Since nonprofit organizations are not real persons, there is a requirement for a set of reliable and qualified individuals to guide the nonprofit through each phase; fundraising for nonprofits include major decision making that needs guidance. These individuals are known as board members who perform the needful activities such as filing annual reports, handling transactions and applying for a bank account, among others.
Several times, there are newcomers among the existing board members of a nonprofit. Although these newcomers may come with unmatched enthusiasm and determination, they may not always have enough knowledge to bring about real change. This is where it becomes extremely important for the executive director and other board members to help them understand their responsibilities better and work together towards the betterment of the organization. In this article, we will be looking at the few of the major responsibilities of a good board member.
- Strategic planning
Ensuring an effective organizational planning is one of the major responsibilities of nonprofit board members. The team has to see to it that there is enough time for them to sit and come up with a plan that would elevate the organization and consistently meet its goal. There are various factors to be considered while planning, from mission statement and current programs to staffing and financial situation. It is equally important to keep assessing the organization’s progress.
- Arrange resources
Once the strategies are in place, it is upon the board members to arrange and deliver the resources needed for execution of plans. The leaders have to be completely involved in the activities of the organization. Making connections and generating funds by reaching out to potential donors and partners within their circle is one example. When it comes to fundraising for nonprofits, providing sufficient resources is crucial to fulfilling the mission of the organization.
- Fulfill legal requirements
Unlike the common belief that nonprofits function in an environment of minimal regulations, nonprofit organizations have to meet multiple rules and regulations. There are state, federal and local laws that nonprofit board members have to be aware of. For example, it needs to be understood that there are penalties for overpaying the staff, failing to file the IRS File-990, overboard engagement in political activities, etc.
This is not to imply that your board members have to be experts in the field of accounting, but they should have a clear idea of where the money is coming from and where it is going. Your nonprofit’s financial plan should be built post a consultation with your key stakeholders, the staff should also be allowed to share their opinion while building the same. The board must ensure an appropriate spending and make way for a smooth functioning.
- Rightful selection of the Executive Director
Although the stakeholders play an important role in selecting the Executive Director, the final decision rests on the rest of the board members. This can be smartly done by having a clear idea of the kind of leadership your nonprofit needs to achieve its goals, the selection process must be examined closely and there should be an in depth evaluation of performance.
Your board members represent your nonprofit, they are the face of your organization. It is the responsibility of your board members to improve the reputation of your nonprofit publicly and embody the beliefs of your organization. Nonprofit work such as fundraising for nonprofits, creating stronger bonds, communicating with your audience, managing the staff, overseeing all sorts of training and ensuring growth of the organization, all these require a strong set of board members. When the staff and the board are on the same page, work gets a lot more productive and success draws closer.