What Should Your Nonprofit Board Committees’ Job Description Include?

Your board is a vital part of your organization, so it’s important you are finding the right people for the job. If you’re looking to hire new board members you need to make sure that they are not only passionate about your organization but qualified for the work they have to do. 

To get the best candidates, create a job description that clearly communicates your needs along with the expectations of the role. Keep in mind whoever is chosen will be a part of a greater board, so they need to know how their role will fit in and support the other board members. 

What Needs to Be Included In Your Board of Directors’ Job Description? 

A good nonprofit board description will include:
  • The specific role of the position
  • All expectations and responsibilities
  • Duties 
  • Review dates for the positions
  • Length of their term
  • Any time or financial requirements

It’s important to have a thorough job description to narrow down the ideal candidate for the position. It also helps your volunteers when reviewing submissions because it helps them understand what should be prioritized in the application process. 

Example Requirements for a Board Member Job Description

  1. Regularly attends board meetings and other important meetings.
  2. Commits to be an active participant in committee work.
  3. Volunteers to accept assignments and complete them thoroughly and on time.
  4. Is informed about committee matters, prepares themselves for meetings, and reviews and comments on minutes and reports.
  5. Gets to know other committee members and builds a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus.
  6. Is an active participant in the committee's annual evaluation and planning efforts.
  7. Participates in fundraising for the organization.

Nonprofit Board Job Descriptions Templates To Inspire You

To put your description in action, you need to organize your post. Each organization will have different needs and requirements but your descriptions should be similar to the following format. 

The Job Title

What authority will they have? 

What and who are they accountable for and what are the areas of responsibility

What is needed and expected of them? 

How long will their contract be valid for and how do they leave the board? 

General Duties 
What typical duties are they responsible for?

How will they be assessed during the position?

Review Date and Approval Date
When the applications will be closed for review, and when they should expect to hear back from you

Additional Important Details 
Depending on the position you may want to include the following points. They are not necessary but can be used to narrow down the type of candidate you're looking for. 

Qualifications and Skills
What experience or special skills do you need to be successful in this position? Should they require skills like communication, leadership and problem-solving? Think about your ideal candidate and what they could bring to the table. 

What benefits does your board member receive? This could be as simple as giving back, gaining experience, working with a diverse range of people or building a better understanding of your community. Think about the mission of your organization and why they enjoy working there. 

Time and Financial Requirements
This can be discussed during the interview process, but if you have a specific financial or time-based expectation that your board or committee candidate needs to commit to, it should be included in your description. 

What else should nonprofit organizations do to build a better board or committee? 

There are many factors that go into choosing your board members that go beyond a resume. Writing a solid job description is a great place to start, but it’s up to you to choose a candidate that is not only qualified but passionate about your work. 

In our podcast Fundraising Superheroes, we’ve interviewed some of the top changemakers in the industry who gave amazing tips on building better boards. 

 Mark Buzan on Effective Board Leadership

Mark’s podcast is a great listen for anyone who is looking for advice around board governance and refining the dynamic between your leadership staff and the board. Founder of the Nonprofit Board Summit, Mark has experience as both an Executive Director and Board Member. 

In our interview, we emphasize the importance of trust and communication that needs to happen between nonprofits and their boards. Both parties need to make sure they are providing the support that the other needs to thrive in their position. Mark explains how to establish that trust, which should begin in the onboarding process. 

Sara Lundenberger Shares How to Communicate With Your Board

While our interview focuses on communication, Sara gives great insight into recruiting and scouting for board members, like looking at your clients or volunteers for potential members. 

Sara also touches on inexperienced board members, and how to provide them with the information they need to apply their skills to the job. 

 Denny Young On His Tips for Board Recruitment

Denny Young is a professor and nonprofit management veteran with over 30 years of experience. Passionate about board and executive leadership, Denny explains how he recommends nonprofits approach board recruitment. 

A board member should be prepared to adapt your organization as their own, so it’s important to get to know your candidates during the recruitment process. Job descriptions are meant to attract the right person for the job, and if that involves a certain time commitment then be clear about that. Denny explains it really is quality over quantity when building a board of directors so don’t be afraid to be picky. 


Your board and executive committee do so much for your organization. It’s essential that you create descriptions for board members that actually outline all of their roles and responsibilities. Each organization will have its own expectations for their board members, so take the time to consider what they are and clearly communicate it in your descriptions. 

Use the sample job description above to build a description that clearly outlines the role of the board member you need. If you’re looking to explore more ideas on how to better your organization be sure to listen to more episodes 

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By Trust Driven on

Leadership Sep 24, 2021, 12:00 AM

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