Free Nonprofit Board Roles and Responsibilities Templates


Why is this template useful?

This article will help your nonprofit board roles and responsibilities provide structure and guidance for the nonprofit's goals. It will give you the necessary resources to ensure that your nonprofit leadership team has the tools they need to succeed.

Who is this template for?

This template is for all nonprofit organizations.

What are the main sections covered in this template?

Nonprofit board roles and responsibilities template includes descriptions of different job roles, skills, qualifications, and more.

When it comes to nonprofit organizations, having an effective leadership team is essential. Setting clear nonprofit board roles and responsibilities provides structure and guidance for the nonprofit's goals.

This article aims to provide information on what the board of directors for nonprofits should understand about their respective responsibilities, as well as editable and downloadable nonprofit board roles and responsibilities templates that can help define these roles. 

Whether you are creating a nonprofit organization or looking to reevaluate your current nonprofit's board structure, this guide will give you the necessary resources to ensure that your nonprofit leadership team has the tools they need to succeed.

What Are the Nonprofit Board Roles?

You may find yourself asking “What does a board of directors do for a nonprofit?” Quite a lot, actually.

In addition to a standard board membership, a board of directors for nonprofits typically includes a few key roles, including the President or Chair, Vice President or Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. 

Additional nonprofit board roles may include members-at-large and chairs of standing committees such as finance, fundraising/development, human resources, and program committees. 

Let’s talk about the nonprofit board of directors responsibilities by role:


The President of the board provides oversight of all other nonprofit board roles and responsibilities, convenes regular meetings, and is at the center of any communication with external stakeholders such as funders, media, or other partners. They generally work closely with the executive director or CEO.

Vice President: 

The Vice President is responsible for supporting the President in meeting their objectives. Typically this involves taking on additional tasks during a nonprofit's operations while ensuring continuity between board members if any changes occur.


The Treasurer oversees an organization's financial activities, including budgeting, reviewing expense reports, and tax filings. This role usually works closely with the accounting staff to ensure the nonprofit’s finances are up-to-date.


The Secretary ensures that board meetings are organized, recorded, and reported. This role typically takes minutes of the meetings and keeps records of all actions taken by the nonprofit.


Members-At-Large are usually individuals with particular skill sets or expertise that help to guide a nonprofit's operations. They may also take on additional tasks such as serving on committees, fundraising, or outreach activities.

Committee Chairs: 

Committee Chairs lead nonprofit committees with specific tasks and goals and ensure they are achieving their desired outcomes while reporting back to the entire nonprofit board.

A common example of a committee is the Marketing Committee. These folks will work together to review advertising campaigns and materials created by the marketing staff and make recommendations on how to improve them.

By understanding different nonprofit board of directors responsibilities, you can better define roles to ensure the smooth functioning of an organization's board. Be sure to use a nonprofit board roles and responsibilities template like the ones at the end of this article to get started.

Main Responsibilities of a Nonprofit Board Member

Regardless of a member's role, all board members share some same key responsibilities. 

Examples of these responsibilities include:

  • Attending all board meetings
  • Understanding and upholding nonprofit laws
  • Setting organizational strategies
  • Guiding policies
  • Developing budgets
  • Monitoring finances and fundraising efforts
  • Supporting staff and volunteers
  • Providing oversight on compliance and ethics standards
  • Advocating for the nonprofit.

Below we will explain some responsibilities that all nonprofit board members should uphold in more detail:

Attendance at all board meetings

Board members are expected to attend all nonprofit board meetings. These meetings are essential for making decisions about operations, electing officers, and reviewing progress toward goals.

Decisions regarding the Executive Director or CEO's compensation

The nonprofit board should ensure that the nonprofit's Executive Director or CEO is paid a fair and reasonable salary for their services. This includes reviewing the budget to ensure sufficient resources are available to pay their salary, setting policies on how much they can be compensated, and evaluating their performance.

Serving on a committee

Board members are expected to serve on at least one nonprofit committee. This could include the finance committee, fundraising/development committee, marketing committee, or programming committee. While serving on a committee, board members should be actively involved in decision-making and leadership roles.

Mission building

At the end of the day, nonprofit board members should always strive to build upon the nonprofit's mission. They need to be actively engaging with the nonprofit and its initiatives while also leveraging their connections and networks in order to further the nonprofit's goals.

Strategic planning

Board members are chosen for how their experience can help the nonprofit achieve its long-term objectives. This means they should be actively involved in strategic planning, helping to set goals and strategies that will help propel their nonprofit forward.

Financial oversight

Members are responsible for overseeing the nonprofit's finances and ensuring that funds are being used responsibly. This includes understanding nonprofit financial statements and forming a budget for the nonprofit, as well as monitoring expenses and fundraising efforts.

Participating in fundraising efforts

In addition to their own financial commitment to the nonprofit, nonprofit board members should actively participate in fundraising efforts. This could include setting up events, making connections with potential donors, or helping to promote the nonprofit's cause.

