Every 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization must have a Board of Directors. The number varies state to state. The Board is responsible financially and ethically for the organization.
The most important qualification for a good Director is that he or she believe in the mission of the organization. They don’t have to have nonprofit experience, or have any special knowledge of the area in which the nonprofit operates, but they should have a genuine commitment to seeing the organization achieve its goals.
Some people choose family members and friends to sit on the Board because it is convenient to recruit them. This is a bad idea on two counts. One, the IRS may delay or deny your application if the Board includes too many family members. Second, family and friends rarely make effective directors.
Your Bylaws will indicate how many directors can be on the Board. It is best to express this in a range of odd numbers, such as three to five, or five to eleven. Having an odd number on your Board makes it easier to get a quorum to Board meetings.