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Board members are the fiduciaries who steer CHBC towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure CHBC has adequate resources to advance our mission. 

Nonprofit board basics

What’s the role of the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation?  Just as for any corporation, the board of directors of a nonprofit has three primary legal duties known as the “duty of care,” “duty of loyalty,” and “duty of obedience.”
However, a board of directors does not exist solely to fulfill legal duties and serve as a fiduciary of the organization’s assets. Board members also play very significant roles providing guidance to nonprofits by contributing to the organization’s culture, strategic focus, effectiveness, and financial sustainability, as well as serving as ambassadors and advocates. Beyond fulfilling legal duties, board members can be important resources for the organization in multiple ways

Did you know?

  • The CHBC Board members do not receive compensation.
  • The CHBC Board must adhere to and abide by the established bylaws, including conflict of interest.
  • The Head of School is a member of The CHBC Board. To avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest, questions concerning accountability, or blurring the line between oversight and execution, the Head of School is a non-voting member of the board.
  • The CHBC Board is responsible for voting on and approving all CHBC staff.​
One of the most important responsibilities for The CHBC Board is to hire and set the compensation of a talented, qualified, and dedicated Head of School to run the day-to-day management activities of the organization, and then to provide supervision and evaluation of the Head of School.

Rather than steer the boat by managing day-to-day operations, board members provide foresight, oversight, and insight: analogous to being up in the crow's nest scanning the horizon for signs of storms or rainbows to explore, perhaps with a pot of gold at the end! Yes, board members - your role as stewards of CHBC DOES involve fundraising. Board members also play a role as advocates for the mission of CHBC.

Additional information and resources

Not everyone is familiar with the roles and responsibilities of board members for a nonprofit and fortunately educational programs for board members abound. The harder issue is asking volunteers to take time to learn about their role and grasp what makes a great board member. Luckily there are plenty of virtual options, although in-person, and especially peer-to-peer programs, are often the most useful – and fun.
  • On a national level, BoardSource is a leading authority on board governance issues: What makes a good board member?
  • Read about important policy issues that impact all charitable nonprofits.
  • Board members may also be curious about insurance policies that cover their volunteer service and their duty of due care should motivate them to ensure that the nonprofit is covered with adequate insurance protection. Of note in the nonprofit world: Directors & Officers liability insurance usually covers not only board members and officers; it also generally also covers the Head of School and other staff, as well as the nonprofit’s corporate actions. The Nonprofit Risk Management Center is a resource on issues that can help board members understand the role of insurance and the importance of risk management.
  • PANO is a phenomenal resource. It is the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations.
  • Discussion guide to help understand the role of board members as advocates.
 
Adapted from The Council for Nonprofits
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