Thursday, March 1, 2007

Board Roles & Responsibilities – Round 3

Resources – obtaining them and managing them effectively -- are the focus of our next two board roles.

Responsibility 5: Ensure adequate resources. Whatever its direct contribution to this process, the board bears ultimate responsibility for making sure that the organization has the resources it needs to operate. Most boards will delegate all or part of its fund-raising responsibilities to staff and/or volunteers. Management of that process probably falls on the shoulders of the executive director. But setting fund-raising goals – and ensuring that they are achieved – is the board’s responsibility.

In most cases, a board should play a more active role in the process. At minimum, all board members should make a financial contribution to the organization. Many funders now expect 100 percent board participation as an award criterion. In other situations, the board may play a more active role in achieving the fund-raising goals that it sets. Board members can play a pivotal role in identifying donor prospects, introduce those entities to the organization and event make the ask themselves.

Responsibility 6: Manage resources effectively. Obtaining funds is one part of the process. Ensuring that those resources are used wisely, toward fulfillment of the receiving organization’s mission, is a second, equally important step. The board’s financial management responsibilities include developing and monitoring an annual budget, establishing and upholding cash management controls, ordering an annual audit, purchasing liability insurance, and overseeing investments and reserves.

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