The Executive Director and Board Relationship | Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits engages leaders at all levels, including staff and board leaders. This section of resources includes basics for running a. The health of every organization depends on the relationship between the executive director and the board chair. Some organizations find that. The nonprofit board vs. executive director balance can sometimes become a tug of war! Running a successful nonprofit takes an active board of.
Board Chair and CEO meet weekly for planning, idea generation, general support. We schedule one hour calls for the first Tuesday of each month to catch up and review what's ahead.
We have done this every month since [the chair became chair]. We also schedule calls the day before the board meetings to review and make any final changes. Seeing each other not only as people with a role to play, but also as a resource offering expertise to each other: I have a monthly conference call with the board chair and vice chair that precedes our monthly executive committee meeting.
This call allows me an opportunity to talk not only about matters that will come before the board, but also to gain advice about situations I am handling. We get together regularly. We have built a strong rapport by striving to understand each other's perspectives and the skills and knowledge we bring to our roles; listening to understand each other and being willing to experience discomfort.
I meet monthly with my board chair over breakfast. We discuss a whole range of things — personal and professional. My board chair is someone I trust to speak openly about my overall concerns or what my expectations are. She also provides me with that in return.
Intentional focus on the work it takes to build and maintain a relationship: Like all good relationships, it starts with open, honest communication. Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.
- The Executive Director and Board Relationship
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The relationship between the executive director and board president can make or break an organization, at least for the period that those particular individuals fill these positions. In any nonprofit, this relationship is the lynchpin of the organization; the nature of it — balanced, uneven, respectful, etc. In general, boards elect a person to the position of board president, paying little to no attention to the substance of that person.
Ironically, selection of the other half of this key relationship — the executive director — is rarely handled in any process remotely similar to that used to find a board president.
Effective Board Chair-Executive Director Relationships: Not About Roles!
We found someone…may not be the best person, may be the one we can afford not the one we need, etc. With little attention, it is no wonder that there are some classic profiles-in-disaster of board presidents.
All too frequently this board president is, actually, the last person you really should have as board president. This is the person who thinks being board president actually means you have all the power. But the reality is that board presidents have no more power than any other board member and, in some lights, they may have even a little less.
Critical relationship between board president and executive director
They have much more work, but no more power. One of the primary functions of a board president is to facilitate the work of the board.
This facilitation happens in numerous ways. It happens by holding others accountable for the tasks assigned and those which they volunteered to do. This means that a board provides counsel to management and should not be involved in the day-to-day affairs of the organization. Confusion and tension can arise when this rule is put to use practically, because the distinction between management and governance is not absolute.
In order for this rule to work effectively, each party in this relationship needs to understand its own responsibilities and those that fall in the other's roles and the way in which the board and staff conduct their business needs to reflect this understanding. Clear expectations for the board and the director need to be established and maintained, because a board that is overly active in management can inhibit the organization's effectiveness.
A nonprofit's board of directors has specific duties that are distinct from those of the executive director. Directors have fiduciary responsibilities and are required to act within their authority primarily for the organization's benefit.
Insights into Great Relationships: Board Chairs and Executive Directors
Directors do not have power or authority individually. A board's decision-making ability lies in its group structure. While at times an individual board member may become extensively involved with one particular program area and work with staff, this is usually temporary; information regarding the need for increased attention by that board member should be relayed regularly to the full board.