An executive board is a group of elected or appointed individuals who oversee the activities and operations of an organization. Executive boards often consist of officers like a president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary, as well as directors or managers of key areas.

Top tasks of an executive board typically include setting the organization’s overall strategy and direction, making major policy and financial decisions, ensuring the organization runs effectively, legally and ethically, hiring and evaluating the executive director or CEO, engaging and informing stakeholders, ensuring sufficient resources, enhancing the organization’s public image, assessing organizational performance, and ensuring the organization serves its overriding purpose.

More specifically, common executive board roles and duties often include:

– President – Provides leadership and direction, presides over meetings, appoints committee chairs, serves as a key spokesperson

– Vice President – Acts on the president’s behalf when absent, succeeds the presidency if that role is vacated

– Secretary – Oversees meeting schedules and minutes, maintains records, ensures proper documentation and compliance

– Treasurer – Oversees budgets and finances, provides financial updates and reports, ensures sound financial practices

– Committee Chairs – Lead standing or ad hoc committees that focus on specific issues like programs, fundraising, membership, etc.

While day-to-day operations are usually delegated to staff like an executive director, the board is responsible for high-level governance and oversight. That requires executive boards to think strategically about how best to accomplish the organization’s mission and purpose over the long term.

Effective executive boards play a crucial role for any organization or association. Board members must bring expertise, diverse perspectives, a strong commitment to the mission, and willingness to donate time and resources. Strong leadership from an engaged, ethical and responsible executive board helps ensure organizational success and accountability. A well-functioning board is thus essential for strategy, finances, operations, community relations and the future of most nonprofits and similar entities.