Board Roles, Duties and Responsibilities

Non-profit organizations are led by a chair [chairman, chairwoman] sometimes called president. In the role as chair they function not as the chief barking out orders, getting advice from the board and then making his own decisions. In the non-profit, the chair serves as a facilitator, insuring that board members on both sides of an issue get to speak on the question before the body. The decision on the question is made (except for a tie vote) by the voting members of the board of directors.  When the chair wishes to speak on a matter that the board could be voting on he must leave the chair and speak as a member. This is because the chair is supposed to be impartial. Once he finishes speaking he can resume the chair. Like the chair the parliamentarian is impartial, but unlike the chair the parliamentarian can only vote when the voting is by ballot and he may only speak when rendering an opinion


The recording secretary and treasurer have specific duties under state and/or federal laws. Financial secretaries may have audit and budget duties under national and or chapter constitutions & bylaws.


All board members have a fiscal responsibility to be "good stewards" of the organizations finances.  They have a duty to attend all meetings; to prepare for the meeting by reading all of the materials beforehand and ask questions about anything they don't understand or are unsure of.  Committees are the board's greatest asset. They can be charged to investigate and report back to the board on matters the board votes to refer to the specific committee.  Committee's can also be charged with performing a certain action (scholarships, nominations, elections, reading patrols, etc.).  

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