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NONPROFIT BOARD DUTIES

WHAT ARE THE GENERAL DUTIES OF A NONPROFIT BOARD MEMBER?
Nonprofit corporation law speaks of three general duties that fall upon the board member:

Duty of Care 
A board member owes the duty to exercise reasonable care when he/she makes a decision as a steward of the organization. This duty is often expressed as the care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in a like position and under similar circumstances.

Duty of Loyalty 
A board member must give undivided allegiance when making decisions affecting the organization.  This means that he/she can never use information obtained as a member for personal gain, but must act in the best interests of the organization. 

Duty of Obedience 
Board members must remain faithful to the organization’s mission.  They are not permitted to act in a way that is inconsistent with the central goals of the organization.  This is vital because of the public's trust that the leaders of the organization will manage donated funds to fulfill the organization's mission. 

WHAT ARE THE GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF A NONPROFIT BOARD?
While individual roles and responsibilities of members of the Board of Directors may change from time to time, the Board of Directors as a whole must ensure that it is meeting and fulfilling the following responsibilities: 
1. To keep the organization focused on its values, mission, and exempt purpose. 
2. To select, oversee, and encourage the chief executive; to support the staff; to serve as a court of appeal; and, to assess its own performance. 
3. To ensure effective organizational structure, planning, and policy-making. 
4. To ensure the organization’s fiscal responsibility, by ensuring adequate resources and the wise stewardship of assets. 
5. To monitor the quality of the organization’s programs, especially in the areas of ethics, operation, and impact. 
6. To nurture the organization financially, by contributing personally and by assisting with fundraising efforts. 
7. To advocate in the community, furthering the organization’s mission and enhancing its public image.

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