The day-to-day work of a nonprofit is (or should be) managed by the executive director, which is managed by the board of directors, which is managed by the president. Too many board presidents, especially of smaller nonprofits, think that they manage the board by running the monthly or quarterly meetings, in itself is a tough skill to master – but it takes more than that to run a board well.
Other tasks a good board president should handle include:
- – Take the lead in welcoming and orienting new board members so they know what is expected of them and how the nonprofit works.
- – Assign areas of focus so that every board member has a task and responsibility. Some board members will be committee chairs; all of them should have some task or assignment that is theirs alone and builds on their skills or interests.
- – Follow up with board members about their obligations.
- – Have periodic discussion with each board member to evaluate his/her effectiveness as a board and committee member.
- – Set and monitor priorities for board and staff efforts.
- – Supervise the executive director and act as board resource.
- – Set and lead strategic planning meetings, and follow up on implementing decisions.
- – Review governance documents on a regular basis.
A president who is active and stays on top of these tasks – and runs efficient meetings – helps a nonprofit thrive and accomplish its goals more effectively.