board of directors responsibility by bmark1


									Responsibilities:                                     Board Member Job Description                             getting tentative commitments from people for
Board of Directors                                                                                             board service next year, or the year after that.
                                                        Keep the whole thing to no more than one and
                                                        one half pages.                                        Make sure that prospective board members know
  Keeps the organization’s mission, values, and
                                                                                                               exactly what is expected of them ― and what
  vision out front.
                                                        There’s no complete boilerplate job description        they can expect from the organization ― before
  Long range planning for the organization.
                                                        that you can merely insert your organization’s         you offer them a position.
  Monitors fiscal management and maintains
  accountability to funders and donors.                 name in. You need to develop your own.
                                                                                                               Orient new board members carefully. Be sure
  Review and approves the annual budget, major
                                                        Here are some things that should be covered:           the President and Executive Director spend time
  program plans, and organizational policies.
                                                        • A general description of the Board’s                 individually with new board members after they
  Ensure the adequate resources are available to
                                                            responsibility.                                    have been elected and before their first meeting
  the organization.
                                                        • A description of how the board works.                to bring them up to speed. Have board manuals
  Evaluates the organizational effectiveness.
                                                        • A list of responsibilities of the individual         ready to give to new members which includes:
  Hires and evaluates the executive director.
  Represents public need and interest within the            board members.                                      • Articles of incorporation
  organization.                                         • A very specific list of the approximate time          • Bylaws
  Represents the organization to the public,                requirements of board service----how many           • Annual budget
  especially to sources of financial support.               meetings, how many hours per month, and             • Most recent monthly financial statements
                                                            special obligations like retreats or                • Minutes of the last 2-4 board meetings
Responsibilities:                                           fundraising events.                                 • List of board members with addresses and
                                                                                                                    phone numbers
Individual Directors
                                                        Use the board member job description as a tool          • List of staff by function
  Participate actively in meetings and decision-        in recruiting new board members. A good job             • Program descriptions
  making.                                               description enables prospective members to
  Asks questions!                                       assess realistically whether they can make the         Give board members real work to do, and give
  Be well informed about what the organization          commitment your organization expects.                  them the information and support they need to
  does and how it does it, and about the                                                                       get it done.
  environment in which the agency operates.             Review the job description every couple of years
  Promote the organization’s purpose and                and revise it as necessary. It is only useful          Run meetings well ― publish agendas ahead of
  programs in the community.                            insofar as it reflects reality.                        time, start and stop on time, keep discussion
  Give to the organization.                                                                                    crisp and focused.
                                                      Getting and Keeping
What a Board of Directors                             Good Board Members                                    Characteristics of
Does Not Do                                                                                                 Effective Boards
                                                        Never elect a board member who does not have
  Hire, evaluate, or fire staff other than the          an active commitment to the purpose of your         Diversity. The board as a whole contains differences
  executive director.                                   organization. Keep the vision out front.            in talents, skills, experience, interest, and social
  Approve individual bills for payment.                                                                     background.
  Involve itself with the organization’s day-to-day     Assess annually the particular knowledge, skills,
  operations.                                           experiences, and connections needed on the          Structure. The board is organized in such a way
  As individual or committees, issue instructions       board for this stage of the organization’s          that individuals and committees assume a proper and
  that represent changes in fiscal, personnel, or       development.                                        active role in its functions.
  program policies without formal action having
  been taken by the full board.                         Recruit constantly. Build a pool of potential       Member Involvement. Members demonstrate a
                                                        board members---prospects who have survived         high degree of interest in their role and
                                                        an initial screening. Planning ahead means
responsibilities and are genuinely concerned about       possible. After that, even the best board member
the organization’s problems and prospects.               needs to take at least a year off.

Knowledge. Members are well informed about the           Meetings  We recommend monthly, or at least          Developing an
                                                                                                               Effective Board
organization’s operation and about the social forces     bimonthly meetings. It is very difficult to keep a
that are affecting service delivery.                     board engaged if it meets only quarterly.

Rapport. Members of the board have mutual
respect, regardless of the differences of opinion, and
                                                         Duration is another issue. A well organized, well
                                                         functioning board should be able to conduct its
                                                                                                                 of Directors
maintain a productive working relationship with one      business in one to one and half hours, except under
another and with the executive director.                 special circumstances. Two hours stretches the
                                                         patience and attention giving capacity of most
Sensitivity. The board is representative of, and         people. Three hours means the board as a whole is
sensitive to, different constituencies and viewpoints.   bogging down by doing what should be committee
Sense of Priorities. Board members are concerned
with important and long range issues, not trivial        Committees  Every board needs committees which
matters.                                                 should get their charges from the full board, study
                                                         issues and problems, examine alternatives and come
Direction. The president is respected and is strong      back to the board with recommendations for action.                                 ®
and skilled in making certain that various points of     Committees also need staff support. Many boards
view are expressed in reaching satisfactory decisions.   have too many committees. Evaluate the real need
                                                         areas and eliminate committees that are no longer
Strength. The board is strong enough to achieve          necessary.
effective policy decisions.                                                                                              NATIONAL
                                                         Decision Makers  Every board needs to be clear
Financial Support. The board contains a reasonable       about how it will make decisions. There is no right             COALITION
number of members who obtain financial support for       answer, and the decision making pattern can change
the organization.                                        as the organization evolves. A founding board may                  for
                                                         need to work from consensus. A clear decision
Accomplishment. The board has genuine sense of           making style is helpful in making committee
progress and achievement and members gain
satisfaction from their service.
                                                         structures work. We recommend the board follow
                                                         standard parliamentary procedures. Use Robert’s
                                                         Rules of Order, Newly Revised as your reference.
Some Structure Issues About
Board of Directors                                       References
                                                                                                                       333 ½ Pennsylvania Ave., SE
                                                         The Effective Nonprofit Board: Responsibilities &
Size  Some insist that any board more than nine                                                                          Washington, DC 20003
                                                         Recruitment, by Ann Lehman and Robert
members is dysfunctional. We recommend 12-18.                                                                     Phone 202-546-1969/Fax 202-546-2063
                                                         Zimmerman. Visit
                                                                                                               Toll Free: 800-VET-HELP/Fax 888-233-8582
Terms of Office  No one should stay on a board                                                                           Email:
forever. It usually takes more than a year for a board                                                                Website:
member to get up a full head of steam and find out
how they can best contribute. We recommend
staggered three-year terms, with one reelection

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