Nonprofit Volunteer Leadership Relationships

The relationship structure for your Board of Directors and key volunteers is critical to the ongoing sustainability and growth of your organization. The connectivity between the various task forces and the board is something that needs to be defined and illustrated so that everyone understands the protocol.

Here I’ve provided a basic illustration showing how the task force’s feed into the general board and the general board to the executive committee. I use the relationship model versus an organizational chart to demonstrate the linkage/connectivitiy amongst the various groups.

Utilizing this type of relationship structure is critical to succession planning as well. Having vibrant and engaged task force members makes board recruitment so much easier since you are able to identify potential leaders through their perfomance/committment at the task force level.

I also recommend that there be board member presence on each of the organizations task forces. This does not mean that the board member serves as the task force leader, in fact, I strongly suggest that they not. Having a general volunteer serve as the task force leader provides an opportunity to identify and nurture potential leaders for the organization and the board of directors.

The important thing is that you have some sort of organizational structure that can be provided to volunteers at all levels within your organization.