Principles for Nonprofit Boards

1. The board creates committees to help accomplish our own job, not the Executive Director’s job.

2. We focus on governance, not management. In general, this means that the board monitors and provides counsel to management and should not get involved in the day-to-day affairs of the organization. In practice, sometimes this distinction is not precise.

3. The board has one employee (the Executive Director) and the Executive Director has one employer (the board as a whole). Board members do not have power or authority individually.

4. We have a role with responsibilities as a full board, as well as roles and responsibilities as individual board members.

5. Each board member serves on one committee (and two, if a member of the Executive Committee).

6. The purpose of an Executive Committee is to represent the full board and, in rare instances, make urgent interim decisions, and to assess and support the performance of the executive director. The purpose is not to reduce the power of the full board.