M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES OF A BOARD

Leadership matters

Many boards face confusion surrounding the extent of the board’s roles and responsibilities.

What are these roles? According to John Pearson (John Pearson Associates), board member responsibilities can be understood as three “hats”: governor, participant, and volunteer.

Governor

This is the responsibility of the board and executive leadership to ensure the organization is fulfilling its mission. The board is responsible to establish mission and direction, ensure that an organization has the proper resources of funds and leadership to execute the mission, and provide legal and fiduciary oversight (Board Fundamentals, Board Source, pg. 9).

Participant

Board members should actively attend important organizational events and activities. This could include a fundraising event, a public relations opportunity, or meeting to network with other organizations. As a participant in organizational functions, you might also be called upon to wear your “volunteer” hat.

Volunteer

Board members should be ready and willing to invest time and participation in the operation of the organization as needed.

Further Reading

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The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

Sectors the Trust is committed to enriching in the Pacific Northwest:

The Trust has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make all the difference to you and your organization.