Nonprofit Boards 101

This section of the Nonprofit Boards learning center has ideas, tools, and resources to help you learn about nonprofit board service.

Board Fundraising: Give or Get?

The question "Do you apply the 'give or get' rule with your board or are they asked to do both?" was posted by a member of our Nonprofit ED/CEO LinkedIn community. This article shares selected answers to this question from the conversation, which offer guidance to other nonprofit leaders considering their board members' financial commitments to their organizations.

Fiduciary Responsibilities of Board Members

One of the main responsibilities of nonprofit board members is to maintain financial accountability of their organization. Board members act as trustees of the organization’s assets and must exercise due diligence to oversee that the organization is well-managed and that its financial situation remains sound. Here is an outline, provided by BoardSource, on how nonprofit board members can fulfill their role as fiduciaries.

Size of the Board

Is there an ideal board size? Possibly, but the ideal size is likely to be different for each board. And each nonprofit board needs to define its optimal capacity at any given time. Here’s how to determine an nonprofit ideal board size, from BoardSource.

What Are the Legal Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards?

Under well-established principles of nonprofit corporation law, a board member must meet certain standards of conduct and attention in carrying out his or her responsibilities to the organization. These standards—usually described as the duty of care, the duty of loyalty, and the duty of obedience—are explained in this article from BoardSource.

Why Do You Need a Board?

All nonprofit organizations need a board. Although the specific responsibilities may vary due to mission focus and different phases of an organization’s existence, the basic role and purpose of all nonprofit boards remain the same. There are legal, ethical, and practical reasons to build a board when a nonprofit is created. These reasons create the foundation for good governance and are explained in-depth in this article from BoardSource.