Board Resignation Letter

Last Updated: April 26, 2024

Board Resignation Letter

Since you are a member of the board of directors– be it a private company, non-profit organization or even an educational institution, you have an important and significant role to play. The responsibilities that come with such an important position can be demanding and can even intrude an individual’s personal life. No matter the countless benefits and privileges that being a member of the board brings, it is still acceptable to leave before your term even ends.

A member of the board of directors is elected officials that oversee the major decisions and actions that a firm/organization wants to take. He/ she has a great influence in the final say on key activities of the organization. However, as the famous quote goes, “With great power comes great responsibility,” it is quite understandable if a board member gracefully exits his position for various personal reasons. You may also see Simple Resignation Letters.

Reasons for Resigning from the Board

As there can be countless of reasons to stay, there can also be countless reasons to leave. Here are a few reasons why a board member comes to a decision to resign from the board: You may also see Relocation Resignation Letters

1. Personal or professional reasons

Although being a member of the board of directors is a major upgrade from having a normal desk job, the stress that comes with it can sometimes be too exhausting. Personal and professional reasons are usually easily accepted because of their benign nature. If a member decides to resign due to professional reasons (such as not being able to see himself fit for the position long-term) or personal reasons (deciding to prioritize family matters), then it is highly acceptable for that member to step down. You may also see Official Resignation Letters.

2. Unethical behavior

All members of the board are given important responsibilities to help the company achieve its goals and objectives. It is important that the members are trustworthy and put the firm’s welfare before their own. If a member is caught doing an unethical action which is prohibited not only by the company but by most companies in general, it can bring negative attention to the firm’s shareholders and stakeholders. To prevent the company from further having a negative reputation, the said member should be advised to resign or be dismissed immediately.

3. Impending company bankruptcy

Sometimes a reason for resigning can be due to the company facing an impending bankruptcy. Some members of the board of directors want to get out before it’s too late. Sometimes when a firm or organization is facing financial woes, it can no longer provide D&O liability insurance, an insurance meant to reimburse to the directors or officers of a firm for losses or advancement of defense costs in the event an insured suffers such a loss. You may also see Temporary Job Resignation Letter Examples

4. Differences in opinion or direction

This is probably the most common why members of the board resign. Though differences in opinion can be a good thing, it can sometimes affect the productivity of the firm. It can slow down important decision-making, affecting the overall productivity of the company. Although it is expected that members of the board debate on major policies, a conclusion has to be made eventually and the decision should be respected by all board members. However, if a member is still convinced that the decisions are not good enough, it is better not to cause unnecessary drama and just resign. You may also see Acknowledge Resignation Letter.

5. Failure to achieve company goals

Sometimes a member of the board is placed in such a position to help achieve the organization’s short-term and long-term goals. However, when the goals or objectives are not achieved on a consistent basis, then it is probably high time to submit a resignation letter.

How to Resign from the Board

1. Examine honestly your motives

Resigning from the board can be tough decision to make. Giving some time to fully assess your reasons for resigning can let you weigh the pros and cons of your decision. Assess your performance inside and outside the boardroom. Also, assess if you have been able to fulfill your responsibilities or if you are more interested in your own commitments outside the boardroom. If you prefer the latter, it is best to give the position to a more dedicated and more interested person. You may also see Job Resignation Letter.

2. Examine board interactions and decisions

It may be best for a member of the board to resign if he finds himself not supporting the firm’s decisions because of the lack of trust in the company’s marketing strategy or direction. This can only mean that you have a different vision statement from the other board members and that you may feel like it’s inhibiting the growth of the organization.

3. Voice out your concerns

Voice out your concerns to the board chairperson, executive director or the entire board of directors. It is best to discuss the reasons why you’re contemplating your resignation. It can also be through proper discussion where issues can still be resolved (if possible). After discussions have been made, if you still stand by your decision it is best to just go on ahead and prepare for the process of resignation. You may also see What is a Resignation Letters.

4. The resignation process

Before turning in your letter, make sure that you already have carefully studied the organization’s resignation policies and/or by-laws. Some by-laws may require a vote from the entire board regarding a member’s resignation. Notify the board chair first, the executive director next, and the whole board last. It is usually required to have the resignation in writing 60 days prior to the exact date of resignation.

How to Write a Board Resignation Letter

1. Keep a professional format

Since being a member of the board means you hold such an important position in the organization, it is only right to write in a professional tone in your resignation letter. The letter is usually addressed to the entire board, the chairperson or a  combination of the two. When writing the resignation letter, follow a business format or when you decide to send in an email, use a professional email address and include your contact information in the email signature.

2. Give the exact date

As in any resignation letter, it is imperative to include the exact date you wish to step down from your post. It is best to turn in your letter two weeks or depending on the organization’s by-laws before the date you wish to resign. This will help the organization have an ample amount of time to prepare necessary papers and actions before your exit. You may also see reference Letter Example.

3. Briefly discuss the reason

Your resignation from the board can have a big impact on the organization, and it is only right to give the board an acceptable reason why you’re resigning. However, you do not need to get into full detail. You can briefly say it’s due to a family emergency or that you have a new project which will take up most of your time. Keep your letter short and straight to the point. You may also see Email Resignation.

4. Express your gratefulness

The time you have spent as a member of the board has surely taught you a couple of skills and techniques that you can use in your new endeavor. Say a few words of thanks for the experiences and opportunities you have gained while being a member of the board. Use this as an avenue to wish the board good luck and keep the positive relationship you have built over the course of your term.

5. Offer a hand

As your resignation will leave a gap in the board, offer to help with the transition of the new board member. You can offer to train the new board member and help with the transition responsibilities. However, only offer when you know you actually have spare time to help.

6. Proofread and edit

You don’t want to sound so eager to get out the job and a few errors in your letter can be interpreted as you being hasty. Review your letter and proofread in order to spot and correct errors. A well-polished letter makes a good last impression.

Board Resignation Letter Example

File Format
  • PDF

Size: 179 KB


In conclusion, a lot of factors can affect a member’s decision to resign from the board. Whatever it may be, it can directly or indirectly affect the firm or organization as a whole. If a resignation is the best route to take after carefully studying the factors in play, it is still best to exit graciously and without malice. Keep a positive outlook and show appreciation to the entire board for the opportunities they have given to your career.

Resignation Letter Maker

Text prompt

Add Tone

Compose a resignation letter for a teacher leaving to pursue further education

Develop a resignation letter for a school librarian retiring after years of service.