What Is A Board Of Directors For Nonprofits?
According to 501c3.org, a nonprofit board of directors is simply the governing body of a nonprofit. The word “governing” is important here, as it denotes the members are focused on high-level strategy, oversight, and accountability, unlike employees at the management level who oversee the day-to-day operations of an organization.
A board of directors is responsible for deciding things like the nonprofit’s mission and strategy and for setting goals. The board members also work to represent the public’s interest and act as the legal voice of the organization. Board members typically meet a few times throughout the year, but they must meet at least once with all members in attendance.
Why Do Nonprofits Need A Board Of Directors?
Nonprofits need a board of directors for a variety of reasons. Not only is their wealth of knowledge and experience invaluable to the organization, but they are also necessary for essential tasks like applying for bank accounts, filing annual reports, and making important purchases. Additionally, they act as the guiding voice for large decisions like approving annual budgets, approving plans for borrowing money, and approving plans for major growth or reorganization.
Choosing & Recruiting Board Members For Your Organization
While there are no legal guidelines in place regarding who can and cannot be a nonprofit board member, there are a few things organizations should consider when recruiting board members. Most importantly, all board members should share your organization’s passion and believe in its mission. Secondly, it’s usually best practice to avoid recruiting any paid employees within your organization. Additionally, it’s helpful to choose board members who have some experience in business affairs.
Once you’ve identified what your organization is looking for in a potential board member, it’s time to begin recruiting. You may be able to find great board members by participating in a board-match program in your area. Board-matching programs host networking events that allow nonprofits the opportunity to meet qualified board candidates from a wide range of backgrounds.
You can also utilize tools like LinkedIn’s Board Member Connect. Because LinkedIn allows users to indicate whether they are interested in serving on a nonprofit board, it makes it easy for organizations to find candidates to fit their criteria.
Few things are more important to the health and sustainability of a nonprofit than its board of directors. A board of directors leads organizations through important tasks and decisions.
- Nonprofit Quarterly: Nonprofit Board Responsibilities: The Basics
- 501c3.org: Nonprofit Board Members – How to Choose Wisely
- National Council of Nonprofits: Finding the Right Board Members for Your Nonprofit