nonproifit board-staff relations

A 21st Century Nonprofit Reality – The Chief Executive Needs to be a President/CEO

A 21st Century Nonprofit Reality – The Chief Executive Needs to be a President/CEO

By: Eugene Fram

Many of my viewers* know that I strongly favor nonprofit boards, which develop a budget level of more than $1 million (US) and employ about 10 full and part time people, should designate their chief executive as the President/CEO. A volunteer director then becomes the board chair. Below, in italics, is a response I received to my viewpoint listed on the Board Source blog site:

Interesting points. However, where I come from, executive director is the recognized title for the heads of non-profits, with the possible exception of multimillion-dollar agencies. Everyone understands it. Even when the ED is recognized (in bylaws and/or policies) as the CEO of the agency, they still tend to use the ED title, The CEO title smacks of the for profit sector, which may be off-putting to the social service sector, perhaps a tinge of “playing out of your league.” President is definitely from the for profit sector, and could be confusing from the perspective that some boards still refer to their chairs as “presidents.

What are the most productive types of relationships between board & staff?

The relationships between the two groups can be productive informally and formally. It’s an important relationship because the staff must understand the board’s depth of commitment to the nonprofit’s mission, mission and values.

Informally, board members need to attend celebrations of organization successes (more…)

Can a Board Member Ever Hold a Staff Position in The Same Nonprofit Organization?

Can a board member ever hold a staff position in the same nonprofit organization?


By Eugene Fram

Sometimes a board member acts not as a director but as a different kind of volunteer.  For example, Director Z has a particular accounting skill and wants to utilize it to help the nonprofit.  The CEO agrees. 

In this instance the board member is not a board member, but a volunteer working under the direction of the CEO.  (more…)