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Tools You Can Use

Samples Of Foundation Documents

Essential Resources for Board Orientation and Training

  • Board Member Orientation. Published by Aspen Publishers, Inc. 1-800-638-8437. This publication includes a number of sample forms and documents useful in every step of the board orientation process. As an added feature, all of the forms and worksheets in the manual are available on a Macintosh and IBM compatible diskette.
  • How Do We Keep Board Members Informed? National Center for Nonprofit Boards. Frequently Asked Questions. Go to: www.ncnb.org.

Sample Board of Directors Handbook

(Source: Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS))

ISACS recommends that any or all of the following items be included in a trustee handbook for the benefit, training, and enlightenment of board directors:

  1. School Mission Statement

  2. Brief History of the School

  3. Directories: Trustee; Faculty; Parent/Student

  4. Board Committees: Structure, Charges, Assignments

  5. Calendars: School Year; Board and Committee Meetings

  6. Budget/Audit

  7. Endowment Report

  8. Strategic Plan

  9. NAIS "Principles of Good Practice" (Especially those on Board, Trustees, Head, Admissions, Hiring, Fund-raising)

  10. By-laws

  11. Admissions Catalog & Application Package

  12. School Placement Profile

  13. School Statistics (e.g., Items reported in annual ISACS report)

  14. Copy of NAIS' Trustees Handbook and the ISACS Primer for Trustees

  15. Minutes (from the last year)

  16. Board Policies: Endowment (Investment & Spending Policies); Conflict of Interest; Contagious Diseases (AIDS); Sexual Harassment; Admissions; Financial Aid; Staffing & Personnel; Board Resolutions; etc.

  17. Handbooks: Employee & Parent/Student

  18. Board Orientation Procedures and Schedule

---------------------------------

Author: Patrick F. Bassett, Executive Director, Independent Schools Association of the Central States.


Sample Board Member Orientation Outline

Meeting Format

New directors need to feel like they’re an integral part of the board as soon as possible. If they don’t feel comfortable voicing their opinions, you’re all losing valuable input! Information is what will help everybody feel at ease. No matter how well-qualified your new board members are, it will take some time to get them up-to-speed and feeling comfortable as members of your team. But there are steps you can take to hurry this process along.  Conduct an orientation session for all new board members. Have them meet with staff and executive officers. Spend time going over background material about the organization and bring them up-to-date on the issues facing the board. Allow plenty of time for questions and answers. Try to cover these topics in a new board member briefing:

Introduce Everyone

  • Elected Chair
  • Executive Officers
  • Committee Chairs and Members
  • Other Board Members
  • Staff
  • Guests and Others

Describe the Organization (Mission!)

  • Who we serve
  • What we do
  • Overview of programs
  • Other

Explain and Discuss

  • Meeting attendance requirements--both full board and committee
  • Committee assignments and charges
  • Board role and relation to administrator/staff
  • Other
  • Conduct Facilities Tour
  • Administrative offices and board room 

Provide Documents Organized in a Manual

  • Mission statement
  • Bylaws
  • Policy Manual
  • Minutes of board meetings for the past year
  • Annual Report
  • Audit Report
  • Current Budget
  • Current Financial Report
  • Strategic Plan
  • Goals for the year
  • Rosters board members including addresses and telephone numbers
  • List of Board Officers
  • List of Committee Memberships including Chairs
  • Annual Calendar of Activities and Meetings
  • Copies of the Newsletter for the Year
  • Other

Collect Data at the Meeting

  • Addresses
  • Telephone--home and office
  • Fax number
  • E-mail address
  • Best time to contact
  • Best time for meetings
  • Other

These are ways to get board members comfortable with board responsibilities and meeting participation. Not only do the new directors start contributing right way during the meetings, they also develop a good working relationship with the veteran board members. Plan this meeting within the first month of the term of office. Waiting until the first or second quarter will only delay your board’s effectiveness.

Source:

United Way of Minneapolis Area
The Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits
2233 University Avenue West, Suite 360
St. Paul, Minnesota 55114
(612) 647-1216
and Carter McNamara, PhD


Parliamentary Procedure Overview

(Source: Board Member Orientation, Aspen Publishers, Inc.)

Use this as a quick reference tool when you need to refresh your parliamentary procedure knowledge. 


To do this:


Say this:

Interrupt speaker?

Second required?

Is motion debatable?

Is motion amendable?

What vote is required?

Adjourn meeting
before business
is completed

“I move
that we adjourn.”

No

Yes

No

No

Majority

Recess the meeting

“I move that
we recess until”

No

Yes

No

Yes

majority

Suspend further
consideration of an issue

“I move we
table it.”

No

Yes

No

No

majority

End debate

“I move the
previous
question.”

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Two-thirds

Study an issue
further

“I move we
refer this matter
to a committee.”

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Majority

Introduce business
(primary motion)

“I move that”

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Majority

Amend a motion

“I move that
this motion be amended by”

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Majority

Object to procedure
or a personal affront

“Point of order.”

Yes

No

No

No

No vote,
chair decides

Take up a previously tabled matter

“I move we take from the table”

No

Yes

No

No

Majority

Consider an
issue out of its
scheduled order

“I move we
suspend the rules
and consider”

No

Yes

No

No

Two-thirds


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