Responsibilities of Charity Board Members

Board room

In this series, we have discussed reasons why and why not to serve on a charity Board. Board members of a charity have key responsibilities and play a critical role in the organisation’s success and sustainability.

Here are the primary responsibilities of charity board members:

Governance and Oversight

  1. Mission and Vision: Ensure that the charity adheres to its mission and works towards its vision. Regularly review and update the mission and vision statements as necessary.
  2. Strategic Planning: Participate in developing, approving, and monitoring the implementation of the strategic plan to guide the charity’s long-term goals and objectives.
  3. Policy Development: Establish and enforce policies that govern the organisation, including those related to operations, ethics, and compliance.

Financial Oversight

  1. Budget Approval: Review and approve the annual budget, ensuring that resources are allocated effectively and align with the strategic plan.
  2. Financial Reporting: Regularly review financial statements and reports to ensure financial health and transparency. Monitor the charity’s financial performance against the budget.
  3. Fundraising: Support and participate in fundraising efforts. This may include making personal donations, soliciting donations, and leveraging personal networks to raise funds.
  4. Audit and Compliance: Ensure that proper financial controls are in place, and oversee the audit process. Confirm that the charity complies with all relevant laws and regulations.

Leadership and Management

  1. Executive Director/CEO Oversight: Hire, support, evaluate, and, if necessary, dismiss the Executive Director or CEO. Work collaboratively with the Executive Director/CEO to ensure effective management of the charity.
  2. Succession Planning: Ensure there is a plan in place for the succession of key leadership positions, including the board itself.

Performance and Accountability

  1. Performance Monitoring: Regularly evaluate the charity’s programs and services to ensure they are effective and aligned with the mission. Use performance metrics and outcomes to guide decisions.
  2. Accountability: Ensure that the charity operates with accountability and transparency. Uphold the organisation’s reputation and integrity by adhering to ethical standards.

Advocacy and Representation

  1. Ambassadorship: Act as ambassadors for the charity, promoting its mission and values to the public, potential donors, and stakeholders.
  2. Stakeholder Engagement: Build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including donors, beneficiaries, community leaders, and partners.
  1. Compliance: Ensure the charity complies with all legal requirements, including filing annual reports, tax returns, and maintaining nonprofit status.
  2. Risk Management: Identify and mitigate risks to the organisation. Establish and monitor policies to manage risks effectively.
  3. Ethical Standards: Promote and uphold high ethical standards within the organisation. Address any conflicts of interest and ensure that the charity’s activities reflect its values.

Board Effectiveness

  1. Self-Assessment: Conduct regular assessments of the board’s performance and effectiveness. Identify areas for improvement and implement necessary changes.
  2. Training and Development: Participate in ongoing education and training to stay informed about nonprofit governance and best practices.
  3. Recruitment and Orientation: Assist in identifying and recruiting new board members. Ensure that new members receive a comprehensive orientation and understand their roles and responsibilities.

By fulfilling these responsibilities, board members can help ensure that the charity is well-governed, financially stable, and effectively working towards its mission.