Exploring the Key Roles for Nonprofit Boards

William A. Brown and Chao Guo

This research note explores roles for nonprofit boards as described by 121 community foundation executives. Through content analysis, a synthesized list of 13 different roles were identified. The study considered institutional and organizational attributes such as environmental uncertainty and organizational complexity to explore the contingencies under which certain board roles become more prevalent. The roles were also matched to existing governance theories. The list not only reflects activities recognized by different theoretical models but also suggests conflicts in the way strategy is conceptualized and articulated as a governance task.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 39, no. 3 (2010): 536-546