Ten Responsibilities of a Nonprofit Board

The board of a lacrosse organization can protect itself, and govern the organization, by understanding what is required of it:

  1. Understand the Mission and Purpose of the organization: A statement of mission and purposes should align with US Lacrosse recommendations and articulate the organization’s goals, means, and primary constituents served. It is the board of directors' responsibility to know the mission statement and review it periodically for accuracy and validity. Each individual board member should fully understand and support it.
  2. Ensure Legal and Ethical Integrity and Maintain Accountability: The board is ultimately responsible for ensuring adherence to legal standards and ethical norms. The board must establish pertinent policies, and adhere to provisions of the organization's bylaws and articles of incorporation.
  3. Support Board Leadership: The board should ensure that its leadership has the moral and professional support it needs to further the goals of the organization. The President, in partnership with the entire board, should decide upon a periodic evaluation of the Board Leadership performance.
  4. Ensure Effective Organizational Planning: As stewards of an organization, the members of its board must actively participate in the development and implementation of an organization’s operating plan.
  5. Ensure Adequate Resources: One of the board’s foremost responsibilities is to provide adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission.
  6. Manage Resources Effectively: The board must assist in development and effective management of the organization’s annual budget and ensure that proper financial controls are in place.
  7. Determine, Monitor and Strengthen Programs & Services: The board’s role in this area is to determine which programs and initiatives are the most consistent with an organization’s mission, and to monitor their effectiveness.
  8. Enhance the Organization's Public Image: The board is the organization's primary link to the community, including constituents, the public, and the media. A board must clearly articulate the organization's mission, accomplishments and goals to the public, as well as garner support from community stakeholders.
  9. Recruit and Orient New Board Members: All boards have a responsibility to articulate and promote board service opportunities, as well as attract a diversity of stakeholders to serve on the board. The board must also establish board terms, assure for appropriate board turnover, and attract and orient new board members to their responsibilities and the organization’s history, needs and challenges.
  10. Assess Board Performance: By evaluating its performance in fulfilling its responsibilities and goals, the board can recognize its achievement and reach consensus on which areas need to be improved.