How Boards Begin

Boards typically begin when a founder of an organization decides that he or she would like to start a nonprofit. One of the first questions new ministry leaders ask themselves is, “What do I need to do?” And, usually, someone close by will direct that person to a resource that knows something about filing state and federal paperwork to begin a non-profit ministry. Already the burden of those pesky administrative details begins to slowly chip away at a founder’s emotional energies, because, after all, “We just want to do the ministry!

So, while moving through the checklist, the realization becomes clear—you need to have a board. The thought is, “I need a board so that I can get state incorporation, which enables me to apply for my 501(c)(3), so that I can give tax receipts for donations.” And off you go.

Who are the individuals that now have legal responsibility for this new organization? Spouses, helpful friends, and others who like to do what the ministry leader likes to do—the ‘ministry’. Little attention is given to the roles and responsibilities, need for process, and the unique talent needs of the startup.

More mature ministries typically have recovered somewhat from those early oversights and have moved into more of a routine with the board. But the same rules apply, and oftentimes the basics are missed, such as auditing board composition for the skill and talents needed to address critical areas and provide basic oversight.

Covering Your Board Responsibilities – Free Board Development Resource

We’ve developed a free resource to help you gauge how your board is covering its basic responsibilities. Click here or use the button below and we’ll send you our Board of Directors Responsibilities Checklist. This helpful document will provide a list of thirty-six governance and financial oversight items that should be addressed by your board for compliance sake. It’s a useful tool to keep your board on track and provide accountability for the ministry.


Grow In Your Board Leadership

Are you attracting the type of leadership to your board of directors that is needed? Don’t worry, if the answer is unfavorable it doesn’t have to stay that way. We’ve coached hundreds of leaders and seen tremendous growth in those who are eager and willing to apply proven principles of board leadership.

We now offer an affordable and flexible online coaching program for ministry leaders wanting to grow in this area. We’ll provide the tools and insights to help you attract proven leaders to serve on the board of directors.

Our online ministry leader coaching is also helpful as leadership development content for your current and future board members. They’ll hear from real board members about how to grow to be a passionate and engaged advocate for the ministry.

Additional Resources

Board of Directors Responsibilities Checklist