October 13, 2020

Crisis Governance: the Ten Basic Responsibilities

The Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards created by BoardSource is considered the gold standard in benchmarking board performance. The responsibilities are clear, concrete, and specific. Whether your organization is a startup or has achieved organizational maturity, the ten responsibilities provide a starting point for setting board expectations and for assessing the quality of your board’s performance.

Whereas the ten basic responsibilities are fixed in their relevance for nonprofits, how they are fulfilled may need to change when circumstances change. For example, the responsibility to “support the CEO” means something different for a long-term CEO than for a newly appointed one. Crisis circumstance like the ones we are experiencing now calls for an even more drastic reinterpretation of the board’s basic responsibilities.

The table below is an overview of how the ten basic responsibilities of nonprofit boards must adapt to the changing circumstances brought on by crisis. Hopefully, the need to adapt will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your current board structure so that your organization can continue to evolve toward maturity.

Overview of the ten basic responsibilities

Please click here to download this chart as a pdf.

Need Additional Assistance?

If you are interested in going deeper into your nonprofit strategy or if you wish to review your organizational strategy more broadly, click the link below to schedule a 30-minute phone or zoom consultation with Mike Stone.

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