Board Roles and Responsibilities
Key Roles of the Board
The board of directors of an incorporated, non-profit organization is legally responsible for the governance of the organization. Within that mandate is the expectation that the board will develop, implement and monitor policies that will allow the organization to carry out its work. A board is elected by, and accountable to, its membership. While a board may appoint staff and/or committees to carry out specific work related to its policies, programs and services, the board is ultimately responsible for meeting agency outcomes.
There are limitless resources available that define key roles and responsibilities of boards. While details vary from resource to resource, there are some broad-based philosophies that are consistent.
Collectively, the board must:
- Determine a governance model and ensure that appropriate organizational policies and structures are in place
- Participate in the development of a mission and strategic plan for the organization
- Hire and ensure that an effective management team is in place (i.e., Executive Director)
- Maintain effective partnerships and communication with the community, the organization's members and its stakeholders
- Maintain fiscal responsibility, including raising income, managing income, and approving and monitoring annual budgets
- Ensure transparency in all communication to members, stakeholders and the public
- Evaluate the organization's work in relation to a strategic plan
- Evaluate the work of the board of directors, ensuring continuous renewal of the board, and plan for the succession and diversity of the board
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