Publicly advocating for the organization

When appropriate, members should strive to be present at events put on by the organization. Seeing actively involved board members will encourage others to get involved and will show potential donors the nonprofit's commitment to its mission.

This advocacy could also include speaking at conferences, representing the nonprofit on podcasts, or attending important meetings. Publicly advocating for the nonprofit is essential to build awareness and increase visibility.

Legal oversight and compliance

Members should be aware of nonprofit laws and regulations and the nonprofit’s ethical and compliance standards. They need to ensure that the nonprofit is adhering to all applicable laws and regulations in their jurisdiction, as well as adherence to the nonprofit’s own internal bylaws.


Board members should actively seek out potential new board members who could bring a diverse set of skills and experience to the nonprofit. They should also help orient new board members to ensure they are up-to-date on nonprofit policies and procedures.

The above responsibilities provide a general overview of what nonprofit boards expect from their members and serve as a good starting point for a nonprofit board roles and responsibilities template.

Now that we've covered the general responsibilities of all board members, let's look a little deeper at some of the responsibilities of the individual roles:


  • Recommend members for committees and appoint committee chairs
  • Work in connection with the executive director to prepare board meeting agendas
  • Arrange for or take part in new board member orientations
  • Take the lead on the executive director's annual performance evaluation
  • Work with the appropriate individual to recruit qualified new board members
  • Serve as the spokesperson of the nonprofit when needed
  • Lead the annual board member self-evaluation process
  • Review financial and operational reports from the executive director, including budgets, audit reports, and personnel policies
  • Ensure that board members are informed of their roles and responsibilities in leading the nonprofit organization
  • Develop strategic plans for board approval
  • Serve as an advocate for the organization's mission and objectives both internally and externally

Vice President:

  • Serve as the second-highest position of authority on the board
  • Assist and provide support to the Board President in their duties and responsibilities
  • Fill in for the Board President when necessary
  • Represent the board in meetings, conferences, and other events outside of their normal meetings
  • Collaborate closely with other board members to ensure the effective operation of the organization
  • Participate in decisions and discussions during board meetings
  • Adhere to the same duties and responsibilities as all other board members, including loyalty, obedience, and care.
  • Help to educate new board members on their responsibilities and roles
  • Ensure that the organization adheres to its mission statement and goals


  • Maintain accurate financial records, ensuring that all reports are up-to-date and accessible
  • Make sure the organization is in compliance with applicable laws for tax filing and financial reporting
  • Prepare annual budgets and manage to spend against these budgets
  • Chair the finance committee to advise on best practices for fiscal management
  • Present regular financial reports to the board of directors
  • Participate in the annual auditing process and answer questions from board members
  • Work closely with the executive director to ensure financial reports are prepared accurately and on time.


  • Prepare board meeting agendas and distribute them to board members in a timely manner.
  • Record the minutes of each board meeting and submit them for approval at the following meeting
  • Ensure all documentation is filed and organized properly
  • Maintain accurate records of the organization's bylaws, policies, procedures, and other governing documents
  • Maintain a record of all board members, including contact information and board terms
  • Ensure that the organization is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations
  • Monitor the organization's budget and provide financial reports to the board as needed
  • Assist with fundraising activities and ensure donations are properly recorded
  • Act as a liaison between the board and other stakeholders, such as members, donors, and partners
  • Provide administrative support to the board of directors in all matters

Now you know exactly how to answer the question “What does a board of directors do for a nonprofit?”. Keep the above information in mind when creating your own nonprofit board roles and responsibilities template.

Define All Board Roles and Responsibilities (Template)

Nonprofit board roles and responsibilities templates are essential to ensure the organization runs smoothly and meets its objectives.

To begin, the nonprofit should create a written document outlining all key positions and duties. This document should also specify any necessary qualifications needed for each role, such as experience in nonprofit governance or accounting.

Board roles can then be assigned to board members based on their skill set and qualifications. Of course, roles can change over time as new board members join or existing ones leave, so it’s important to have an up-to-date list of current roles and responsibilities for everyone involved.

Once individual roles have been established, it is important to communicate these expectations with the entire board. Make sure each member understands their specific responsibilities and how they fit into the larger mission of the nonprofit. 

Consider utilizing nonprofit board roles and responsibilities templates to provide a more in-depth guideline for board members to follow.

You can get started with our downloadable and editable templates here.

Wrapping Up: Nonprofit Board Roles and Responsibilities Template

By utilizing this nonprofit board role and responsibilities template, you can help ensure your organization reaches its goals with the utmost efficiency. 

Clearly defining the roles of each board member and setting expectations for their performance allows you to create an efficient team that is capable of achieving true impact. With these templates as a guide, your nonprofit board will be able to maximize its potential and provide the most value to your community. Get started today, and watch your organization flourish!

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