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Why does the Board matter, and how do you find the right members to join?

Why does it matter?

Hey there, folks! If you're wondering why the Board of Directors is so darn important in a nonprofit organization, we've got the scoop for you. The board has a big fiscal role in overseeing the financial management of the organization. They handle things like:

  • Financial planning and budgeting: The board approves the annual budget and makes sure the organization's money is used effectively to achieve its mission.

  • Financial monitoring and reporting: The board regularly checks financial reports to keep an eye on the organization's financial health and to make sure funds are being used wisely.

  • Fundraising: The board ensures that the organization has the resources it needs to carry out its programs and activities, including fundraising and donor relations.

  • Risk management: The board identifies and manages financial risks facing the organization, like fraud or embezzlement.

  • Compliance: The board makes sure that the organization complies with all applicable laws and regulations related to financial management, including tax laws and reporting requirements.

Basically, the board is responsible for keeping the organization's finances on track and making sure everything runs smoothly.

Let's break down risk management here further

Now, let's talk about risk management, because that's not just something for adrenaline junkies. The board of directors has an important role in overseeing risk management in a nonprofit organization. They do things like:

  • Establishing policies and procedures: The board sets up policies and procedures to make sure the organization complies with laws and regulations and to reduce the risk of financial mismanagement or fraud.

  • Oversight of financial management: The board makes sure that the organization's financial management practices are transparent, accountable, and ethical and that there are checks and balances in place.

  • Insurance coverage: The board ensures that the organization has the right insurance coverage, including general liability insurance, property insurance, and directors and officers liability insurance.

  • Crisis planning and response: The board develops plans and protocols for responding to crises or emergencies, like natural disasters or reputational crises.

  • Compliance monitoring: The board checks that the organization is following all the laws and regulations, including those related to fundraising, employment, and financial management.

  • IT security and data protection: The board ensures that the organization's IT systems and data protection measures are strong and effective and that there are measures in place to prevent data breaches and cyber-attacks.

Phew, that's a lot of responsibility! But the board takes it all in stride because they're superheroes (in business suits and xtratufs).

Overall, the board of directors should take an active role in overseeing risk management in a nonprofit organization, working collaboratively with staff and stakeholders to ensure the organization is fulfilling its mission while mitigating potential risks.

The search is on!

Now, let's talk about finding the right board member for your nonprofit organization. You don't want just anyone to join your team, after all. Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Define the desired skillset and characteristics: Before recruiting board members, the organization should define the skills, experience, and personal characteristics that it is seeking. This will help ensure that the board has a diverse mix of skills, backgrounds, and perspectives.

  2. Leverage personal networks: Board members often come from personal networks, so the organization should encourage existing board members, staff, and supporters to make recommendations.

  3. Advertise and network: The organization can also advertise board positions on its website and through relevant professional and community networks. Attending events and networking opportunities can also be a way to meet potential board members.

  4. Provide orientation and training: Once potential board members are identified, it's important to provide orientation and training to help them understand the organization's mission, vision, and values and their role as a board member.

  5. Conduct interviews and reference checks: The organization should conduct thorough interviews and reference checks to assess a potential board member's skills, experience, and fit with the organization's culture and values.

  6. Clarify expectations and responsibilities: The organization should provide clear expectations and responsibilities for board members, including time commitments, fundraising responsibilities, and committee assignments.

  7. Ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion: The organization should actively seek to diversify its board and ensure that it reflects the communities it serves. This can include reaching out to underrepresented groups and ensuring that the board has a culture of inclusion.

Overall, attracting the right board member requires a thoughtful and intentional approach that takes into account the organization's needs and values while ensuring that the board has a diverse mix of skills and perspectives.

Rely on a Trusted Accountant

Katya Koteff, CPA, is the principal and founder of Koteff Accounting Group and specializes in working with nonprofits and socially-responsible businesses. Katya's work is grounded in building long-term trusted relationships with her clients through mutual respect and open and proactive communication.

If you'd like to learn more about how we can help your organization and set up a time to meet with us, please fill out this form or send an email to

Talk to you soon!

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