Nonprofit Skills: Fulfilling Legal Obligations as a Board Member

The law not only requires all nonprofit organizations to have a board of directors; it also identifies critical duties that boards must fulfill. As is the case for for-profit boards, nonprofit boards have a duty to act in the shareholder’s interests; but for a nonprofit, the shareholders are the members of the public that the organization serves. Board members have three primary legal duties: the duty of care, the duty of loyalty and the duty of obedience. If a nonprofit causes harm by an act or omission, the organization or even individual officers or employees may be liable. This course explores the legal obligations of nonprofit board members, key legal concepts that board members should understand, and the risks and limits of liability.

This course can be applied to the Nonprofit Skills: Board Fundamentals Certificate.


Online Expert Instruction

This course has an “Ask the Expert” feature, which submits your questions directly to an expert in the field you are studying. Questions are answered as quickly as possible, usually within 24 hours.

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the role of the board in fulfilling nonprofit legal obligations.
  • Differentiate between the three primary legal duties of nonprofit boards: duty of care, duty of loyalty and duty of obedience.
  • Describe best practices for fulfilling the primary legal duties of nonprofit boards.
  • Distinguish between different tax-exempt classifications and their legal implications.
  • Explain key federal, state and local laws regulating nonprofits.
  • Describe the role of the board in ensuring compliance with all relevant rules and regulations.
  • Explain the consequences of failing to comply with laws and regulations, and describe best practices for protecting the board from legal liability.

Key Features

  • Mobile-friendly
  • Audio-enabled
  • Badge and credit-awarding
  • Real-world case studies
  • Fully accessible
  • Games and flashcards
  • Expert-supported
  • Video content


Learners must achieve an average test score of at least 70% to meet the minimum successful completion requirement and qualify to receive IACET CEUs.

Date: Open enrollment – Register anytime

Delivery Method: On-Demand Online

Platform: Other

Instructor: Online Expert Instruction

Fee: $79

CEUs: .3

Program Number: 7350-15823

Register Now


Join Our Email List

Get the latest on courses and certificates in your areas of interest.