Become a Highly Effective Nonprofit Board Chair in Seven Steps
Step 2: The board
To maximize the board’s effectiveness, you will need to assess the strengths and weaknesses of its composition. You should participate in recruiting board members with qualities needed by your organization and in the orientation of new board members.
In every organization, some tasks are delegated to board committees. Common examples include finance, fundraising, board governance and nominations.
As chairman of the board, it will be important for you to assess the effectiveness of the board committee structure. Board responsibilities must be delegated equitably among board members.
Most important, you must maintain contact with committee chairs and provide them with adequate support in order to assure that delegated tasks are accomplished.
Step 3: The CEO
To build a strong organization, you must work together with the chief executive officer. To develop an effective partnership with the CEO, your relationship must be based on mutual trust, respect and support, and regular and open communication.
As chairman of the board, you might criticize the CEO in private while serving as his or her personal advisor with regard to organizational matters. In public, however, you must serve as the CEO’s lead supporter.
Step 4: Oversight, compliance
The members of the board oversee the organization’s financial affairs as fiduciaries of the organization. As chairman of the board, you will set the standard for the board’s oversight by ensuring that board members are adequately informed, encouraging board members to ask questions, constituting the board’s finance and fundraising committees with qualified members, monitoring the activities of those committees, setting financial goals for the CEO and reviewing achievement of those goals.
Similarly, you will set the tone for legal compliance by your attention to tax filings, conflicts of interest, regulatory compliance and other legal requirements.
Step 5: The face
As chairman of the board, you are a public representative of the organization. You will be asked to represent the organization at public functions and before donors. You should become actively involved in fundraising and use every opportunity in your personal and professional life to promote the organization and its mission.