Sample Job Descriptions for Members of Boards of Directors

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Also see Carter's Board Blog (for for-profits and nonprofits).

Sections in This Topic Include the Following

Board Chair
Vice Chair
Committee Chair
Board Member
Secretary
Treasurer

For additional perspectives on Board member job descriptions, also see
Board member job descriptions
Nonprofit Board Member Job Description Samples

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Related Library Topics

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In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to Board Member Job Descriptions. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

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Board Chair Job Description

The following description was adapted from materials from BoardSource. Note that materials apply to both for-profit and nonprofit unless otherwise noted.

1. Is a member of the Board

2. Serves as the Chief Volunteer of the organization (nonprofit only)

3. Is a partner with the Chief Executive in achieving the organization's mission

4. Provides leadership to the Board of Directors, who sets policy and to whom the Chief Executive is accountable.

5. Chairs meetings of the Board after developing the agenda with the Chief Executive.

6. Encourages Board's role in strategic planning

7. Appoints the chairpersons of committees, in consultation with other Board members.

8. Serves ex officio as a member of committees and attends their meetings when invited.

9. Discusses issues confronting the organization with the Chief Executive.

10. Helps guide and mediate Board actions with respect to organizational priorities and governance concerns.

11. Reviews with the Chief Executive any issues of concern to the Board.

12. Monitors financial planning and financial reports.

13. Plays a leading role in fundraising activities (nonprofit only)

14. Formally evaluates the performance of the Chief Executive and informally evaluates the effectiveness of the Board members.

15. Evaluates annually the performance of the organization in achieving its mission.

16. Performs other responsibilities assigned by the Board.

Nathan Garber's checklist for Board Chair
Nathan Garber's job description for Board Chair

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Vice Chair Job Description


The following description was adapted from materials from BoardSource. Note that materials apply to both for-profit and nonprofit unless otherwise noted.

This position in typically successor to the Chair position. In addition to the responsibilities outlined in the Committee Member job description, this position:

1. Is a member of the Board

2. Performs Chair responsibilities when the Chair cannot be available (see Chair Job Description)

3. Reports to the Board's Chair

4. Works closely with the Chair and other staff

5. Participates closely with the Chair to develop and implement officer transition plans.

6. Performs other responsibilities as assigned by the Board.

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Committee Chair Job Description


The following description was adapted from materials from BoardSource. Note that materials apply to both for-profit and nonprofit unless otherwise noted.

1. Is a member of the Board

2. Sets tone for the committee work.

3. Ensures that members have the information needed to do their jobs.

4. Oversees the logistics of committee's operations.

5. Reports to the Board's Chair.

6. Reports to the full Board on committee's decisions/recommendations.

7. Works closely with the Chief Executive and other staff as agreed to by the Chief Executive.

8. Assigns work to the committee members, sets the agenda and runs the meetings, and ensures distribution of meeting minutes.

9. Initiates and leads the committee's annual evaluation.

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Board Member Job Description

The following description was adapted from materials from BoardSource. Note that materials apply to both for-profit and nonprofit unless otherwise noted.


1. Regularly attends board meetings and important related meetings.

2. Makes serious commitment to participate actively in committee work.

3. Volunteers for and willingly accepts assignments and completes them thoroughly and on time.

4. Stays informed about committee matters, prepares themselves well for meetings, and reviews and comments on minutes and reports.

5. Gets to know other committee members and builds a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus.

6. Is an active participant in the committee's annual evaluation and planning efforts.

7. Participates in fund raising for the organization (nonprofit only).

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Board Secretary Job Description

The following description was adapted from materials from the National Center for Nonprofit Boards. Note that materials apply to both for-profit and nonprofit unless otherwise noted.


1. Is a member of the Board

2. Maintains records of the board and ensures effective management of organization's records

3. Manages minutes of board meetings

4. Ensures minutes are distributed to members shortly after each meeting

5.Is sufficiently familiar with legal documents (articles, by-laws, IRS letters, etc.) to note applicability during meetings

Job Description for Secretary on Nathan Garber's website

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Board Treasurer Job Description

The following description was adapted from materials from the National Center for Nonprofit Boards. Note that materials apply to both for-profit and nonprofit unless otherwise noted.


1. Is a member of the Board

2. Manages finances of the organization

3. Administrates fiscal matters of the organization

4. Provides annual budget to the board for members' approval

5. Ensures development and board review of financial policies and procedures

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For the Category of Boards of Directors:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

For-Profit ("Corporate") Boards of Directors

Nonprofit Boards of Directors



For-Profit ("Corporate") Boards of Directors

Leadership and Supervision in Business - Book Cover Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best employees for your business. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or employee), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among employees of small businesses. Many materials in this Library are adapted from this book.

NOTE: This is one of the few books that's all about leadership AND how to effectively work with a corporate (for-profit) Board.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Nonprofit Boards of Directors

Developing, Operating and Restoring Your Nonprofit Board - Book Cover Field Guide to Developing, Operating and Restoring Your Nonprofit Board
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to organize, operate and sustain high-quality nonprofit Boards -- and to fix a broken Board! Includes variety of Board models you can choose from, roles and responsibilities, how to get the best members, how to train and organize them, goals for standard committees, ensuring high-quality meetings, evaluating Boards, how to evaluate and/or replace the Executive Director, and much more! Includes many sample Board policies you can download! Written by the developer of the Free Management Library. Many materials in this Library's topic about Boards are adapted from this book. 30-day, money-back, guarantee!
Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff - Book Cover Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best staff members for your nonprofit. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or staff member), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among nonprofit staff. Written by the developer of the Free Management Library. Many materials in this Library are adapted from this book.

This is one of the few books that's all about leadership AND how to effectively work with a nonprofit Board.
Consulting and Organization Development With Nonprofits - Book Cover Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development With Nonprofits
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides complete, step-by-step guidelines to identify complex issues in nonprofit organizations and successfully resolve each of them. This book is also helpful to organizations that are doing fine now, but want to evolve to the next level of performance. This is one of the truly comprehensive, yet practical, books about this complex subject! Includes online forms that can be downloaded. Written by the developer of the Free Management Library. Many materials in this Library's topic about guiding change are adapted from this comprehensive book. 30-day, money-back, guarantee!
Nonprofit Strategic Planning and Facilitation - Book Cover Field Guide to Nonprofit Strategic Planning and Facilitation
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Step-by-step guidelines to customize and facilitate planners to implement the best strategic planning process to suit the particular nature and needs of their nonprofit. This is one of the few books, if any, that explains how to actually facilitate planning. Includes many online forms that can be downloaded and used by planners. Written by the developer of the Free Management Library. Many materials in this Library's topic about strategic planning are adapted from this book. 30-day, money-back, guarantee!

For Nonprofits, Also See

Strategic Planning -- Recommended Books

Social Entrepreneurship (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Capacity Building (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Fundraising -- Recommended Books

Program Management -- Recommended Books

Leading -- Recommended Books

Training and Development -- Recommended Books

Volunteers -- Recommended Books






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