Can spouses or family members of Board or staff serve on boards?
Answered by: Sharon Thomas

It is not advisable for a majority of board members to be related by blood, marriage, or business relationships. (The exception would be in the case of a Private Foundation.)

The IRS asks in the form 990 if any board members are related by blood, marriage, or business, so it must be disclosed, if there are such relationships.

It is most certainly not advisable for a board member to be related to a staff member by blood, marriage, or business. For example, the Board hires the CEO and decides her salary. It would not do for her spouse to sit on the Board and be involved in that decision. How could that board member ever vote to fire the CEO, if it came to that? Even if the staff member in question is not the CEO, but is hired by the CEO, how could the CEO ever fire that staff member when that staff member’s spouse is on the Board?

Many Nonprofits include anti-nepotism clauses in their personnel policies to prevent this very thing.