Confusion can arise because the words "executive" and "director" occur both in this title and in those of various members of some organizations' Board of directors. The precise meanings of these terms are discussed in the Board of Directors section of the article on Board of Directors.
The role of the Executive Director is to design, develop and implement strategic plans for the organization in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner. The Executive Director is also responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization. This includes managing committees and staff as well as developing business plans in collaboration with the board. In essence, the board grants the Executive Director the authority to run the organization. The Executive Director is accountable to the Chairman of the Board and reports to the board on a regular basis - quarterly, semiannually, or annually. The board may offer suggestions and ideas about how to improve the organization, but the Executive Director decides whether or not, and how, to implement these ideas.
The Executive Director is a
- Policy vs. Paper Clips: Selling the Corporate Model to Your Nonprofit Board, Eugene H. Fram with Vicki Brown, 1995, 2nd Edition, Families International, Milwaukee, WI
- Charles W. L. Hill, and Gareth R. Jones, (2001) Strategic Management. Houghton Mifflin.
As the title suggests, the Executive Director needs to be informed of everything that goes on in the organization. This includes staff, membership, budget, company assets, and all other company resources, to help make the best use of them and raise the organization's profitability and profile.