Board roles & responsibilities

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Financial Management of Not-for-Profit Organizations

This financial management

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

for non-profit organization was created by Blackbaud. It states that the budgeting process and the ongoing management of cash and other assets are two critical areas of focus for not-for-profit financial managers. This focus is dictated by the overarching stewardship obligations of a charitable organization that receives money from the public to meet a perceived societal need.
 Financial Management of Not-for-Profit Organizations Blackbaud October 2011

Board Chair and Board Member Best Practice Packet

This resource was developed by Non-profit Alliance at Kellogg 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.

College. It is highlights specific resources and tips for boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. chairs, but it can serve as a tool for the entire board to make sure all members understand the different roles and best practices

Best Practices / Good Practices / Promising Practices

Ways of working that are acknowledged as effective and deserving of emulation.

of highly effective boards.


Best Practice Materials for Non-profit Boards

This resource provides best practice templates for a starting point for your organization Non-profit BoardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization.. It states that careful consideration should be given when considering what the needs of your organization are and modify the documents to fit your needs. In addition to answering question, the board needs to establish a single point of administrative authority. Sample Position Descriptions for Board Members (pg. 10) Checklist of Material for Potential Board Members (pg. 18) Board Policies (pg. 22)
Best Practice Materials for Non-profit Boards by Executive Service Corps of Washington


GST/HST Information for Non-Profit Organizations

This guide was collected from the Canada Revenue Agency. It explains how the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) applies to non-profit organizations. It explains registration requirements, exemptions, rebates, and simplified methods of accounting that may apply to your organization.
Canada Revenue Agency July 2010

Succession Planning Tool Kit

This Succession Planning tool kit is a comprehensive plan to address both current and future leadership

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

needs while maintaining the existing merit principles

Accepted bases of action or conduct. For the Organizational Standards Initiative, our guiding principles provide a value‐laden foundation on which our work can be based.

. It is intended to provide a framework for developing succession strategies utilizing the 5 key Steps. Step 1- Identification of Key Leadership Positions; Step 2 – Identify Competency, Skills and Success Factors of Leadership; Step 3 – Assess Current Bench Strength; Step 4 – Design and Implement Career Development Strategies and Step 5- Monitor and Evaluate Strategies

Building an Effective Board of Directors

This resource was developed by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The article sheds light on the role of the boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. in governing a non-profit organization. The document explores recruiting, fundraising, demographics, performance, board self-evaluation and vision of boards. This article also includes a sample board demographics mapping (pg. 2). The document also explores how board can get involve in organizational fundraising (p 18- p 23)

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) (Retrieval August 2013): Building an Effective Board of Directors

A group of people who are legally charged to oversee the operations of a non‐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 to carry out the mission; usually characteristic of newly established organization or ones driven by volunteers (also known as an Operational Board or Management Board).

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

Policy Board: This model distinguishes between the board and Executive Director role. The Executive Director provides operational leadership in managing the organization to fulfil its mission, while the board focuses primarily on strategic matters and ensuring responsiveness to community stakeholders.

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.

: Canada 

Board Self-Evaluation Questionnaire


This questionnaire contains questions that should be answered by all boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. members and uses a likert scale rating that gauges organizational development

A process through which an organization increases its capacity to successfully pursue its mission. This can include collaboration to create organizational change, to enhance organizational health, and to improve staff satisfaction and effectiveness.

capacity related to board structure, management

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

, and board roles and responsibilities. This questionnaire covers several areas, which include board conduct (p. 3), the relationship between the board and the executive director (p. 4), and individual board roles and responsibilities (p. 5). The questionnaire expands greatly in the OrgWise Indicators

Evidence or measures that show that a certain condition exists or certain results have or have not been achieved. They tell you how much progress has been made toward the intended goals, objectives, outputs or outcomes. Here, indicators are the practical and measurable markers that monitor specific aspects of a standard. Meeting certain indicators means the achievement of some level of the standard.

contained within the area of GovernanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. & Strategic Leadership

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

and offers a particularly comprehensive list of questions related to the roles and responsibilities of board members.

Non-Profit Sector

Used broadly to define a group or cluster of agencies that share some commonality. Here ‘the sector’ refers to community based agencies that serve immigrants and refugees in Ontario. Other relevant sectors include the broader non‐profit sector (sometimes referred to as the voluntary sector), and the community social services sector.

Leadership Program, Dalhousie University. (2005). Board Self-Evaluation Questionnaire. 1-6. Halifax, Canada. 

Five Good Ideas about Risk Management for Not-for-Profit Organizations and Charities

Abstract retrieved from YouTubeThis Five Good Ideas session focused on risk management for charities and not-for-profits operating in Ontario. As a director or officer of a registered charity or not-for-profit organization, there are a myriad of laws and regulations that you need to comply with to manage risk for your organization. You need to be aware of the corporate law that governs your not-for-profit organization, the income tax law that governs a registered charity if you are also a charity, and Ontario provincial law that governs the operations of charities in Ontario, among others. Crummey, S. (November 29, 2010). Five Good Ideas about Risk Management for Not-for-Profit Organizations and Charities. Maytree Foundation. 21:29. Retrieved from Youtube.

Five Good Ideas about Privacy Compliance

Abstract retrieved from YouTubeThe issue of privacy of personal information should be considered carefully by all charities and not-for-profit corporations. Privacy is good for business, and, as such, it should be viewed as a business issue more than a compliance issue. Charities and not-for-profit corporations should observe and follow privacy laws, industry best practices and fair information practices in respect of personal information. This session will focus on strategies for privacy compliance for charities and not-for-profit corporations operating in Ontario.Wakulowsky, L. (May 17, 2011). Five Good Ideas about Privacy Compliance. Maytree Foundation. 29:12. Retrieved from Youtube.

The Sustainability Formula - How Nonprofit Organizations Can Thrive in the Emerging Economy

This resource, developed by the TCC Group, is a fascinating look at nonprofit agencies and organizational sustainability. The author begins by introducing a unique tool that assesses four core agency capacities which are as follows: adaptive capacity, leadership

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

capacity, management

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

capacity, and technical capacity (p. 2) to determine organizational resource sustainability. A number of interesting findings have emerged that indicate certain, practical steps that organizations can initiate to build sustainability mechanisms. Two sample case studies of two American organizations are offered (pp. 4-5) which illustrate that sustainable organizations exhibit particular traits. These traits include leadership from upper management that is "visionary, strategic, inclusive, decisive, inspiration, motivation, and accountable" (p. 3). It also suggests some excellent practices when working with funders (pp. 6-7) and program evaluation - namely, that organizations must become increasingly familiar and understand program management roles and responsibilities (p. 7). A sustainability formula is offered at the end of the document (p. 11) as well as 10 useful recommendations for sustainability (p. 12). 

York, P. (2012). The Sustainability Formula - How Nonprofit Organizations Can Thrive in the Emerging Economy. Tcc Group. 1-13. New York City, United States. 


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