The ED/BOD Relationship

Simply by the nature of non-profit governance, the Board of Directors (BOD) will spend more time interacting with the Executive Director (ED) (or Chief Executive Officer/CEO) than any other staff member, and the Executive Director will spend a significant amount of time with the board. In fact, the Code of Federal Regulations dictates that a CHC’s Board of Directors is responsible for hiring and, if necessary, firing the Executive Director for the organization. The following resources should help the BOD successfully meet this responsibility while creating an effective relationship with the ED.

Please click or scroll down for:
Division of Roles
Hiring Executive Directors, including:

Evaluating Executive Directors
Transitioning Executive Directors


Understanding the breakdown of board roles vs. staff roles is critical to making sure that the organization is running efficiently as a team.

  • Please visit the CHC Board Roles & Responsibilities page for federally-regulated BOD roles.
  • Click HERE for a printable Agency Functions and the Delineation of Board/Staff Roles and Responsibilities worksheet.
  • Click HERE for a Board and CEO Division of Responsiblities chart.
  • Click HERE for BoardSource’s publication, Building the Governance Partnership: The Chief Executive’s Guide to Getting the Best from the Board.


Choosing a strong and effective Executive Director is one of the most important roles a Board of Directors has. However, finding someone with leadership skills, interpersonal abilities, strong strategic thinking and management skills, as well as experience with nonprofit healthcare, can be a daunting task. The following resources will help the board focus on hiring needs, developing or updating job descriptions, finding qualified candidates, and determining appropriate salary levels.

Sample CHC ED/CEO Job Descriptions:

How do you find an Executive Director?
Resume and job posting sites like,, and have been useful for health centers. Additionally, the sites below are known for their focus on nonprofits, medical organizations, and health centers.

Community Health Association Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS)
Job Opportunities Bank (JOB) listing openings at Region VIII CHCs Nonprofit Job Board
Listing fundraising, midlevel, and executive positions for nonprofit, education, healthcare, and public organizations

Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
Career Center

National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
Job Board

How much should you pay an Executive Director?
Executive Director salaries range depending on location, size of the organization, number of service sites, years of experience, and more. The following resources may be useful for determining the appropriate salary range.

CEO Update
2023 CEO Salary Guide

Community Health Association Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS)
CHAMPS Region VIII Health Center Salary Survey Reports

Economic Research Institute
Nonprofit salary assessor for small organizations

National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
2017-2018 Health Center Salary and Benefits Report

Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
Management Compensation Survey

For more executive hiring information, visit these online resources:

Free Management Library
Guidelines for Hiring/Transitioning to a New Chief Executive in Nonprofit or For-Profit Corporations

Popular Government Article, Summer 2000
Hiring a Director for a Nonprofit Agency: A Step-by-Step Guide


Please visit the Evaluation and Assessment page to review and download tools for evaluating an Executive Director.


The following online resources can help Boards of Directors, as well as currently serving Executive Directors, prepare for leadership change.

Shortage Decade: Where Will the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders Come From?

Health Resources and Services Administration
Sample Succession Planning Manual
Sample Succession Planning Policy
Sample Succession Planning Work-plan

National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
CEO and Senior Executive Compensation – Legal Considerations for Health Centers (Governance Legal Brief 3)

Tools, ideas, and services to strengthen organizations during leadership change