Wednesday, 5 December 2012

JOB DESCRIPTION ( Including do’s and don’ts)


The overall administration and management of an organization vest with the duly elected Board as per the Bye-laws/Trust Deed/Memorandum of Association of the organization. To have smooth and effective Board processes, several positions are created within the board. Generally, the Board has a Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer and assigns them certain duties & responsibilities as per the governing documents of the organization.

The position of Secretary has wide-ranging responsibilities, requiring much more than simply being present at all board meetings. He/she is the one who has the role of disseminating information to all members and stakeholders, giving proper notice of any meetings and timely distribution of materials such as agendas and meeting minutes. Additionally, the Secretary is the custodian of the organization’s records and related materials. The Secretary is expected to work in close co-operation with the Chair as he/she compliments the Chair’s work and helps him/her discharge the duties effectively.

To know more about the Secretary- Roles & Responsibilities, read the complete article on "Secretary- Roles & Responsibilities" Click here.
"Should the Secretary and the Chief Functionary be one and the same person?". Kindly share your views on this.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

JOB DESCRIPTION ( Including do’s and don’ts)


Generally, the Board of a voluntary organization is structured responsibility-wise. In other words, the Board would have ordinary members and certain office-bearers like Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, Secretary and the Treasurer.

The Vice-chairperson is considered as the Chairperson-in-training. He/she should attend meetings of the Board regularly. He/she also has to obtain the consent of the Chairperson before making major decisions. The Vice-chairperson is accountable to the Board who is accountable to the members and other stakeholders. By electing the Vice-chairperson, the Board creates a second line in the governance process itself. This ensures broad based leadership and smooth transition in due time.

To know more about the Vice-chairperson's Roles & Responsibilities, read the complete article on "Vice-chairperson- Roles & Responsibilities" Click here.
"Vice-Chairperson is the leader in the making.". Kindly share your views on this.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

JOB DESCRIPTION ( Including do’s and don’ts)


The principle behind forming and making decisions through Board is to ensure that the experience and expertise of individual members can be collated and assimilated. In order to structure the decision making process through the Board, a method of facilitation is required. Normally, the facilitator is designated as the Chairperson of the Board. The Chairperson is required to call the meeting to order, lead in various discussions, move the meeting as per the agenda items proposed and ensure that there is discipline in the meeting. When the Board is not in session, the Chairperson also acts as a key representative of the organization to the outside world.
The role that the Chairperson of the Board plays is different from all the other roles on the Board. It is the Chairperson’s job to ensure that the Board operates as a team and everyone on the Board has a say.

To know more about the Chairperson's Roles & Responsibilities, read the complete article on "Chairperson- Roles & Responsibilities" Click Here

Chairperson is a "Leader" or "Leader among the equals"... Please share your views with us.

Monday, 24 September 2012



Board Members play a crucial role in any organization. They are the trustees who hold the organization in trust. At the same time, they are volunteers, don’t derive any benefit from the organization and have to act as the ultimate reference point. An organization faces a challenge to identify new members as there are no material benefits for being on the Board and at the same time, there are sacrifices of time involved. The motivating factor for a person to join the Board of an organization is the cause for which the organization works.

In an organization a General body and a Governing body is legally mandated and all the members are mostly volunteers. Some organizations also have an Executive committee that is above the governing body. However, it is very much necessary to create a supporter or volunteer base from where the organization can pick up its potential Board members. This volunteer base is not mandated legally but is a desirable practice that an organization may choose to follow.

To know how to create a support base, read the complete article on “ source for potential board members and creating a support base” click here

Does your organization have a support base and how do you engage your support base so that they become effective potential Board members. Please share your views with us..

Tuesday, 11 September 2012



The size of the Board is often much debated subject in governance of NPOs. When Organizations initially
come into existence, they often start cautiously with a small number of members and expand as the
organization grows and programs diversify.

The size of board varies from organization to organization, depending on various factors such as the type,
size, the board culture and the nature of its work. Every organization is different and ideal board size may
not be recommended as a norm.

The Organization to function effectively needs a board that is small in size where every board member
has a significant role to play and also need a board which is large enough so that the work of the board is
done with diversity of experiences.

It is important not to stick on the board size, with which initially the Organization started. The board
should revisit its size and determine the right number to carry out effective and responsible governance in
the organization according to time and needs.

