While all effective board members understand and meet their basic responsibilities, truly exceptional board members do more. They go beyond the basics and pay attention to how they approach board service.

These six characteristics build on straightforward board duties and focus on key traits of exceptional board members:

  1. Board Chairs: Create a partnership with the Executive Director or CEO
  2. Focus on listening, not just participating
  3. Understand the balance between giving the CEO ample room to manage the organization and ensure the ethical standards are met
  4. Ask naive questions that others want to ask but may shy away from
  5. Serve as ambassadors for their organizations and understand the responsibility that comes with that role
  6. Good board members enjoy their role

The partnership between a nonprofit’s board chair and CEO is one of the most important elements of a strong board and a successful organization. However, developing this relationship takes work and commitment from both individuals.

Read the full PDF about what makes a good board member at BoardSource.