1. Clarify the roles and responsibilities of the board and your CEO/Director. 
  2. Have your CEO/Director on the board.
  3. Limit the number of staff sitting on the board.
  4. Have board members with a range of backgrounds, skills and experiences.
  5. Encourage board members to donate money to the NPO.
  6. Use email, websites and other technology to give board members all the information they need about current developments in the NPO.
  7. Encourage board members to advocate on behalf of the NPO.
  8. Develop and publicise the procedure for dealing with mismanagement by the CEO/Director.
  9. Take steps to ensure board members attend meetings so that there is always a quorum.
  10. Make the CEO/Director or other staff board members leave a meeting when decisions are made about them personally.
  11. Allow the CEO/Director to record an objection to any board decision in the minutes.
  12. Ensure that the CEO/Director and other staff respect a board decision even when they disagree with it.
  13. Deal openly and decisively with any conflicts of interest on the board or other issues that need to be handled by the board.
  14. Be aware of and respond to changes and developments in the law and external environment that affect the work of the NPO and the board.
  15. Constantly review your NPO’s vision, mission, strategies and policies when circumstances demand this.



  1. Have an ex-CEO/Director sitting on the board.
  2. Allow a CEO/Director or other staff member sitting on the board to be an executive member of the board (chair, vice-chair, treasurer or secretary).
  3. Make the board meet too often or take up too much board members’ time outside of meetings.
  4. As a board, get involved in the operations of the organisation or give instructions to staff.
  5. As a board member, say or do anything that will reflect badly on the aims, values and ethics of the NPO.