The board of directors has four primary responsibilities:
- Mission: create a clear, succinct mission statement that expresses the organization’s core values and reason for being and revisit this mission regularly, revising if necessary
- Oversight: establish appropriate checks and balances to ensure the organization is well managed and its mission is carried out
- Resource development: ensure the organization has the financial and human resources it needs to fulfill its mission
- Outreach: connect with the external community to promote the organization’s mission, values, and programs (e.g. through recruiting new board members, volunteers, and donors; expanding the organization’s network of supporters)
Each director plays a critical role in contributing to the overall board responsibilities described above. More specifically, board members are expected to meet the following obligations:
Mission and Outreach
- Support and actively promote the organization’s mission.
- Ensure that the organization accomplishes its strategic goals.
- Serve as an ambassador and represent the organization accurately and positively in the community.
- Stay informed about the organization’s current programs and issues.
- Participate in the organization’s activities by attending programs.
Meetings and Training
- Attend all board meetings, be well prepared, and participate fully in all matters.
- Serve on assigned board committees; attend, be well prepared, and participate fully in committee meetings.
- As a new board member, attend a new board member orientation.
- Assist with the organization’s fundraising efforts by working on fundraising activities including identifying and cultivating relationships with potential donors.
- Support the organization’s annual giving program by giving as generously as possible.
- Attend fundraising events.
- Recognize that all board members have fiduciary responsibility to the organization for sound financial management as well as legal and ethical oversight.
- Complete the annual evaluation of the executive director.
- Complete the annual board evaluation.
15 Review and approve all necessary operational and governance policies; ensure they are adhered to.
- Assist with the identification and recruitment of new board members.
In addition, all board members agree to:
- Serve up to six years. ( usually three two year terms).
- When requested, introduce your personal and professional networks to the organization to provide the organization with needed funding and professional expertise.
- Act in good faith, making decisions that are in the best interest of the organization.
- Keep all board deliberations and documents confidential, as defined by the organization’s Confidentiality Policy.
- Accept and support board decisions. Once a decision has been made, the board speaks with one voice.
- Recognize that authority is vested in the board as a whole. A board member who learns of an issue of importance to the organization has the obligation to bring it to the board chair and the executive director and must refrain from responding to the situation individually.
- Understand that the board sets policies and focuses on long-range and strategic issues. An individual board member should not become directly involved in specific management, personnel, or program issues.
- Guard against conflict of interest, whether personal or business-related, as defined by the organization’s Conflict of Interest Policy.