Board of Directors

Board of Directors

A group of people who are legally charged to oversee the operations of a nonā€profit organization. There are a number of different types of boards, including:

Working Board: Board members attend to strategic matters in addition to working with staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

to carry out the mission; usually characteristic of newly established organization or ones driven by volunteers (also known as an Operational Board or Management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”


Membership (Representative) Board: There is a clear link between the board and the service users, with board members being clients

This term is used here to refer to the service-users that organizations work for and with and provide services to. We have chosen to use clients because of its common currency and ease of use, while acknowledging that it may unintentionally connote a particular ideology of patronage or a purely financial transactional relationships between organizations and the people they serve.

and employers at the same time.

Policy Board: This model distinguishes between the board and Executive Director role. The Executive Director provides operational leadership

When referring to an ‘organization’s leadership’, we mean the board, ED and senior management.

in managing the organization to fulfil its mission, while the board focuses primarily on strategic matters and ensuring responsiveness to community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.


Collective Board: Board members and staff share equal responsibility in deciding upon strategic matters and carrying them out. They emphasize equality and power sharing.

Corporate or Entrepreneurial Board: There is an emphasis on innovation, with a focus on efficiency and effectiveness measures that push the organization to achieve a maximum result on its investments.

Institutional Board: When the organization is very mature, with all the systems in place to run efficiently and effectively, the Institutional Board tends to exist primarily to raise funds.