Organizational Structure of Nonprofits
The organizational structure is the core of every nonprofit organization. Nonprofits consist of a board of directors and executive, managerial and administrative positions. The first step is to think about the best structure to run your nonprofit. Your board and staff should understand their own roles and responsibilities and how they help further the mission of your organization.
The board of directors is responsible for running a nonprofit organization. The board sets rules and regulations, oversees finance and strategic plans and hires executive staff. Members of the board of directors usually are volunteers who receive no compensation. They are often recruited because of their expertise in certain areas, such as law, accounting or fundraising. They attend meetings throughout the year to discuss any immediate concerns, upcoming events and changes in programs or staff. The executive positions within the board of directors include a chairperson, vice president, treasurer and secretary.
The executive staff runs the daily operations in a non-profit organization. Key executive staff positions include the president or CEO, vice president and other chief officers depending on the size of the organization. They are supervised by the board of directors and oversee lower-level staff positions. Typically, the president and other executive staff are the face of the organization. They speak at external events and meet with potential donors to secure money for their organization.
Whether it is developing new programs or organizing events, managerial staff handle many daily operations. They usually work directly with clients and customers by providing an array of services and programs. Common positions include development director, program manager and human resources manager. Managerial staff meet regularly with executive staff to discuss program and event updates. At some organizations, managerial staff are promoted to executive positions.
Administrative staff roles are usually entry-level positions within a nonprofit organization. They assist managerial and executive employees with office duties, including answering the phone, scheduling appointments and distributing mail. Common positions include executive assistant, secretary and administrative assistant. In a nonprofit setting, some managerial and executive staff share assistants, especially within similar departments such as communications and special events. Assistants working for department managerial staff are involved in more program work, including planning events and drafting letters to supporters.