Let’s get real for a minute. Stepping into the shoes of a nonprofit board member can feel like embarking on a complex journey, where the path isn’t always clear and at times, it can be downright overwhelming. Many newcomers to the role underestimate the breadth of responsibilities awaiting them, and many organizations do a poor job of painting a clear picture of what it really means to serve on a nonprofit board. 

From overseeing finances to shaping strategic direction, the duties can seem all-consuming. The majority of board members serving on nonprofit boards nationwide have day jobs, families, and life beyond board service. How can we make it easier for all board members to fulfill the long list of responsibilities staring them in the face?

Over the past few years I’ve begun introducing my clients to the idea of an annual board checklist and calendar. Think of it like a reliable compass in uncharted territory. These tools provide structure and guidance, ensuring that important tasks don’t slip through the cracks, even as board members come and go. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Consistency is key to laying a strong foundation for the organization’s continued success, no matter who’s at the helm. Below are a handful of items to get you started:

  1. Schedule and prepare for the annual board meeting.
  2. Review and approve CEO/executive director’s performance and compensation.
  3. Schedule and prepare for the annual board meeting.
  4. Assess the board’s performance and effectiveness.
  5. Approve the annual budget and Form 990.
  6. Elect or appoint new board members and officers, if necessary.
  7. Evaluate and update board policies and bylaws, if needed.
  8. Review and approve the annual budget and monitor financial performance throughout the year.
  9. Review and approve audited financial statement, as applicable.
  10. Complete and sign any forms required by the agency (conflict of interest policy and disclosure, board member commitment agreement, etc.)

What else would you add?

Hat Tip to Your Success,

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