Nonprofit Board Member Manuals - What Should You Include?
When you have a board of directors, it is always a good idea to have a Board Member Manual. A Manual is a great tool for board members to use when they need quick and easy access to critical information about the organization. It compiles important documents into one binder, so they don't waste time and energy looking for what they need in several files or locations.
Most board member manuals include some or all of the following sections:
1. Governing documents - this section generally includes the organization's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws; vision statement, core values, and mission statement; and strategic plan. You can also include the organization's regular and personnel policies and procedures, or you can elect to put these documents in a separate section.
2. Board member documents - this section generally includes the board member roster, with term expiration dates; the board member job application and job description; the conflict of interest statement; and a description of the board committees. If your nonprofit organization has a board member self-evaluation tool, then I would include it in this section.
3. Staff member documents - this section generally includes the staff member roster, job descriptions for all positions, and the annual staff member performance evaluation tool.
4. Programs and services documents - this section generally includes a description of each of the organization's programs and services, their respective eligibility criteria and fees (if applicable), program/service reports, etc.
5. Policies and procedures documents - this section generally includes the organization's regular and personnel policies and procedures. Or, you could include these documents under the "Governing Documents" section above.
6. Financial documents - this section generally includes the organization's annual budget, profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, trial balance sheet, and other financial documents. You could also include the last audit, and any recommendations, if applicable.
7. Board meeting documents - this section generally includes the board meeting agendas and minutes, and other documents distributed at board meetings. Manuals for new board members should include the last 6-12 months of meeting agendas and minutes, to provide a history of the issues with which the board has been dealing.
8. Other documents - this section generally includes other important documents not identified above (e.g., annual report).
Although there is a small expense involved in purchasing three ring binders and section dividers for your board member manuals, it is well worth it. The end result is that you have a manual for your board members to consult when they need important information about the organization. Plus, with all of these documents in one place, it saves your board members valuable time and energy.
Copyright 2010 © Sharon L. Mikrut, All rights reserved.