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Twokin Consulting: Reasons to Remove a Nonprofit Board member

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

For an organization to prosper, it requires an active Board of Directors. The Milliken Institute highlights the 5 T’s of philanthropy in how Board members and donors support a nonprofit with time, talent, treasure, ties, and testimony. On occasion, Twokin Consulting has found it apprroaite to replace an ineffective member on a nonprofit board. Potential situations include:

Non-participation or poor attendance: Board members are expected to attend meetings and actively participate in your organization's decision making. If a board member is consistently missing meetings or not engaging in the work of the board, it may be appropriate to replace them. Perhaps their interests and time commitment have changes.

Conflict of interest: Since joining your board, if a board member now has a personal or financial interest that conflicts with your organization's mission or the best interests of the organization, it may be appropriate to replace them.

Violation of policies or standards: If a board member violates your organization's policies or ethical standards, it may be appropriate to replace them. A common policy that is violated is confidentially of key discussion by decisions by the Board. At a prior institution that worked with Twokin Consulting, it often took only a few hours for one of the Board members to share updates of discussions and conversations with staff members they had a close relationship with. Such behavior is not appropriate.

Inability to fulfill responsibilities: If a board member is unable to fulfill their responsibilities as outlined in the bylaws or as agreed upon by the board, it may be appropriate to replace them.

Lack of skills or expertise: If a board member's skills or expertise are no longer needed or if they are not able to fulfill the role that supported their invitation to the Board, it may be appropriate to replace them.

Board diversity: If your organization's needs or mission has changed or the community has changed and the current board does not reflect the diversity of the community it serves, it may be appropriate to replace a member with someone who better aligns with the diversity of the community.

Twokin Consulting would recommend that that removing a board member from a nonprofit board should only be done with careful consideration, following established procedures, and with the best interests of the organization in mind.

Twokin Consulting specializes in helping supporting colleges, universities, and nonprofits organizations in brainstorming strategies and ideas for improving operations.


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