Commercial and Nonprofit Boards of Directors

While for profit and nonprofit organisations have their own distinct characteristics, both require a committee to supervise the organization to ensure its success. The board of directors is typically composed of people with different expertise and connections. To be successful, nonprofit boards must look for members who are enthusiastic about the mission and dedicated to helping the organization reach its goals. The board should encourage new members to join committees that could assist them in gaining experience in governance as well as other topics.

In general, commercial and non-profit boards or directors are governed by the write notice of meeting government’s regulations, the organization’s articles of incorporation, and the board’s own constitution as well as bylaws. These documents spell out how the board will be organized. They also include the number of voting members, how the board will give notice of meetings, and the minimum number needed to constitute a quorum. Additionally, both types boards create written policies on conflicts of interests as well as director independence, confidentiality and indemnification.

Typically the board will include at least one or more officers (President Vice President, Secretary, President and Treasurer). These roles and their unique terms are usually defined in the bylaws of the organization. While the President could be the CEO or Executive Director it is important to remember that these two positions are not equivalent and to keep the president’s role focussed on oversight of boards and governance, and the CEO/ED’s responsibilities are focused on management.

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