Board Member Responsibilities

Board Member Responsibilities– Board Members are appointed by the Board for three-year terms.  Board Members are expected to:

  • Actively support and promote Family Education and Support Services’ mission, vision, strategic goals and policy positions.
  • Assist the board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities, such as reviewing the organization’s annual financial statements.
  • Attend all board and committee meetings and functions, such as special events.
  • Be accessible for personal contact in between board meetings.
  • Be informed about the organization’s mission, services, policies and programs.
  • Follow conflict of interest and confidentiality policies.
  • Inform others about the organization.
  • Keep up-to-date on developments in the organization’s field.
  • Participate in FESS’s fundraising efforts.  This includes making a personally meaningful financial contribution to FESS, as well as supporting other FESS fund development activities.
  • Refrain from making special requests of the staff.
  • Review agenda and supporting materials prior to board and committee meetings.
  • Serve on committees or task forces and offer to take on special assignments.
  • Suggest possible nominees to the board who can make significant contributions to the work of the board and the organization.


Board President Position Description

  • Oversee board and executive committee meetings
  • Serve as ex-officio member of all committees
  • Works in partnership with the executive director to make sure board resolutions are carried out
  • Calls special meetings if necessary
  • Appoints all committee chairs and with the executive director recommends who will serve on committees
  • Assists executive director in preparation agenda for board meetings
  • Assists executive director in conducting new board member orientation
  • Oversees searches for new executive director
  • Coordinates executive director’s annual performance evaluation
  • Works with the nominating committee to recruit new board members
  • Acts as an alternate spokesperson for the organization
  • Periodically consults with board members on their roles and helps to assess their performance


Board President Elect Position Description

  • Attends all board meetings
  • Serves on the executive committee
  • Carries out special assignments as requested by the board president
  • Understands the responsibilities of the board president and performs these duties in the president’s absence
  • Participates as a vital part of the board leadership


Board Secretary Position Description

  • Attends all board meetings
  • Serves on the executive committee
  • Maintains all board records and ensures their accuracy and safety
  • Reviews board minutes
  • Understands the responsibilities of the board president and performs these duties in the absence of the board president and president elect, appointing a secretary pro tem as needed
  • Provides notice of meetings of the board and/or of a committee when such notice is required


Board Treasurer Position Description

  • Maintains knowledge of the organization and personal commitment to its goals and objectives
  • Understands financial accounting for nonprofit organizations
  • Serves as the financial officer of the organization and as the chair person of the finance committee
  • Manages, with the finance committee, the board’s review of an action related to the board’s financial responsibilities
  • Works with the executive director and the chief financial officer (if one is designated) or accounting firm, to ensure that appropriate financial reports are made available to the board in a timely basis
  • Assists the executive director in preparing the annual budget and presenting the budget to the board for approval
  • Reviews the annual audit and answer board members’ questions about the audit


Committee Chair Position Description

  • Is a board member
  • Sets the tone for committee work
  • Ensures that members have the information needed to do their jobs
  • Oversees the logistics of the committees operations
  • Reports to the board president
  • Reports to the full board on committee’s on committee’s decisions/recommendations
  • Works closely with the executive director and other staff
  • Assigns work to committee members, sets the agenda and runs committee meetings and ensures the distribution of the meeting minutes
  • Initiates and leads the committee’s annual evaluation


Ten Basic Responsibilities for All Nonprofit Boards

1.  Determine the organization’s mission and purpose.  It is the board’s responsibility to create and review a statement of mission and purpose that articulates the organization’s goals, means, and primary constituents served.

2. Select the executive director.  Boards must reach consensus on the executive director’s responsibilities and undertake a careful search to find the most qualified individual for the position.

3.  Provide proper financial oversight.  The board must assist in developing the annual budget and ensuring that proper financial controls are in place.

4.  Ensure adequate resources.  One of the board’s foremost responsibilities is to provide adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission.

5.  Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability.  The board is ultimately responsible for ensuring adherence to legal standards and ethical norms.

6.  Ensure effective organizational planning. Boards must actively participate in an overall planning process and assist in implementing and monitoring the plans goals.

7.  Recruit and orient new board members and assess board performance.  All boards have a responsibility to articulate prerequisites for candidates, orient new members, and periodically and comprehensively evaluate its own performance.

8.  Enhance the organization’s public standing.  The board should clearly articulate the organization’s mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public and garner support from  the community.

9.  Determine, monitor, and strengthen the organizations’ programs and services.  The board’s responsibility is to determine which programs are consistent with the organization’s mission and to monitor their effectiveness.

10.  Support the executive director and assess her or his performance. The board should ensure that the executive director has the moral and professional support he or she needs to further the goals of the organization.