A strong healthy partnership between the Board of Directors and the organization’s chief executive is critical to a nonprofit’s ability to effectively carry out its mission. While the board has primary responsibility for oversight and policy while delegating management responsibilities to the chief executive, it is no longer enough to say “the board creates policy and the executive implements policy. Today’s board understands they cannot govern an organization effectively without working in partnership with the chief executive. In return, an effective chief executive understands s/he cannot truly lead the organization without the board’s full support.
When leadership is appropriately shared, the nonprofit becomes stronger, healthier and more responsive to the community. This partnership requires honest communication, mutual trust, built-in accountability and shared respect to assure these interdependent roles complement each other to effectively lead an organization.
The resources provided in this subchapter can be excellent tools to begin the conversation about how to build a stronger board/staff partnership that can spark a plan for improving this vital alliance.