The most healthy board / CEO relationships occur when both parties work closely together with a common aim of furthering the organisation’s goals and broadening its financial and membership support base.
While the board and the CEO are on the same team, they do not have the same roles. The board’s job is to govern, the CEO’s is to manage. It is important not to confuse the two.
- Roles and Responsibilities
Ensure that all board members of your organisation have a clear understanding of their roles and duties.
- Board Composition
When composing the board for an NFP organisation you should consider the different skills each board member “brings to the table”. The size of the board will also impact the effectiveness of the organisation.
- Purpose and Strategy
A purpose and strategy is best determined prior to the organisation commencing. Also, consider a purpose statement which will give the organisation direction.
- Recognition and Management of Risk
Ensure you give due consideration to the risks your organisation may face. Prioritise these risks and set out a strategy to minimise those risks from occurring.
- Organisational Performance
In order to track the progress and success of your organisation, discuss and set performance indicators. For example, this could be a membership target;
- Board Effectiveness
Ensure your board is meeting regularly, and each member is presented with a comprehensive meeting agenda prior to the meeting.
- Integrity and Accountability
The key to integrity and accountability is transparency. The organisation should be keeping all stakeholders informed and up to date on all matters including finances, meeting discussions and progress of the organisation’s performance.
- Organisation Building
The board members of a NFP organisation should acknowledge that it is their duty to act in the best interests of the organisation as a whole (regard should be given to the objectives in the organisation’s constitution).
- Culture of Ethics
It is important that your board maintain a “personality”. The personality will filter through, which will in turn shape your organisation.
Ensure your board is effectively communicating and engaging with stakeholders which include donors, sponsors and volunteers.