Information and Basic Responsibilities of Boards and Committees
Serving on a Nonprofit Committee
The work of a committee member is specific to the task of that committee and generally does not entail legal responsibilities.
It is an excellent way to learn about an organization, its work, clients, leadership, reputation, and organizational culture. You
also have an opportunity to see how well your own personality, interests and skills mesh with the organizationís mission and vision.
A committee position is a recommended first step to a Board role, both for the individual and the organization.
The Volunteer Center generally recommends placement on a committee prior to Board service. There are some exceptions, dependent on
the experience and qualifications of an individual candidate, and/or the particular situation within an organization. Whether you
join an organization at the Board or committee level right now, the agency will benefit and so will you.
Board Types and Structures
Governing - Makes corporate decisions for an organization, sets policy and is responsible of financial matters. Generally referred to as a nonprofitís Board of Directors.
Advisory - Members use their expertise reviewing or planning materials; it is not decision making board.
Honorary - This Boardís members are for name recognition, financial assistance and making other resources available.
Auxiliary - Members are typically part of a larger Board that tends to be for fundraising or special event planning.
Basic Responsibilities of a Nonprofit Board of Directors
- Determine and carryout the organizationís mission and purpose.
- Select, support and assess the performance of the Executive Director.
- Ensure effective organizational planning.
- Raise funds and oversee resources effectively
- Determine, monitor and strengthen the organizationís programs and services.
- Enhance the organizationís public standing.
- Ensure ethical and legal integrity and maintain accountability
- Recruit and orient new Board members and assess Board performance.
Advantages of serving on a Board or Committee:
- Use your skills, interests and knowledge on behalf of an organization that provides for the common good--do your part to make this a better community.
- Learn interpersonal skills, organizational dynamics, legal and financial issues, specific program knowledge, community needs and strengths--the list is endless and directly related to your own ability and desire to learn.
- Broaden your community awareness as you learn about the work of the organization and meet others through your work on the Board.
- Broaden your circle of friends. Working together to solve problems is one of the most satisfying ways to build deep friendships.