How many board members should we have?
The organization’s structure and needs are among the factors that determine board size. In considering the size of the board, keep these points in mind:
- Every board needs a sufficient range of expertise to accomplish the organization’s mission.
- If a board is too small, its members may be overworked and unproductive.
- If a board is too large, every member may not have the opportunity to participate actively.
What should be the length of a board member’s term?
There are no hard and fast rules for determining board members’ tenure. Many organizations do, however, limit members to two consecutive terms and might require a hiatus of one year before a board member may be reappointed. Many organizations also stagger terms of service so that one half or one third of the board is elected every one or two years for terms of two to four years. Such policies encourage institutional renewal because a board can profit from the experience of veteran board members while welcoming the fresh perspective that new members offer.
What committees should our board have?
Much of the work that a board does is accomplished through its committees and task forces. With the exception of the executive committee, which acts on the board’s behalf, committees recommend action to the full board for discussion and action. Most boards need only a few standing committees — the rest of the work can be accomplished by task forces created for a specific purpose.
Common standing committees include
- Governance Committee
- Audit Committee
- Finance Committee
- Executive Committee (if needed)
How should committee members be chosen?
Every board member should serve on at least one but preferably no more than two committees or task forces. Members are appointed by the chair in consultation with the governance committee and the chief executive. Committee size depends on the needs of the board and the organization and a common sense assessment of how many people are needed to carry out the committee’s work.
Make committee assignments based on the experience, skills, interests, and available time of board members. Each member must make a serious commitment to participate actively in the work of the committee. If a committee is too large, a small group of members may have a disproportionate amount of responsibility. If a committee is too small, there may not be enough people to get the job done. Board committees may include people who are not board members.
Should the chief staff executive be a member of the board?
Some nonprofits decide to make the chief staff executive an ex officio member of the board, sometimes voting and sometimes nonvoting. This decision should be made carefully. Some believe that board membership is a good idea because it enhances the executive’s position of authority within the organization and strengthens the working partnership between the board and the executive. On the other hand, many feel that board membership blurs the distinction between the board’s responsibilities and the executive’s responsibilities and makes it difficult for the board to assess the executive’s performance objectively.
BoardSource recommends that the chief executive be a nonvoting ex officio member of the board. Whatever the executive’s official status, however, his or her insights into the daily operations of the organization are essential to decision making by the board.
What goes in the board of directors manual?
The foundation of a committed, knowledgeable, and effective board is orientation and education. As an essential companion to orientation and education, every organization should have a thorough, easy-to-use manual that board members can use throughout their terms.
A board manual serves two functions. For the new board member, it is an orientation handbook that provides useful information about the organization, board structure and operations, and fellow board members and staff. For the balance of a member’s board service, the manual then becomes an indispensable working tool and a central resource about the organization and the board. Materials can be added and removed to create an up-to-date reference. The board manual is developed by staff in consultation with the board chair and other officers.
Today, the most effective way to share the manual with all board members is to post it on a board member accessible Web site or Intranet. Include a table of contents and clearly divided and labeled sections. Date every item and replace material when necessary.
To develop a working manual that board members use and rely on,
- don’t overwhelm new board members with too much information. When several examples are available (e.g., current press clippings/links), include only one.
- keep each item brief. A two-paragraph biography of the chief executive is preferable to a four-page resume, for example.
- use the handbook as a “textbook” during board orientation
- encourage board members to read and ask questions about the material
- ask board members to evaluate the usefulness of the manual each year
- revise the contents or format based on their comments
A thorough board manual can include the following materials. (Remember to keep each item as concise as possible.)
Nonprofit Job Titles and Descriptions
Nonprofit work is a broad category that refers to any job within a nonprofit organization. A nonprofit organization is one that uses its surplus revenue to further achieve its mission. A nonprofit organization typically serves the general public through its mission. It might work to improve education, promote women’s rights, or healthcare.
Because nonprofit work is such a broad field, there are many nonprofit job titles.
Titles also vary based on whether one is in an entry-level or management job. Read below for an extensive list of nonprofit job titles, and what each title means.
Most Common Nonprofit Job Titles
Many jobs in nonprofit organizations can also be found in for-profit organizations. For example, both kinds of organizations will typically have management positions like executive directors, as well as jobs like accountant, IT specialist, and administrative assistant.
