Board of Directors

Board of Directors - Board Structure Helps to have a...

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Board Structure Helps to have a lawyer, accountant, and a banker on the board. The banker and the accountant are the finance officers. Associations are governed by a board of directors. There are thousands of volunteer board members across America who make remarkable contributions to nonprofit organizations. The board of directors, however, can be a curious feature of a nonprofit. How is an effective board of directors created? This is a perplexing question that all nonprofit organizations grapple with. I begin this chapter by explaining how a board functions and how it is structured. Function A nonprofit board of directors has three serious and demanding functions that it must do: 1. Create a clear statement of purpose for the organization 2. Support the achievement of that purpose 3. Be accountable for operating the organization in a legal and ethical manner The Selection Process The board of directors is elected by the membership. Depending on the bylaws, the selected board members may then elect a president from the newly elected group. That president then appoints the newly elected members to various positions such as secretary and treasurer. Or, the membership votes on a pre selected slate of directors where the officers are already selected by a nominating committee. In yet another scenario, members run for any office they want, with the final vote deciding on who gets which position. In completing your assignment today, you may find other ways the board of directors gets selected. There is no right or wrong way. My personal preference finds the president elected by a nominating committee. The president then selects his directors from the remaining membership. The president matches talent with the association's needs and his or her own sense of what will make up a dynamic board. This entire slate is then elected by the membership. When the president serves an organization that has paid staff, he or she may consult with the ED prior to making director offers. This makes good sense, because the Executive Director (ED) often has more contact with the membership and is able to identify potential candidates more easily. I personally enjoy this process. When I serve as president, I trust that my ED will be honest and open and help me to make the right decisions. When I am the ED, I find it a powerful job perk to assist the incoming president staff a possible, "dream team" board. Board Member Titles Board members are assigned several titles: director, trustee, officer. Once a person is elected from the general membership to the board of directors, that person is then referred to as a director or a trustee . The titles are used interchangeably. Some directors are asked by the president to take on additional responsibilities. These directors are referred to as officers of the board. Officers hold titles such as Past President, President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. When only the officers meet to discuss issues, they are referred to as the executive committee .
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An example will help put this concept into perspective. Let’s say that you are invited to a board
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This note was uploaded on 08/29/2011 for the course PUBLIC ADM 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at UNF.

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Board of Directors - Board Structure Helps to have a...

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