Being on the board of a nonprofit is not an honorary position – it requires a commitment to using charitable resources in the best possible way. Donors and beneficiaries of nonprofits expect leaders to ensure the sound administration of the organization.
Duties of board members include:
Duty of care – This involves being active in the organization’s activities and understanding its mission.
Duty of loyalty – Board members must acknowledge that the interest of the charity and its work must be the top priority. Charitable boards should develop and follow conflict of interest policies to avoid transactions that unfairly enrich the charity’s leaders.
Duty to manage accounts – A charity must be fiscally accountable. Board members must track budget data and establish and monitor internal controls.
Duty of compliance – Charities have important legal obligations. Board members must ensure that their charity follows registration requirements, solicitation laws and tax provisions.
Board members could be held personally responsible for actions such as selling charitable assets at below market rates or diverting the charity’s resources for personal gain.
If board members fail to do their jobs, the charity’s work can be harmed. Lack of board oversight can lead to theft and embezzlement, which can cripple the charity.
The Attorney General's office has prepared a number of resources to assist board members fulfill their obligations. Publications listed at the right contain valuable information for board members, particularly the Avoiding Theft in Your Nonprofit and Guide for Charity Board Members. The Frequently Asked Questions listed throughout the web site are also helpful. The links to outside sources at the right lead to organizations that provide training and information about the charitable sector.
The Attorney General’s office provides live training for nonprofit organizations and board members about governance, administration and fundraising requirements. To organize or host a training, contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 282-0515.
The office provides webinars on topics of concern to the charitable sector. There is a webinar at noon on the first Wednesday of each month on the basics of board governance. On the third Wednesday of each month, a webinar is presented on charitable registration information. Participants watch the presentation online and can listen by phone or through the computer. Participants can ask or email questions during the trainings. Advance registration is required. After registering for the session, participants will receive an email confirmation with details about accessing the training. In order to participate, you will need: Access to the Internet
A telephone connection or ability to access audio functions online Advance registration through the links below
Click to register for:
Access to the Internet
A telephone connection
Monthly Board Governance Webinars
Ohio's Charitable Registration System Webinars