The board of directors of nonprofit organizations has two main objectives in their work: to follow the mission that their organization carries to society and to ensure the stability and sustenance of that organization. Board members protect their company’s interests and are responsible for every decision they make, but remain only the overseer of the nonprofit organization, with no authority to interfere in the affairs of management. The duties of a board member have many nuances, and in this article, we will try to highlight the basics of board structure and governance in a nonprofit organization.
Basics of Nonprofit Board Governance
Nonprofit board members are volunteers and receive no compensation for their participation. They can come from other companies in a wide variety of industries and still be members of their structure. In this way, each board member can bring invaluable experience and knowledge to the meeting. But to further enhance the competence of the participants, the board can arrange for training, education, and mentoring. Below we will highlight the basic concepts of nonprofit board management that every board member should be aware of:
- Defining responsibilities
The duties of board members include many elements, such as duties of loyalty, care, and obedience, which involve providing the company with the necessary resources and equipment, monitoring the proper direction of the company to meet its operations, and ensuring that the company is operating under all laws. Board members are also responsible for policy, compensation, and the general management of the board.
- Setting the frequency of board attendance
Board members must attend all board meetings, except for good cause for absence. The board itself can set and approve the frequency of its meetings. Also, they are required to keep the minutes of meetings and participate in committees.
- Forming a qualified board of directors
The membership of the council must be sufficiently large to permit for in-depth, constructive discussion, but too many members may result in an unproductive meeting.
- Requirement of independence
Nonprofit board members should not receive a salary for their activities or benefit from their position on their own.
- Setting remuneration policy
Under this policy, directors are entitled to be compensated for board expenses. However, this compensation should not exceed that of similar nonprofit organizations.
- Forming a system of continuing education
Nonprofit board management members should fully understand their duties, responsibilities, and agendas.
Nonprofit board management models
Nonprofits have 7 models of board management, and below we describe their basic structures. Learn more about the basics of nonprofit board management at https://bootstrapious.com/p/managing-your-nonprofit-board.
- Voluntary governance – is the foremost form of nonprofit board management. In this case, board members are often community members, while volunteers and paid staff make up the core staff of the nonprofit
- Advisory board – certain types of nonprofit organizations are founded with a one-person board of directors, who later serves as the CEO of the board of directors. To obtain non-profit registration, an entity must have a board of directors, and the advisory board provides valuable guidance in important areas such as legal, accounting, marketing, etc.
- Patronage Board – Such boards are more focused on fundraising and networking. Also, and this nonprofit board management model, board members are often sponsors of the organization themselves
- Cooperative model – in such a board structure, all members have equal rights and responsibilities, no one is divided into roles and ratings, the board works as a unified group
- Political board governance – this model very often overlaps with the voluntary board, but the difference is that it establishes appropriate committees in charge of different areas of management