However, there are other jobs that are rather unique to the nonprofit sector. Below is a list of some common nonprofit job titles that are unique to the nonprofit sector, as well as a description of each. For more information on each job title, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Community Outreach Coordinator
While there are some community outreach jobs at for-profit organizations, community outreach coordinators are critical to many nonprofits.
A community outreach coordinator connects the public to the organization. He or she promotes the mission of the nonprofit among the local community. A community outreach coordinator might organize events, recruit volunteers, or arrange other projects to get the community excited about and invested in the organization.
Also known as a director of development, the development director is responsible for spearheading an organization’s fundraising efforts. They might develop a fundraising plan, secure financial support, run special events for donors, and run other projects to ensure the organization meets its annual goals. This job title is similar to that of a fundraising manager.
A grant writer might work underneath the development director. He or she completes applications for funding (typically applications to foundations, the government, or a trust). The grant writer works with the development director to make sure the nonprofit achieves its annual financial goals.
While there are also some program managers at for-profit organizations, program managers are critical to many nonprofits. A program manager works to implement a variety of projects related to a nonprofit’s mission. The manager will develop the project, make sure it is well run, and ensure that goals are met. There are also many positions under the program manager, such as project manager, program associate, and program assistant.
Many nonprofits depend on volunteers to help with various projects.
A volunteer coordinator manages all elements of the volunteer force. He or she is typically responsible for recruiting, hiring, and placing volunteers, as well as training and managing them.
Nonprofit Job Titles List
Below is an extensive list of nonprofit job titles, including those listed above.
Nonprofit Job Titles
A - D
- Administrator for Nonprofit Organizations
- Advocacy Director
- Aides Supervisor
- Associate Pastor
- Business Office Supervisor
- Campaign Manager
- Case Manager
- Chemical Dependency Counselor
- Chemical Dependency Director
- Chief Association Executive
- Child Care Worker
- Child Life Specialist
- Child Support Case Officer
- Childbirth Educator
- Community Health Director
- Community Organizer
- Community Outreach Advocate
- Community Outreach Coordinator
- Community Outreach Specialist
- Community Relations Director
- Community Service Project Coordinator
- Compliance Coordinator
- Compliance Director
- Coordinator of Planned Giving
- Corporate Giving Director
- Corporate Giving Manager
- Critical Care Director
- Development Assistant
- Development Associate
- Development Coordinator
- Development Director
- Development Manager
- Development Officer
- Director of Family Shelter
- Director of Major Gifts
- Director of Special Initiatives
- Donor Relations Manager
E - L
- Event Team Recruiter
- Executive Director of Nonprofit
- Financial Aid Director
- Financial Aid Representative
- Foundation Director
- Fundraising Coordinator
- Fundraising Manager
- Grant Administrator
- Grant/Contracts Specialist
- Grant Coordinator
- Grant Proposal Manager
- Grant Writer
- Grassroots Organizer
- Hospice Supervisor
- Housing Coordinator
- Housing Counselor
- Housing Program Manager
- Human Services Worker
- Job Developer
- Juvenile Counselor
- Labor Union Organizer
- Living Skills Advisor
M - T
- Major Gift Director.
- Managed Care Coordinator
- Marketing Associate
- Medical Social Worker
- Member Certification Manager
- Member Records Administrator
- Member Services Director
- Member Services Representative
- Membership Assistant
- Nonprofit Fundraiser
- Online Activist
- Planned Gift Director
- Planned Giving Director
- Planning Manager
- Policy Analyst
- Program Assistant
- Program Associate
- Program Coordinator
- Program Director
- Program Manager
- Program Officer for Foundation
- Project Manager
- Public Relations Manager
R - Z
- Recreational Therapy Director
- Residential Living Assistant
- Social Media Coordinator
- Social Services Director
- Social Work Manager
- Social Worker
- Special Events Coordinator
- Special Events Director
- Support Services Director
- Team Leader
- Teen Center Director
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Volunteer Director
- Volunteer Manager
- Volunteer Services Director
Job Title Samples
Sample job titles and job title lists categorized by industry, type of job, occupation, career field, and position level.