The members of the board of directors of nonprofit organizations wear many tasks, but governance is a crucial responsibility. They are responsible for ensuring that the charity follows laws, has sound financial management policies and remains on track to achieve its goals. As opposed to for-profit corporations, no one owns charitable organizations, and non-profits rely on volunteer boards to manage effectively and ensure that they can be financially sustainable for the long-term.

Non-profit organizations employ a variety of models of governance for their boards, and some even mix a few of these to best meet their needs. The right model is crucial to establishing a strong board. It can help an organization stay focused on their mission and establish a culture of integrity, transparency and creativity.

The Management Team Model is the most popular form of governance for boards in nonprofits. In this model, the board delegates tasks to staff members and committees who are responsible for a variety of responsibilities such as human resources, finance plans, and other programs. However, the board maintains the leadership role of hiring and managing the Executive Director.

Another model that is popular is the Patron Board Model. This type of board is made up of a significant number of wealthy donors who serve as the board. They are able to demonstrate a high level of confidence and trust in the CEO to run the business. The board does not participate in day-today activities however they regularly meet to ensure that the CEO is informed about the organization’s operations.

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