Want to Be Better Board Member? Keep These Three Duties in Mind

One of the most common questions board members routinely ask is “What is my role?” Folks are hungry for clear, bright lines of authority. Boy, does that sound good.

But in reality, board governance is not always that clear-cut. It’s a practice that requires regular attention, openness, and learning. And, yet, board members are often unfamiliar with the well-established principles of nonprofit corporation law. It is the rare board member who can name the three standards of conduct and attention in carrying out his or her responsibilities. And rarer still, the person who can articulate the details of what are typically known as the three duties.

A great place to start if you’re asking yourself about your role is here – at what Third Sector Group calls Pillar #1: The Three Duties (one of the Seven Pillars of Governance). And, if you think you know, take a quick peek and consider how well you are living these three standards when you’re gathered around the board table.

While the art of governing entails much more than these three duties, when you consider these as your baseline and the foundation from which you engage in your board work, your role becomes clearer.