Roles and Responsibilities of Chief Executive Officer of a Corporation

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

Adapted from the Field Guide to Developing and Operating Your Nonprofit Board of Directors.

Sections of This Topic Include

Roles of Chief Executive Officer
Responsibilities of Chief Executive Officer

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Roles of Chief Executive Officer

NOTE: References to a Boards of Directors in the following are in regard to chief executive officers of corporations, whether for-profit or nonprofit.

Leader

  • Advises the Board
  • Advocates / promotes organization and stakeholder change related to organization mission
  • Supports motivation of employees in organization products/programs and operations

Visionary / Information Bearer

  • Ensures staff and Board have sufficient and up-to-date information
  • Looks to the future for change opportunities
  • Interfaces between Board and employees
  • Interfaces between organization and community

Decision Maker

  • Formulates policies and planning recommendations to the Board
  • Decides or guides courses of action in operations by staff

Manager

  • Oversees operations of organization
  • Implements plans
  • Manages human resources of organization
  • Manages financial and physical resources

Board Developer

  • Assists in the selection and evaluation of board members
  • Makes recommendations, supports Board during orientation and self-evaluation
  • Supports Board's evaluation of Chief Executive

Responsibilities of Chief Executive Officer

There is no standardized list of the major functions and responsibilities carried out by position of chief executive officer. The following list is one perspective and includes the major functions typically addressed by job descriptions of chief executive officers.

1. Board Administration and Support

Supports operations and administration of Board by advising and informing Board members, interfacing between Board and staff, and supporting Board's evaluation of chief executive

2. Program, Product and Service Delivery

Oversees design, marketing, promotion, delivery and quality of programs, products and services

3. Financial, Tax, Risk and Facilities Management

Recommends yearly budget for Board approval and prudently manages organization's resources within those budget guidelines according to current laws and regulations

4. Human Resource Management

Effectively manages the human resources of the organization according to authorized personnel policies and procedures that fully conform to current laws and regulations

5. Community and Public Relations

Assures the organization and its mission, programs, products and services are consistently presented in strong, positive image to relevant stakeholders

6. Fundraising (nonprofit-specific)

Oversees fundraising planning and implementation, including identifying resource requirements, researching funding sources, establishing strategies to approach funders, submitting proposals and administrating fundraising records and documentation

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