For reading the complete article on “Board SIZE” click here

How do we determine the right Board Size for our NGO? Please share your views/comments with us…

Thursday, 16 August 2012



The Board is supposed to be the most powerful body of an Organization and in the absence of an effective Board it is very difficult to ensure good governance in any organization. Diversity plays a very crucial role in forming an effective Board. However, it has been seen that in many Organizations diversity is not given much importance. Now, the question is what does diversity mean?  Diversity may conjure up a racial and ethnic mix. This is certainly a part of it, but diversity of thought, background and experience is just as important. Having diversity of skills and expertise in the Board is a very important pre-requisite for the effectiveness of Governance.
Diversity leads to more innovation, more outside box thinking and better governance whereas Conflict, lack of cooperation and insufficient communication can be a hurdle for a Diverse Board too.
This tool box re-emphasizes the need for a diverse Board and also provides with a matrix to assess the degree of diversity of the Board and to find out where to bring in more diversity.

For reading the complete article on “Board Diversity Matrix” click here

Is a diversity lens important in an Organization? Whether the diversity in the Board should be intentional or accidental? Please share your views/comments with us…

Wednesday, 25 July 2012



Providing new Board members with the information they need to perform effectively is the next critical step in developing an effective Board. The Board should be well-informed one with the knowledge needed to lead an organization effectively. A well designed orientation process is necessary in order to provide the new Board members with necessary information. Board orientation is basically to provide the organization specific information in order to be effective particularly as a member of the Organization's Board.

In this blog "Areas to be covered in Board Orientation Process", we provide a deep insight as to what is a Board Orientation Process, its importance and how structured the orientation process should be.

For reading the complete article on "Areas to be covered in Board Orientation Process". Click Here

Please share your views on this. Does an Orientation Process necessary for creating effective Board members? Are there some more areas that you would like to include in your Board Orientation Process?

Thursday, 5 July 2012



It has been seen that in many Organizations the Board processes are not formally documented in a systematic way. The various processes, right from identifying to recruiting and developing the Board are quite critical to an organization’s Governance. It needs to be recognized that membership in any Board is a formal & legal process and therefore there is a need to document it carefully.

Board member when appointed takes up his/her roles & responsibility with the understanding to be effective and being committed towards the Vision & Mission of the Organization. However, this implicit Commitment does not get expressed formally many times in written form. Therefore, in order to uphold the mutual accountability, a Board members Commitment sheet needs to be signed. “Board members Commitment sheet is both a legal as well as a moral document. It is a charter between the Organization and the Board members to fulfill certain responsibilities and stay accountable to each other”.

This tool box re-emphasizes the need to document the recruitment process in a systematic manner and also explains how to do it.

For reading the complete article on "Board Members Commitment Sheet", click here

What are your views regarding Board members Commitment sheet? Are they necessary for strengthening the Governance of an Organization or merely they will increase the pile of documents stacked in your files? Please share your views with us.



It is important to ensure that new Board members have adequate information to become familiar with the organization they are to govern as responsible Board members/trustees. This would enable them to understand their role and any expectations clearly. The key information, that needs to be made available to them are Vision, mission, values, objective, principles, significant policies & procedures, relevant legal & financial information.

A well-designed induction programme is essential in helping new members to make relevant contribution to their work on the Board. At the same time all Board members should receive ongoing support and information from the management so that they can develop their understanding of the overall environment within which they work. The existing Board members should undertake a more active role in working with newly-appointed Board members, to ensure that they are aware of the expectations for the Board and that the key responsibilities and relationships are well understood.
To provide comprehensive information on the activities of the organization and its wider implications of operations etc, some of the important material may be shared with the Board.

For reading the complete article onWhat materials to be shared with the Board members” click here 

Are these materials discussed here are sufficient for The Board Members to understand their role & responsibilities or are there some more materials which you would like to share with us? Please leave your comments.



Governance may be defined as “a transparent decision making process in which leadership of an organization, in an effective and accountable way, direct resources and exercises power on basis of shared value.” (Handbook on NGO Governance; Marylin Wyatt).  The overall goal of governance is to ensure that the objectives of the organization are achieved and the interest of various Stakeholders is protected. It has been said that proper governance requires the Board to stand outside the organization and hold it accountable to the Stakeholders interest. Board Members play a role of catalyst in facilitating the Organization to achieve its desired objectives.

Are board members primarily fundraisers? Cheerleaders? A rubber stamp to legitimize the actions and decisions of the management? Do they run the organization? Are they window-dressing the organization or are they seriously governing? How many meetings they attend? How do they know whether they are doing a good job, or when it is time to go? There are some of the questions which remain unanswered. Non-profit governance places high demands on board members since NPOs are accountable to a very complex and multiple stakeholder groups. This tool box will discuss about the desirable characteristics/ qualities that are to be looked in for selecting Board Members.

To read the complete article on “Characteristics of Board Members” click here

What qualities would you look for in a Board Member? Please Share your views.