Many business leaders are often asked to serve as board members for non-profit organizations. We recently sat down with Carolyn Schott, a Tax and Estate Planning Attorney at Sherrard & Roe. She offers great insight and advice about the role and responsibilities of board members for non-profit organizations.
Consider these tips:
- It is a compliment to your expertise and influence to be asked to serve. Be proud of your leadership reputation.
- Do your research. Find out is leadership of the organization and how long he/she has been in place. How is the organization structured? How many employees are employed? What do revenues look like? Is there debt and if so, how much?
- Clarify board member expectations. How often does the Board meet? What time commitments are anticipated?
- Understand your Duty of Care responsibility. Board members are expected to make decisions as if they held the primary leadership role. Therefore you should receive the agenda in advance and be made aware of finances and information about any ongoing issues.
- Make the Duty of Loyalty a priority. All decisions made by the board should further the mission of the non profit by placing its mission above any other need of a 3rd party or individual member of the board.
Non-profits are the backbone in caring for our communities. Without effective board members, needs are not met. Saying yes is important but saying yes and serving well is critical.
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