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Resources for Nonprofit Board Members

The Ohio Attorney General's Charitable Law Section has created a new website to better assist Ohioans; the new homepage can be found at As we transition to the new website, some older links may no longer be available. We appreciate your patience as we move forward to help charities thrive and promote safe giving.

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 left 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 left 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.

View a list and descriptions of all the charitable workshops and webinars offered by the Attorney General's Office.


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.

Learn more about the webinars offered, to register for a webinar and to view a recording of the board governance webinar.