Nonprofit Insurance Program

Different Types of Nonprofits

By Alexa Connelly
August 20, 2013

There are two different types of non profits, public charities and types like foundations and their missions and operations vary.  Some foundations are small and my ay 7 board members then you have large community foundations that may have as many as 16 board members. For a start up board of directors non profit should be around 3 members, the founder and 2 other people that can be trusted.

Size does matter

You want to build a board large enough to support the board’s responsibilities and can handle the complexity of issues and constituencies served. The recommended board of directors’ nonprofit minimum number is 7 – 15 members for governing functions. If more are needed, you could create non-fiduciary groups and call them advisory boards or operating committees.

What to look for in great board members

 When outlining the characteristics need for your board remember to keep their responsibilities in mind as well. You want representational in terms of your stakeholders, this will include beneficiary representation, governmental representation, community representation and geographical representation. Determine which representation is need for your board to have an understanding of the issues. Examine the functional requirements of professional expertise to assist with strategies needed for the board. Look for diversity in terms of gender, age or ethnicity to ensure different viewpoints. And lastly, regulatory requirements if needed for expertise on specific functions, like financial expertise.

When you have made your decision on the number of your board of directors nonprofit, ask yourself these 2 questions about its make-up:

  1. Will your board member stay personally interested in the activities of the board?
  2. Can our board carry out all of the functions without overburdening them?

If both of your answers to these questions are yet, then you have reached the number that will be right for your organization. You will want to remember that the board may require staff support, to have board meeting at your place of operation and all members need to have a place at the table.

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