Board Chair

The role that you play as a nonprofit board chair is critically important.

You set the tone for the relationship between the board and your executive (executive director or CEO). You ensure that board meetings are well-planned and facilitated. And you bring leadership and focus to the board’s work.

A board chair is typically a very busy professional, which can make it challenging to find the time to invest in strengthening the board and its work, whether that’s thinking long-term about important board conversations, reflecting on board performance, or navigating sticky issues or dynamics.

BoardSource can help.

We have tried and tested resources and guidance, educational programs and coaching, and an active and engaged community that can provide peer-to-peer support. We’re here to support you in your role, and to ensure that you have the tools and resources you need to succeed. The following key resources are among many on our website that apply to board chairs; please visit the Topics and Resources and Solutions areas of the site, as well as our Store, to discover more.

Resources for Board Chairs

The Board Chair Handbook

This widely read resource is designed for new and seasoned board chairs and will help you prepare for the role, optimize the work of the board through the application of strong leadership and sound governance practices, improve board processes and tasks, and, when the time comes, prepare for the end of your term and a transition to a new chair.


Reimagining Boards for High Impact

101| Community resource. What if leaders could grow their impact without growing their organizations? Read six primary areas where boards can focus their energy to strengthen community relationships and dramatically increase their impact.

Eight Ways to Increase Your Board's Ability to Work as a Team

301| Community resource. Board work is, fundamentally, a collective effort, and it requires a unique kind of teamwork among members. This resource presents eight tactics you can utilize to increase your board’s ability to collaborate and work as a team.

Six Characteristics of Effective Boards

301| Member-only resource. After interviewing several hundred boards and chief executives and surveying over 1,000 more, researchers Thomas Holland, Barbara Taylor, and Richard Chait discovered six specific characteristics and behaviors that distinguish strong boards from weak boards

Five Leadership Transition Types

101| Community resource. When an organization faces a chief executive transition, the first step the board must take is to identify what type of transition the organization is facing.

Every Board’s Must-Have Documents

101| Community resource. Even the most organized, responsible, and amiable board needs to document its activities, internal rules, and processes. Here are the various documents to which your board needs to pay attention.

Checklist of Board Roles and Responsibilities

101| Community resource. Basic board roles and responsibilities are the foundation for a successful board. BoardSource has designed this checklist so you can quickly remind yourself of your key responsibilities.