Every nonprofit strives to make a difference in the world and looks to its board to lead the way by planning for its future, safeguarding its fiscal health, and monitoring its programs to ensure mission impact.

To accomplish this important work in bimonthly or quarterly meetings is difficult, however. To manage their responsibilities, most boards create different groups within their membership to handle that load.

These groups can take on one of three forms depending on their purpose: Standing committees help manage ongoing board activities, task forces manage time-limited assignments, and advisory groups provide guidance and insight on particular issues.

When used strategically, these smaller groups enable board members to perform critical tasks and functions, often between full board meetings, in an efficient and meaningful manner. As for how those groups should be structured, there isn’t a single right answer. While BoardSource recommends a “lean” board structure, it depends on a variety of factors, the most important being what the organization needs to accomplish its mission. Board structures should not be static. As board and staff members, the organization, and the community around you change, so should your committees and task forces. That being said, here are some common committees:

  • Governance Committee
  • Executive Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Audit Committee
  • Development Committee

Read the full article about structuring nonprofit boards at BoardSource.