Community Platform

The Nonprofit FAQ: Board-Staff Relations

Select an FAQ   (19):

Board Basics
Some first principles about the board of directors and pointers to other information on the subject.
Can the founder of an organization also be an employee?
Hard as it is, everyone must work to keep the relationship between the founder and the organization on a clear, business-like footing.
Do boards ever fire executive directors? If so...how?
Sometimes there is a need to do so. Sometimes there is avoidable bad feeling. Here are two views on this difficult theme.
How can staff use email for board and committee relations
Incorporating email into in-house communications strategies has many advantages, a veteran fundraiser wrote in this 'FAQ classic.' Caution is needed about using email for board business.
How should the board and the executive director relate?
Keeping this relationship clear and productive is one of the biggest challenges facing nonprofits. There are many views on how to do that well. This item is adapted from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits' online library.
My Board member says to use his/her relative as a vendor.
It is easy for conflicts of interest to develop in nonprofits. Here are some thoughts on how they should be viewed.
Should an executive director be a member of the board?
Consider the drawbacks as well as the advantages.
Should nonprofits use the term CEO?
NPOs identify positions with many titles. Some add 'and CEO' to one to distinguish the person with final executive responsibility.
Should Staff Attend Board Meetings?
Strong statements of competing views.
What about group and interpersonal conflict?
Basic techniques for addressing conflict between two people or in groups
What are good jobs to keep board members involved?
Several experienced leaders offer guidance based on committee work.
What are some ways to strengthen the leadership role of the board?
Boards must both govern and support. Advice and suggestions on how to balance these responsibilities from the Support Center of San Francisco.
What are the key duties of the board?
The National Center for Nonprofit Board's 'Ten Basic Responsibilities' and some references to other materials
What is 'Founder's Syndrome'? Do we have it? How do we recover?
'Founder's Syndrome' occurs when a nonprofit is shaped by a strong founder and loses track of a more general mission. Transitions can be difficult when the founder moves on, even with good intentions on all sides.
What is the role of the executive director?
The executive director is the person appointed by the Board of Directors to provide leadership toward the achievement of the organization's mission and strategic goals.
What should the board be doing? How about staff?
The Free Management Library provides a concise comparison of the responsibilities of board and staff.
What to do when a volunteer ED wants to be paid?
Create a step-by-step plan that values the current volunteer while making clear that volunteer service does not create a presumption of later employment.
What to do when the board gets too involved?
Some sensible rules to guide board members in choosing the right course.
Yale case studies in volunteer governance?
Short reports on board leadership available in a book and by mail.