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Board Development FAQ

Is a board necessary?
Many factors affect the answer to the question. Being incorporated is probably a good idea; corporations usually have boards. [link]

What are the roles and responsibilities of board and staff members?
There are a variety of views about the roles and responsibilities of a board of directors and most of these views share common themes. This document attempts to portray those themes by depicting various views. [link]

Are sample job descriptions for officers of nonprofit boards available?
A guideline for the creation of job descriptions for officers of the board. [link]

Does an NPO really need a treasurer?
In a volunteer-based organization, the treasurer may actually keep the books. In larger organizations, the role changes and the office may become less necessary. [link]

What are the legal and insurance consideration for board members?
Help for groups considering legal protection for directors and the organization. [link]

Should an executive director be a member of the board?
Most for-profit corporations have their CEOs (Chief Executive Officer) as the Chair of the Board. Should the same apply for nonprofit organizations? [link]

How do we recruit and train new board members?
The Free Management Library offers guidelines and forms to recruit and train board members [link]

Should new board members receive an orientation?
Outlines a comprehensive orientation process for new board members. It describes group sessions, board orientation manual, audiovisual and multimedia materials, mentors and a three-month check-up. [link]

What materials should be included in a board member orientation packet?
You can shorten their learning curve and make newcomers to your board feel involved more quickly by giving new directors an orientation packet before they come to their first board meeting. [link]

How can board members assess themselves?
An evaluative checklist to be used either at the mid or end of a board member's term, in preparation for a second term or as a retirement interview tool. [link]

Can a single board member wield too much power?
They can, and it's delicate to deal with the problem, but not necessarily evidence of corruption. [link]

How do we remove an unwanted board member?
Removing an unwanted board member can sometimes be messy. Here are some guidelines for removing a member from the board. [link]

How do we safeguard against conflict of interest?
Nonprofit board members are likely to be affiliated with many organizations in their communities, both on a professional and a personal basis, so it is not unusual for actual or potential conflict of interest to arise. [link]

Do boards ever fire executive directors?
Understand more about whether and how organizations ever fire their executive directors.[link]

How do we evaluate our board meetings?
A tool designed to assist in the review and evaluation of a board meetings. [link]

What is an advisory board?
Very simply put, an advisory group is a collection of individuals who bring unique knowledge and skills to complement the knowledge and skills in a more official group, such as a Board of Directors. [link]

Do nonprofit board meetings have to be open to the public?
If there are any external rules about this, they will be found in state law or funding requirements. [link]

Can a board meet by conference call?
Laws vary from state to state. A compilation of the laws in 1999 is available through this link. [link]

Can a board meet online?
Nonprofits can use the Internet/Web to conduct board and staff meetings. Here are some guidelines for organizing and facilitating these meetings [link]

Should staff attend board meetings?
Strong statements of competing views [link]

What is "Founder's Syndrome"?
'Founder's Syndrome' occurs when a nonprofit operates according to the personality of the chief executive or board, rather than according to its overall mission. [link]