January 15, 2016

Chairman of the Board of Directors Job Description

This sample board chair job description highlights the overall responsibilities of the board chair and describes particular responsibilities around fundraising. 

XYZ Nonprofit

Chairman of the Board of Directors


XYZ Nonprofit’s mission is to…

For more information, please XYZ’s website at www.xyz.org.


As a partner to the chief executive officer (CEO) and other board members, the Board Chair will provide leadership to XYZ Nonprofit as it transitions from a newly formed 501(c)(3) organization into a sustainable national entity. The Board Chair will support and sustain the work of XYZ, and provide governance leadership and strategic fundraising support. Specific responsibilities include:

Leadership, governance, and oversight

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  • Being a trusted advisor to the CEO as s/he develops and implements XYZ’s strategic plan 
  • Developing and managing relationships and communicating with: funders, partners, and other stakeholders 
  • As a board member, approving XYZ’s annual budget, audit reports, and material business decisions; being informed of, and meeting all, legal and fiduciary responsibilities 
  • Reviewing outcomes and metrics created by XYZ for evaluating its impact, and regularly measuring its performance and effectiveness using those metrics 
  • Coordinating an annual performance evaluation of the CEO 
  • Assisting the CEO and Nominating Committee in recruiting board members 
  • Periodically consulting with board members on their roles and helping them assess their performance 
  • Planning, presiding over, and facilitating board and committee meetings; partnering with the CEO to ensure that board resolutions are carried out 
  • Acting as an ambassador for the organization 
  • Ensuring XYZ’s commitment to a diverse board and staff that reflects the communities XYZ serves


  • In collaboration with the CEO, generating substantial annual revenue and fostering XYZ’s overall financial health 
  • Personally treating XYZ as a top philanthropic priority reflected in an annual financial gift 
  • Ensuring that 100 percent of XYZ’s board members make an annual contribution that is commensurate with their capacity 
  • Identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major individual donors, corporate, and/or foundation gifts

Board terms

XYZ’s Board Chair (and board members) will serve a three-year term to be eligible for re-appointment for one additional term. Board meetings will be held quarterly and committee meetings will be held in coordination with full board meetings.


This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual who is passionate about the success of XYZ’s beneficiaries and who has a track record of board leadership. The selected Board Chair will have achieved leadership stature in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector. His/her accomplishments will allow him/her to attract other well-qualified, high-performing board members.

Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Extensive professional experience with significant executive leadership accomplishments in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector
  • Demonstrated success as a nonprofit board member or board chair 
  • Track record of building credibility in the funding community that has resulted in major gifts to a nonprofit 
  • A commitment to and understanding of XYZ’s beneficiaries and mission preferably based on experience 
  • Savvy diplomatic skills and a natural affinity for cultivating relationships and persuading, convening, facilitating, and building consensus among diverse individuals 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills coupled with natural affinity for public speaking 
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a passion for improving the lives of XYZ’s beneficiaries

Service on XYZ’s board of directors is without remuneration, except for administrative support, travel, and accommodation costs in relation to board members’ duties.

Each sample job description is intended to be a jumping off point, and likely will need to be tailored to meet the particular needs of your organization. Feel free to use and tailor these descriptions for your hiring needs.
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