Board members play a crucial role in the overall performance of non-profit organizations. They assist the organization in various aspects, from adopting legal and ethical governance practices to implementing financial management initiatives. Hence, a non-profit organization's success largely depends on its board members.
As a result, non-profit organizations must thoroughly understand the responsibilities and roles of a non-profit board member and recruit suitable personnel accordingly. By doing so, they can ensure their organization's success and positively impact the communities they serve.
3 Roles of a Successful Board Member of a Non-Profit Organization
1. Identify the Organization's Mission and Purpose
Although this is done in the startup phase of a non-profit organization, it is important to understand that as your organization progresses, its mission and purpose may also change. Therefore, the board members must establish a mission and purpose that aligns with your organization's values.
Board members are also responsible for identifying new opportunities to advance the mission and secure the necessary funding. This includes proposing new programs and services and exploring potential partnerships and collaborations with other organizations.
By continuously evaluating the organization's mission and purpose and identifying new opportunities for growth and impact, board members can help ensure that the organization is fulfilling its potential and making a positive difference in the community.
2. Obey Legal Responsibilities
This is among the most critical roles of a non-profit board member since it keeps the organization from facing expensive legal issues. All board members must be fully educated on the organization's procedures, policies, and legal obligations.
For example, board members ensure compliance with state, local, and federal laws, including accurate and timely tax filings. While non-profits are generally exempt from paying taxes, they must pay property and payroll taxes.
Board members must grasp all this information to protect the organization from fines resulting from issues like excessive lobbying or overpaying employees. By fulfilling this critical role, board members can keep the non-profit from facing legal issues and maintain compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.
3. Conduct Organizational Planning
The board members also oversee a non-profit organization’s long- and short-term strategic planning. They must do so in the presence and collaboration of the organization's employees, ranging from stakeholders to executive teams. The board must collaborate to devise effective and practical strategies that respect the non-profit's aims while also considering the needs of the community it serves.
Effective strategic planning involves a comprehensive approach considering various factors, such as available resources, potential risks, and growth opportunities. By engaging in collaborative strategic planning, board members can ensure that the organization is well-positioned to achieve its goals and positively impact the community over the short and long term.
As discussed above, non-profit board members are responsible for fulfilling some critical roles. Hence, for your organization to operate efficiently, your non-profit board members should grasp what is expected from them and deliver accordingly.
If you want to read about similar content for non-profits or learn more about how non-profit case management software can help non-profits streamline their operations, please check out the FamCare blog.