Nonprofit board members must know their organization first, and act second...
Being a board member - like being a business executive - boils down to two key responsibilities: knowing and doing. "Knowing the organization, believing in (and even being passionate about) its mission - that is the primary responsibility for a board member," says Shelly Cohn, board member of the Arizona Community Foundation, Childsplay, and the Desert Botanical Garden. "Then take action - be a good ambassador and steward: stay engaged; contribute ideas, expertise, and connections; find ways to engage others; and assure that the community's investments in the organization are used wisely on
behalf of the public."
Certainly the roles and responsibilities of boards are many and complex - from governing, policy-making and strategizing to overseeing internal operations - but at the heart of these tasks comes, first, knowledge, then action. Knowing. Doing.