Nonprofit Staff

For boards to truly unleash their full leadership potential, they need strong staff support.

Every nonprofit is required by law to have a board of directors to provide legal and financial oversight. But the most successful nonprofit organizations understand that the value of the board goes far beyond oversight, with board members providing powerful insights, expertise, and networks that guide and fuel the organization’s work.

Boards rely on staff support to successfully govern their organization. First and foremost, this means a strong partnership with the executive director or chief executive; one that is characterized by mutual respect, trust, and a strong understanding of each other’s roles.

Those same characteristics apply to the partnership that can be built between other key staff members and the board, including those staff members who are working directly with a board committee, as is often the case for a chief financial officer or a chief development officer.

That’s why BoardSource encourages nonprofit staff members to educate themselves about the role of the board, and has created focused resources for staff members working closely with the board, including the resources below. We encourage you to visit the Topics and Resources and Solutions areas of this site, as well as our Store, for additional information.

Resources for Nonprofit Staff


Engaging Your Board in Fundraising

A step-by-step guide for development directors and executives working to increase board member participation in fundraising, this book offers insights from 50 nonprofit leaders on what it takes for staff to engage the board successfully.


Committee Series

This special collection of six books provides an overview of how popular board committees are structured and the roles that board and staff members typically play in support of a committee’s effectiveness.


Certificate of Nonprofit Board Education

All board members should understand the major building blocks of an effective board. This certificate program covers fundamental nonprofit governance concepts, including board structure and practices, the roles and responsibilities of board members, and financial and legal oversight.

Show Me the Money: Creating a Fundraising Culture

This seminar is ideal for board-staff leadership teams that are looking to expand the board’s role in creating a fundraising culture and to understand specific steps and processes for success.