisites for candidates, orient new members,
and periodically and comprehensively evaluate their own performance.
Ensure legal and ethical
board is ultimately responsible for adherence to legal standards and ethical
Enhance the organization's
. The board should clearly articulate the organization's
mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public and garner support from the
nonprofit organization’s success rests, in large part, on the effective
execution of these ten tasks. Turning these points into questions may offer an
effective evaluative tool for your board.
Richard T. Ingram, Ten Basic Responsibilities
of Nonprofit Boards (BoardSource 2009).