Commercial and Nonprofit Boards of Directors


While for-profit and nonprofit organizations differ in some ways however, both require a clear oversight from a set of people who want the company to be successful. The board of directors is usually comprised of individuals with different abilities and connections. To be successful, boards of directors for nonprofit organizations should seek out people who are passionate about the mission and dedicated to helping the organization achieve its goals. Additionally, the board should encourage new members to participate on committees. This can assist them in becoming familiar with governance issues, as well as other important topics.

In general, commercial and non-profit boards, or directors are governed by government regulations, articles of incorporation, and board constitution and bylaws. These documents define the manner in which the board will be formed, including the number of directors that can vote and how the board is to inform members of its meetings, as well as the minimum number of votes required to constitute a quorum. Both types of boards also adopt written policies on conflicts of interest and director independence. They also include confidentiality and indemnification.

Typically the board will include at least one or more officers (President Vice President, Secretary, President and Treasurer). The bylaws of the business will usually define these roles and the specific terms they carry. While the President may also be the Executive Director or CEO, it’s important to remember that these two positions are different and to keep the President’s role focussed on oversight of boards and governance and the CEO/ED’s focus is on management.