Some duties of a board of directors for a nonprofit organization include hiring an executive director and providing oversight to ensure the organization is fulfilling its mission. The board is also responsible for evaluating the executive director's job performance and determining his compensation. The board's fiduciary responsibilities include approving the organization's annual budget, among others.
As part of their oversight responsibilities, boards must ensure the organization complies with all laws, protects its assets and handles its finances responsibly. If a board fails in this role, government agencies, such as the IRS, can hold individual board members personally responsible. For example, if the organization does not pay employee payroll taxes, the IRS may demand that board members pay the back taxes.
Nonprofit board members also have public relations and fund-raising roles. They often speak to people in the community about the nonprofit's work, seek out donations, attend fund-raising events and hold regular meetings. The boards elect officers such as president or chair, secretary and treasurer.
An organization should ensure that some of its board members have expertise in finance to make sure the board is able to provide appropriate advice and oversight in this area. Organizations can also provide board members with an orientation and job descriptions so they are aware of their responsibilities.