Nonprofit Executive Board Qualifications

The members of the board of directors of nonprofit organizations must be prepared to handle a wide variety of duties. The most important tasks are to create governance and management policies that support the sustainability of a nonprofit and to provide financial oversight. They also develop strategic plans and oversee the implementation of these plans. In certain situations they could be held personally accountable for any nonprofit liabilities. For example failing to pay withholding tax on wages of employees.

In many instances, the board will hire an employee to run the company. The executive director, also known as the CEO, is accountable for hiring, training and supervising the board and staff. They could also be involved in fundraising activities. The role of the executive director is a big challenge for a new nonprofit, and it is often best to have an experienced board member coach the new ED/CEO so that they understand how to work with the board to ensure success.

Board members must be sure that the organization has enough funding to implement its programs. This could include personal contributions as well as fundraising events and other philanthropic efforts. The Board should be aware of the process of reporting financial statements and ensure that a transparent system is in place to avoid fraud or embezzlement. They must also be able to make and approve an annual budget and they should be able to monitor how closely the actual expenses match the budget.