Getting Started in Board Service
Have you thought about joining a nonprofit board but aren't sure where to start? Did you not get any training when you first joined a board of directors? Join us for an overview of a board member's role and responsibilities.
- Know the purpose of a nonprofit board of directors
- Understand the core roles and responsibilities of board members
- Know how to find a board - identifying organizations with a mission that matches your values
Being a board member is a great way to give back to the community, support a cause you believe in and exercise your leadership skills. This session will provide new and potential board members a firm understanding of the responsibilities of a nonprofit board of directors.
You'll learn about financial oversight, planning and goal setting, executive director accountability, fundraising and resource development, and the role that board members play in enhancing the public standing of an organization. Attending this session will help prepare you to have a rewarding and productive experience as a board member.
This training is for anyone considering board service or just getting started in board service, and current board members that would like a refresher.
Jeff Hoehn has served as the Executive Director of Cuidando los Ninos since September of 2018. Prior to that he was Executive Director of the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation for over 5 years. He holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of New Mexico. Today, he leads trainings in the areas of Board Development, Strategic Planning and Nonprofit Marketing.
Tsiporah Nephesh is the Founding Director of New Mexico Thrives, the state nonprofit association. Previously, she was the Program Coordinator for the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, United Way of Central New Mexico for ten years.
Anne Nokes is an active community volunteer in Albuquerque. She has served on many Boards of Directors including All Faiths Receiving Home, PB&J Family Services, New Futures Inc., Alta Mira, United Way of Central New Mexico, Cuidando Los Ninos, Barrett Foundation and the NM Zoological Society.
Guiding Practices for Nonprofits
- Boards of Directors must be aware of and be held to the standard of care defined for fiduciary trustees under common law. The standard includes the following duties:
- Duty of Care: Board members must act in good faith and with the care that an ordinarily prudent person in a similar position would exercise under similar circumstances
- Duty of Loyalty: Board members must uphold the best interests of the organization, not their own or those of another person or entity (even if charitable in nature), as they exercise their obligations.
- Duty of Obedience: Board members must serve to further the mission while upholding all laws affecting the organization.
- Boards of Directors must ensure the organization’s assets are used solely for the benefit of the organization and for no other personal or professional gain.
- Boards of Directors must comply with all laws, regulations, reporting and filing requirements with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), New Mexico Office of the Attorney General and New Mexico Office of the Secretary of State.
- Boards of Directors should have a number of members sufficient for supporting the mission and purpose of the organization, including the required three.
- Boards of Directors should have a Treasurer that serves in a leadership role in helping the Board to understand its fiscal responsibilities.
- Boards of Directors, if deemed necessary to include employees, should limit membership to the Chief Executive Officer or Executive Director. This individual should be an ex-officio, non-voting member.
- Boards of Directors should organize Board subcommittees to effectively address the organization’s strategies and goals (e.g., technology, human resources, finance).
- Boards of Directors should develop, define and regularly review the organization’s mission.
- Boards of Directors should develop the following clearly defined policies that pertain to the organization’s mission, vision and values:
- Code of ethics
- Gift acceptance
- Record retention and destruction
- Boards of Directors should annually review and sign a conflict of interest policy that is kept in individual Board member files.
- Boards of Directors should monitor the financial health of the organization, and ensure each member understands the content and significance of the organization’s financial statements and audit.
- Boards of Directors should review and approve financial audits.
- IRS Form 990 must be reviewed by all Board members and signed by current Board president, vice president, treasurer, assistant treasurer, chief accounting officer or other corporate officer (such as a tax officer) who is authorized to sign as of the date return is filed.
- Boards of Directors should be actively involved in the organization’s strategic planning.
- Boards of Directors should annually conduct a review of the Executive Director’s performance.
- Boards of Directors should be actively involved in the organization’s succession planning.
- Boards of Directors should have an active nominating committee that considers factors beyond capacity to give monetarily when recruiting members. Factors should include one’s lived experience, involvement with services, professional and technical competencies, time availability and educational experience that will benefit the organization.
- Boards of Directors should have a sufficient understanding of the assumptions behind the development and implementation of the organization’s budget so they can approve and endorse a reasonable and achievable annual budget that supports and sustains the strategic plan.
- Boards of Directors should review and approve detailed revenues and expenditures each fiscal year.
- Boards of Directors should review financial reports at least every other month.
- Boards of Directors should understand how to read and interpret financial statements.
- Boards of Directors should develop clearly defined, written financial policies and procedures that provide for separation of duties, and protect and safeguard organizational assets.
- Boards of Directors should actively raise financial contributions from external sources.
- Boards of Directors should personally make annual financial contributions to the organization.
- Boards of Directors should be well-informed about the organization’s mission, programs and finances in order to actively participate in decision-making and effectively champion the organization publicly.
- Boards of Directors should provide basic orientation to every member, including:
- Clear expectations about roles and responsibilities
- Board operating policies and procedures manual
- Organizational operating policies and procedures (i.e. financial policies and employee handbook)
- Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation and other key documents of the organization
- An introduction to the work of the organization
The Guide is available as a free digital download at CNPENM.org/Guide. Hard copies of the Guide and Companion Workbook will be available for purchase at this training for $25 each with a credit card or check.
The Center for Nonprofit Excellence often takes photos during our trainings to share on social media. If you prefer not to be photographed, please let us know in the Special Needs field when you register.
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