Orienting New Members of Boards of Directors

Sections of this topic

    © Copyright Carter
    McNamara, MBA, PhD

    The vast majority of content
    on this topic applies to for-profits and nonprofits. This book also covers this topic.

    Developing, Operating and Restoring Your Nonprofit Board - Book Cover

    Board orientation is intended to prepare
    new board members for their board role in the organization. Orientation
    is also extremely useful for all members to ensure they are operating
    from the same “script.” Whether done only with new members
    or with the entire board, orientation is a strong team-building
    activity that should be conducted once a year, either before a
    regular board meeting or during the retreat — particularly after
    new board members have been recruited.

    1. The board chair and the chief executive typically facilitate
    the orientation session.

    2. Ensure introductions and consider using name tags.

    3. Review several topics, including:
    – the Board Manual (see “Board Manual Index”)
    – mission, vision, and values of the organization
    – some of the organization’s history
    – roles and responsibilities of the board and the staff
    – an administrative calendar that schedules major activities of
    the board
    – organizational chart, including the list of current and planned
    – about how the board conducts meetings, including relevant actions
    from the
    Roberts’ Rules of Order

    4. Ensure adequate time for questions and answers.

    5. Consider assigning a “buddy,” or current board member
    to help orient a new board member.

    6. Involve new members as soon as possible in relevant committees
    by asking new members to consider membership on a current or new

    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.

    Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

    Related Library Topics

    Recommended Books