The Role of Trustees

As accomplished individuals and active community volunteers, trustees should be policy makers who willingly transfer their experience and connections to improve the quality of their institution. Specifically, among the AGB's report recommendations, which are of value to all nonprofits are:

  • Explicitly state the expectations of the institution for the economic, intellectual, and cultural development, as well as establish clear goals in evaluating those expectations
  • Provide a sustained level of financial support that allows for the institution to meet its goals
  • Make merit, skill and experience the chief criteria for trustee selection 
  • Engage trustees and regents as partners in advocating the value of the organization and the importance of its mission.
"Based on individual trustees' strengths and background, it is imperative to appoint the most relevant individuals to cover committees such as Finance, Audit, Employee Compensation and Fund Raising, to name a few," notes Marilyn Pendergast, a leader of the firm’s Not-for-Profit practice.

"Audit Committees, in particular, can play an instrumental role to set the 'tone at the top' by the board and put in place an environment of checks and balances," added Pendergast. All Trustees as well as other volunteers become the face of the organization in the community and provide organizations with a visible, informed presence about the mission, goals and strategies of their organizations. “Active committee participation is often the 'secret ingredient' behind effective board-management collaboration."