FAQs > GOVERNANCE > EMPLOYEES ON NONPROFIT BOARDS
Can employees serve on nonprofit boards?
Yes, it is legal for an employee to serve on the board or an organization at which employed.
However, it is not generally considered a best practice for nonprofit organizations.
SCANPO’s Guiding Principle on Governance, Core Element 3 states “The Board appoints and empowers a chief executive officer, through whom it directs the organization, its achievements and conduct." and suggests as a Best Practice that the board “Give clear and consistent direction to the chief executive officer, who works for the board as a whole, not for the board chairman or the executive committee."
It's tough to delineate roles when you have one or more people having both roles. I will, however, note that in all-volunteer organizations, the Board is typically the unpaid staff of the organization. There, when I train those groups, I strongly emphasize that Board members have to be very clear about when they are acting as Board and when as staff.