A NGO board comprises of individuals who are appointed to provide oversight to the organization. As you proceed towards establishing the NGO, you will require advice from people who are experts in their respective field of work. To start with you can establish an initial board of comprising of 4- 5 individuals who are passionate about your cause and are willing to support your organization.
The role of the initial board members will be to:
- Establish the organizations value, mission and vision statement.
- Constitute the bye-laws, article of incorporation and other procedures.
- Register the organization
- Develop projects, proposals and concept notes for initial donor engagement.
- Conduct initial meetings with donors and government agencies.
- Creating management and administration structure by developing necessary rules and regulations.
Hiring office staff.
Initial Board of directors govern the organization along with carrying out managerial and project related functions. Once the NGO receives its first funding, the role of these board members will be restricted to governance of the organization.
With the growing need to enhance good governance structures, transparency and accountancy in NGOs, the role of Board members in NGOs has significantly grown in the last few years. There are several functions that the Board performs for the successful management and governance of the NGO. Typically, in a well-established organization, the board is responsible for the following:
1. Compliance of the organization to its Mission and Vision: A board of directors not only establishes the values, vision and mission of the organization, but also ensures that it lives up to these. The Board evaluates the various activities to see if they are in line with organizations vision and mission.
2. Establishing Fundraising Goals: Board members along with the executive director of the NGO establish the fundraising goals for the NGO. They may also help the NGO in establishing contacts with donor agencies and corporate houses.
3. Assessment of NGO activities: Board members regularly evaluate and assess the working of the NGO, through reports and discussions. Based on the assessment, the board members suggest revision, modification and restructuring of current projects and programs.
4. Establishing policies: Board members draft policies and protocols for smooth functioning of the organization. These policies may be related to human resource management, communication, fundraising, administration and procurement etc.
5. Hiring the executive director: The responsibility of hiring the executive officer lies completely in the hands of the board members. The board members should develop the ToRs for the position of the executive director and then accordingly identify the right candidate for the job.
6. Financial health of the organization: The board is responsible for ensuring that the NGO utilizes the funds judiciously and remains financially secure. Board members develop a comprehensive financial policy to achieve accountability and transparency.
7. Annual budget and annual work-plan: Board members develop and approve budget on an annual basis. Based on the approved budget, a work-plan is drafted to carry out various activities as per the budget.
8. NGO representation: Board members are the face of the NGO. They represent and promote the organization in various events and functions.