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Who is really in charge of nonprofits?

Typically, when we think of a leader in the private sector, we think of CEOs; however, this is not the same practice when it comes to leadership positions in a nonprofit organization. In nonprofits a board of directors are responsible for guaranteeing that the organization it governs is fulfilling its mission and for ensuring the overall welfare of the nonprofit. To ensure the welfare of its organization, the board appoints an executive director who executes the mission by managing the staff and volunteers. The board of directors also supports and holds the executive director accountable by evaluating their work. Along with this duty, the board is tasked with managing the finances and stability of the nonprofit. Lastly, the members of the board establish performance standards for the nonprofit organization and evaluate its work. The other leadership position mentioned earlier is the executive director. The executive director is responsible for ensuring that the staff carries out the mission established by the board. The director also in charge of managing fundraising, following ethical standards, developing future leadership candidates, building relationships outside of the organization, supporting the board, and ensuring the performance of the organization’s programs. With one part of the leadership attending to the whole of the nonprofit and its mission and the other focusing on the organization’s details and management, the board of directors and the executive director partner together to run a nonprofit.