My recent election to the Board of Directors for a local nonprofit organization has inspired me to think more about the boards of nonprofit organization.  Check out this post that announces my new position with Trusted Mentors.  You may also want to check out this other post about fundraising and a nonprofit board.

Today, I’m interested in identifying key information for board orientation.  I recommend providing the following information to any new board member…

General Organizational Information

  • Bylaws and other founding documents
  • Mission and Vision Statements
  • Organizational Chart with Staff Details
  • Strategic Plan and other supporting documents

Board Information

  • Job Description for Board Members, with expectations and responsibilities
  • Board Structure, with job descriptions for positions and committees
  • Contact list for all Board Members, including position, term length, and preferred communication
  • Meeting minutes from the past twelve months

Scheduling Information

  • Upcoming dates, times, and locations for board meetings
  • Important dates for the organization, including special events, press conferences, etc.

Financial Information

  • Financial reports from (at least) the last twelve months
  • Most recent audited financial statements
  • Financial policies, covering budgeting, auditing, investing, and other financial activities

Other Critical Information

  • Any and all executive policies, approved (or pending approval) by the Board
  • Sample of marketing materials (including brochures, donor/volunteer correspondence, media coverage, etc.)
  • Sample of case expressions (i.e. reasoning for supporting the organization)

General Nonprofit Information

  • Concise comparison between nonprofit and for-profit corporation models
  • Brief overview of nonprofit sector
  • Identification of other nonprofits that are relevant to the organization’s activities
  • List of free resources about nonprofits

What other information should be provided to new board members?!?  Please leave a comment with your ideas!

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