When you find that it’s time for you to resign a board position, it’s important to do so with a professional letter or email. While most board positions are unpaid, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t compensated, either through contacts you have made, or opportunities you may have found along the way.
Being on a board can be valuable for your resume, as it shows your willingness to be involved, and your interest in affecting change in the community.
You should treat this resignation as you would a resignation from any job. If you fail to resign professionally, all of the professional gains you have made from being on the board will be diminished. Plus, if you do not provide notice you're doing a disservice to fellow board members and the organization.
Tips for Resigning from a Board
Be professional. You should treat this resignation as you would a resignation from any other organization. Send a letter in business letter format to the director of the board or organization. You might instead choose to send an email. If you do this, be sure to use a professional email address, and include your contact information in your signature.
Give an end date. As with any resignation letter, clearly, state the date you are resigning. Try to give the director as much notice as possible. It's possible that the nonprofit has bylaws that outline recommended notice time for resigning.
Explain (briefly). You do not need to go into detail, but briefly explain why you are resigning. You might simply say it is due to a family emergency, or perhaps you have a new job that will occupy most of your time. However, do not go into too much detail; keep the letter short and to the point.
Say thank you. Use this opportunity to thank the other members for the experience and offer your continuing best wishes for the endeavor. As with any resignation, you will want to keep the tone very positive, regardless of the circumstances surrounding your leaving, given that you may find yourself interacting with other members at some time in the future.
Offer to help. If possible, offer to continue to help the organization in another (less time-consuming) capacity, or offer to help finish up any projects you are currently working on. Only include this if you actually have the time to help out.
Proofread and edit. Again, this is a professional document, and you want to make your last impression as impressive as your first. Therefore, make sure your letter is well edited. Read through for any spelling or grammar errors before sending it.
Board Resignation Letter Example
This is an example of a board resignation letter. Download the board resignation letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Board Resignation Letter Example (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
March 29, 2021
Joseph Short Director
The Art Foundation
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
It is with regret that I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign my position on the Board of The Art Foundation, effective immediately.
My other commitments have become too great for me to be able to fulfill the requirements of my position on the Board, and I feel it is best for me to make room for someone with the time and energy to devote to the job.
It has been a pleasure being a part of the Art Foundation board. I am so proud of all we have accomplished in the past five years, and I have no doubt the board will continue these successes in the future.
If I can be of any assistance during the time it will take to fill the position, please don't hesitate to ask.
Jeanette Smythe (signature hard copy letter)
Board Resignation Email Message Example
It’s often more convenient to send your resignation via email. Make sure you use a subject that will make clear what the email contains, so it’s given appropriate priority.
Board Resignation Email Message Example
Subject: Board Resignation
It has been my pleasure to serve with you on the board of the Nutrition Council. You have given us strong leadership, and I’ve enjoyed working with you for the last three years. I am sure that the goals we have set will be easily attained by the dedicated and talented members of this board.
That said, I feel that it is time for me to resign my position, and focus on some other areas of my career. Please consider my resignation effective the last day of our fiscal year, June 30, 2021. Until such time, I am happy to continue to participate in the committees I am working with, and will also help to catch my replacement up to speed.
You may have some prospects in mind to consider for the position I am leaving, but if you would like my input on a candidate to take my place, please don’t hesitate to ask.
How to Send Your Email Resignation
Here's more detail about how to send your email message including what to include, proofing, double-checking that you have all the information you need, and sending a test message.