Governance: Board Roles and Responsibilities


First it is important to understand the overarching responsibilities of a nonprofit board. See Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards.

Further, expectations of each board member should be very clearly stated. The Board Manual is a great place to lay out these expectations. 

An example may include:


All board members are required to attend all regular monthly board meetings and review the agenda and information distributed before each meeting. Further, all board members are expected to be on at least one standing committee, which are currently: Governance, Finance, Development and PR/Marketing. General monthly expectations for board members include, but are not limited to:

  1. Attending regular board meetings (1.5 hours usually)
  2. Preparing for monthly meeting, reviewing information, providing feedback (1-2 hours)
  3. Performing general board member duties (2-3 hours)
  4. Attending committee meeting (1-2 hours)
  5. Performing committee tasks (2-3 hours)
  6. Supporting event, development and fundraising (varies)

According to these estimates, board members should plan on devoting no less than 10 hours of work to the organization monthly. This expectation can increase dramatically with events or major task initiatives, and this expectation applies to all general board member duties - it does not include officer or committee chair duties. 

Board members are required to sign the following policies as currently approved by the Board:

  1. Duty of Care
  2. Duty of Loyalty
  3. Board expectations
  4. Development and Fundraising Policy and expectations