Board of Directors

Grade Level: 
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Board Member
Board of Directors
Video Clip and Discussion Guide: The board of directors is the decision-making group responsible for maintaining the mission of a nonprofit organization. It is a volunteer position in which board members develop a network and career and life skills. The organization benefits from the different skills of the members of the board (trustees).

Anticipatory Set

Every nonprofit has a board of directors that believes in its mission and volunteers to serve as an advisor, policymaker, and volunteer to support the work. What do you think you'd need to know before deciding to serve on a board? 



  1. What is the role of the board of directors? Who is the boss of a nonprofit organization?
  2. How many people should be on a board of directors?
  3. Why is it important to have diversity on a board? What types of diversity are important? Should there be young people on every board?
  4. What makes a good board so important? What are the ethical considerations?
  5. Where do board members learn about their important role?
  6. Define "governance" as it relates to the board of a nonprofit.

Follow-Up Activity

Look up the website of a nonprofit that addresses a need you care about. For example, look at the website of a nonprofit that feeds homeless people. Find the page that lists the board of directors. Read about each member of the board.

  1. Is there diversity in background and skills?
  2. What traits do you think the organization looks for in its board members?
  3. What would make you a good fit for their board today or in the future?
  4. What would serving on the board do for you personally and professionally?