Nonprofit boards are a group of people who help control an organization. They do this by having regular meetings with the intention of setting the strategy and direction, ensuring resources and oversight. Boards can also be involved in philanthropic activities, including fundraising and providing professional assistance in the form of pro bono to the non-profit.
The majority of states have the minimum number of board members that a nonprofit must have, and some require that boards be diverse in order to maintain their tax-exempt status. The diversity requirement shouldn’t be a game of political will. It should be based on the fact that an individual has no conflicts of interest or other reasons that would prevent them from being on the board.
The duties of the board include appointing committees, selecting and reimbursing the CEO creating the budget, supervising legal issues, reviewing and approving financial reports, determining the amount of compensation for senior staff and establishing a strategy plan. Boards also represent an organization in the community, including discussions with government agencies, donors and the media.
Boards are not just required to appoint committees, select and pay the CEO, and decide on the budget, but they must also conduct due diligence on potential donors to ensure they are legitimate and are able to make donations to charities. They should also review the financial reports and approve them, and keep good minutes of each meeting. A functioning Board will take its responsibilities seriously and work as a team to achieve success.