Lesson 2, Topic 1
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Roles and Responsibilities

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A governing board’s primary roles are as authorities, advisors, and advocates.

Board Roles and Responsibilities

INSTRUCTIONS: Consider the following roles and responsibilities for Christ-centered, nonprofit boards. With the nonprofit board you represent in mind, rate how well your board fulfills the responsibilities of each role using the 1-3 scale.

0– does not fulfill this, 1– sometimes fulfills this, 2– usually fulfills this, 3– always fulfills this

Finally, note how you can ensure these responsibilities continue to be fulfilled, or how you can improve them.

*Roles and responsibilities in italics are derived from The Nonprofit Board Answer Book, Andringa and Engstrom.

Guardrails are there to direct and protect.

Andy Stanley

Prioritize an annual assessment.

Board Self-Assessment Survey Extended

Please rate your assessment of the board of directors’ performance on a scale of 1-5, where 1 = Not at all confident, and 5 = Very confident.

Legal Oversight

How confident are you that, as an effective governing body, the board:

______ Has locked down the non-negotiables?
______ Has decided what must stay true about the ministry?
______ Makes it impossible or extremely difficult to change?

______ Ensures legal compliance with federal, state, and local regulations? ______ Ensures that government contract obligations are fulfilled?

Management Oversight

How confident are you that, as an effective governing body, the board:
______ Selects, coaches and guides the executive director?
______ Sets clear and measurable expectations?
______ Monitors and evaluates the performance of the executive director on a regular basis? ______ Has an ongoing succession plan?

Financial Oversight

How confident are you that, as an effective governing body, the board:
______ Has a clear policy on the responsibilities of board members in fundraising?
______ Approves the annual budget?
______ Monitors financial performance and projections on a regular basis?
______ Guards the stewardship of champion giving?
______ Has adopted an income strategy (combining contributions, earned income, and other revenue) to ensure adequate resources?

Programmatic Oversight

How confident are you that, as an effective governing body, the board:
______ Has a strategic vision for the organization?
______ Is ensuring programs and services are having sufficient and appropriate impact?

How confident are you that most or all board members:

______ Understand the mission and purpose of the organization?

______ Are adequately knowledgeable about the organization’s programs?

______ Act as ambassadors to the community on behalf of the organization and its constituencies?
______ Follow through on commitments they have made as board members?
______ Understand the respective roles of the board and staff?
______ Bring an appropriate range of expertise and diversity to make it an effective governing body?
______ Regularly assesses their own work and contribution to the board?

Please comment:

What information—whether about the organization, the programs, nonprofit management, or nonprofit boards—would you like to receive in order to help you be a better board member?

When you joined the board, did you have ideas on how you would help the organization that haven’t been heard or implemented? If so, what ideas?

What suggestions or questions do you have for the board chair or the executive director about the board, your own role, or any other aspect of the organization?

Would you like the board chair to contact you about getting together?

Would you like the executive director to contact you about getting together?

Please provide your overall evaluation of the executive director’s performance, as well as feedback concerning the organization.



Want to learn more? Need help applying to your ministry? A free Mission Increase coaching account includes one-on-one and small group coaching with your local Area Director.