Personal responsibilities of nonprofit Board Members – including code of conduct, conflict of interest, confidentiality, and loyalty to the organisation’s purpose
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This Kit focuses on the individual Board or Committee member – whether office bearer or ordinary member. The message is that each Board member is responsible for her/his words, conduct and behaviour as a Board member: and this responsibility is legal as well as moral, ethical and social.
Nonprofit Board membership is similar to for-profit Board membership in relation to the nature and extent of responsibility. The language is different, as are the structure and processes: however, the risks are similar, as is the need for careful attention and diligent behaviour.
This Kit considers a nonprofit Board member’s responsibilities from a number of perspectives:
- a person considering whether to nominate or accept nomination for Board membership for the first time,
- an existing Board member facing the option to seek a further term on the Board, and
- a Board planning to promote Board membership to its membership base prior to the Annual General Meeting.
One important recommendation for each Board member is to keep a journal in which to record their contribution to Board discussions and decisions.
A watershed in Australia
Section 1: Personal responsibilities of a nonprofit Board Member
Desirable qualities and skills of a Board member
Board-endorsed Code of Conduct as an internal standard
Reflection Worksheet No. 1
Board-endorsed Procedure for making complex decisions
Reflection Worksheet No. 2
Board-endorsed policy on policy-making
Reflection Worksheet No. 3
Board-endorsed governance policies, procedures and work practices
Reflection Worksheet No. 4
A personal journal that is the property of the Board member
Reflection Worksheet No. 5
Section 2: Board Talk
Board Talk – six categories
Critical thinking and strategic discussion
Reflection Worksheet 6
Section 3: Board Style
Crisis, Re-active and Proactive Management
Reflection Worksheet 7
Section 4: The Human Side of Governance
Suggestions to lighten up a Board meeting
Reflection Worksheet No. 8
Section 5: Board loyalty to the Organisation’s Purpose
Annual General Meeting and annual Report
Service Delivery – best possible experience for service-users
Critical Success Factors
Reflection Worksheet No. 9