Sample Contents of Board Member’s Manual

Sections of this topic

    Sample Contents of Board Member’s Manual

    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Also see Carter’s Board Blog (for for-profits and nonprofits).

    Vast majority of content in this topic applies to for-profits and nonprofits. This book also covers this topic.

    Developing, Operating and Restoring Your Nonprofit Board - Book Cover

    Contents of board policies manuals may differ somewhat among different organizations, depending on the needs and nature of the organization. Regardless of the content, manuals should be provided to each Board member. This manual greatly helps to orient and train new Board members, and ensure efficient organization and access to these materials. The following items are certainly not required for all manuals, but provide handy reference for consideration by each organization about what to include in their manuals.

    Charter Documents

    Articles of Incorporation (if applicable)
    IRS letter granting 501(c)(3) status (nonprofit-specific)
    (other exemptions from taxes) (nonprofit-specific)
    Licenses and Permits
    Registration for Solicitation (nonprofit-specific)

    Strategic Plan Document

    Mission, Vision and Values Statements
    Goals and Strategies
    Action Planning (objectives, responsibilities, timelines, etc.)
    Status Reports

    Bylaws and Policies

    Board Bylaws
    Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct (including conflict-of-interest policy)
    Board Meeting Attendance Policy
    Guidelines for Recruiting, Orienting, Informing and Removing Members
    Guidelines for Evaluating Board
    Guidelines for Evaluation Chief Executive Officer

    Board Organization and Membership
    Organization Chart of Board
    Roles and Responsibilities of Board
    Job Descriptions of Board Officers and Other Members
    Board Committees and Charters
    List of Board Members (their organizations, contact information, etc.)
    Board Member Biographies

    Board Operations
    Board Calendar
    Work Plans (“to-do” list for each Board Committee)
    Board Meeting Agendas and Minutes
    Committee Meeting Agendas and Minutes
    Reports from Chief Executive

    Description of Programs, Products and Services

    Service Objectives (nonprofit-specific)
    Income Objectives
    Evaluation Results

    Marketing and Promotions
    Marketing and Promotions Plan
    Market Analyses
    Positioning Statement
    Brochures, articles, etc.

    FINANCE/FUNDRAISING (fundraising is nonprofit-specific)

    Financial Management

    Fiscal Policies
    Internal Control Policies (bookkeeping controls)
    Collections for Accounts Past Due
    Tracking In-Kind Donations (nonprofit-specific)
    Tracking Volunteer Hours (nonprofit-specific)
    Travel Reimbursements
    Other Reimbursements

    Financial Records/Data
    Yearly Budget
    Budget Narrative
    Cash Flow Reports
    Program Budgets
    Financial Statements
    Financial Analysis
    Audit Reports

    Fundraising (nonprofit-specific)

    Fundraising Plan
    Lists of Sources
    Lists of Donors
    Fundraising Reports

    Interview Guidelines
    Scripts (for reference during interviews)
    Listing of Major Stakeholders and Contacts
    Public Event Planning

    Staff Organization and Data

    Organization Chart
    Job Descriptions
    Staff Address List
    Staff Information Form

    Personnel (Staff) Policies and Procedures
    Benefits and Compensation
    Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct
    Conference Room Layout / Reserving Rooms
    Diversity Plan
    Dress Code
    During Chief Executive’s Absence
    In Case of Fire
    Forms to Check Out Keys
    Use of Kitchen Area
    Large Mailings and Copy Lists
    Office Forms
    Office Supplies
    Performance Management Policies (performance appraisal, firing, etc.)
    Receptionist/Program Assistance Advance Notice
    Snow Days
    Special Recognitions
    Telephone Coverage
    Time Tracking

    Return to Recruiting and Orienting New Board Members

    For the Category of Boards of Directors:

    To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

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