In an article on “Improving Board Performance” by Vic Murray in The Philanthropist (Volume 13, No.4) he notes;

Below is a list of broad areas of responsibility in which boards of directors (governors, trustees) could in some way become involved.  Question: Given the nature of your organization, in which areas of responsibility could your
board improve its performance?

a) Setting the mission and strategic objectives for the organization and evaluating progress in achieving these objectives;

b) Making sure the organization operates in a fiscally responsible manner and complies with all laws and regulations applying to it;

c) Selecting, and evaluating the performance of the chief executive officer;

d) “Boundary Spanning”:  (i) by bringing the concerns of the outside community and particular constituencies into the organization; and (ii) by representing the organization to the community and constituencies;

e) Helping to raise the financial resources needed by the organization;

f) Ensuring that the management of the organization operates as efficiently as possible and uses the best available systems, policies and administrative practices to do so;

g) Helping to decide the particular programs or services the organization should offer;

h) Ensuring that the board itself functions as effectively as possible (e.g., gets the best people to serve, provides adequate training for members, manages its meetings and committees well).


Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto, Ontario.  He can be contacted at or at 416-361-1982. To find out more about legal services that Blumbergs provides to Canadian charities and non-profits please visit or

This article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice. You should not act or abstain from acting based upon such information without first consulting a legal professional.