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IdeaEncore logoBoard Roles and Responsibilities

January 2012

Nonprofit board members have two basic responsibilities—support and governance—each requiring different skills and expertise. In the role of "supporter" board members raise money, bring contacts to the organization, and act as ambassadors to the community. Equally important, the "governance" role involves protection of the public interest, being a fiduciary, selecting the executive director and assessing his/ her performance, ensuring compliance with legal and tax requirements, and evaluating the organization's work.

IdeaEncore provides hundreds of links and documents that can help your board—and your nonprofit—better understand the important roles and responsibilities of your board. Check out these helpful resources listed below.

Short, Quick, Easy-to-Use Tools

Basic Roles and Responsibilities

Board Chair Responsibilities

  • If you're a board chair who needs a little help understanding your role, read Scribner & Associates' book Are You Chairing a Board by the Seat of Your Pants? ($7.50).
  • Whether you are a seasoned board chair wanting to brush up, an incoming board chair seeking knowledge and skills, or a person considering the possibility of becoming a board chair, BoardSource's The Board Chair Handbook, Second Edition, provides the blueprint for being successful and effective in your leadership role ($54).

Special Board Roles and Responsibilities

Flo Green, IdeaEncore Network
3722 IdeaEncore Network
Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Florence (Flo) Green is co-founder and vice president of IdeaEncore Network (www.ideaencore.com), which envisions a future in which every nonprofit shares what they know. Nonprofits can use our online information resource exchange to save time/money by reusing shared knowledge, by uploading files/links for others to use (for free or to sell), by making their expertise visible by "liking," rating, and commenting, and by embedding their branded online library—that displays IdeaEncore resources—within their Web sites.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may or may not represent GuideStar's opinions. GuideStar is committed to providing a range of topics and perspectives to our users. We make every effort to obtain articles from knowledgeable, trustworthy sources, but we make no warranties or representations with regard to articles written by persons outside GuideStar.