As Simone Joyaux, ACFRE says: “Serving on a board is serious business. The board is accountable for ensuring the health and effectiveness of the corporation.”

We know that nonprofit boards are as varied as all of the charities in the nonprofit sector. Some operate like a well-oiled machine. Some leave a lot to be desired.

We recently reached out to our community of nonprofits to see what their board of directors looks like and how they perform. We’ve compiled the results of our survey into the infographic below. The data may surprise you!

NOV-Infographic

Findings:

  • Large boards rule – a majority of respondents reported boards with more than 15 members.
  • Committees are pervasive – a majority respondents reported having executive committees and/or sub-committees.
  • Financial commitments and fundraising from board members could be higher.
  • Volunteerism among board members is quite high.
  • Most boards tend to meet monthly or quarterly.

Raw Data:

Does your nonprofit have a board of directors?

  • Yes: 99.21%
  • No: 0.79%

How many board members does your organization have?

  • 0 – 0.79%
  • 1 – 0%
  • 2 – 0%
  • 3 – 0.79%
  • 4 – 1.39%
  • 5 – 4.96%
  • 6 – 3.37%
  • 7 – 6.94%
  • 8 – 5.36%
  • 9 – 7.54%
  • 10 – 4.96%
  • 11 – 5.75%
  • 12 – 10.12%
  • 13 – 5.36%
  • 14 – 2.78%
  • 15+ – 32.34%

Does your board of directors have an executive committee?

  • Yes: 72%
  • No: 28%

Does your board of directors have sub-committees?

  • Yes: 78%
  • No: 22%

Do your board members make a financial commitment?

  • Yes (all): 39%
  • Yes (most): 35%
  • Yes (a few): 17%
  • No: 9%

Do your board members have term limits?

  • Yes: 74%
  • No: 26%

If your board members have term limits, how long are they?

  • Less than 1 year 0.00%
  • 1 year 1.19%
  • 2 years 12.90%
  • 3 years 36.11%
  • 4 years 4.37%
  • 5+ years 18.85%
  • No term limits: 26%

Is your Executive Director / President on the board?

  • Yes: 46%
  • No: 54%

Are your board members active volunteers for your organization?

  • Yes (every event): 45%
  • Occasionally (a few events): 45%
  • No: 10%

Do your board members actively fundraise for your organization?

  • Yes (all) 4%
  • Yes (most) 26%
  • Yes (a few) 52%
  • No: 18%

How often does your board of directors meet?

  • Multiple times a week 0.00%
  • Weekly 0.20%
  • Bi-Weekly 0.60%
  • Monthly 45.44%
  • Bi-Monthly 19.05%
  • Quarterly 25.79%
  • Annually 2.18%
  • Irregularly 4.76%
  • Not sure 0.20%
  • Never or remotely 1.79%

Do your nonprofit staff members attend board meetings?

  • Yes 50.20%
  • No 13.89%
  • Occasionally 28.77%
  • No staff members, no board or no board meetings 7.14%

Methodology

  • The survey was distributed via email and social media between 10/13/14 and 10/17/14
  • Technology utilized: SurveyMonkey
  • At least 500 unique organizations responded
  • Respondents remained anonymous

How does your board compare to these results? Let us know in the comments below!

For more board engagement tips, visit https://bloomerang.co/blog/category/nonprofit-boards

Kristen Hay

Kristen Hay

Marketing Manager at Bloomerang
Kristen Hay is the Marketing Manager at Bloomerang. From 2018 - 2020, she served as the Director of Communications for the Public Relations Society of America's local Hoosier chapter. Prior to that she served on several different committees and in committee chair roles.