5 Essential Questions to Answer Before Joining a Charity Board

A little known, but vital fact: a Board member’s personal assets are at stake if a non-profit organization fails to pay its federal employee taxes. Even more concerning – donors can sue trustees for alleged misuse of gifts, grants, or assets.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Before joining a charity Board, do a small amount of homework to gain insight into the organization.

Five essential questions to explore before joining a Board:

1.  Is there a stated shared vision between the Board and the Chief Executive?

2.  Do the organization’s bylaws make it clear day-to-day operations are the responsibility of staff, not the Board?

3.  Does the organization have a current Strategic Plan, and is that plan being followed?

4.  Do Board members sign a Conflict of Interest Statement annually?

5. Will the organization provide you with Directors’ and Officers’ insurance coverage?

Extra Credit: Review past Board meeting minutes and up to three years of financial statements, tax filings, and financial audits with accompanying management letters.

Have concerns about a Board you are considering joining or are involved? Consider Rodman & Associates your Board homework tutor. We’ll help guide you to the right answer.

Send us an email for a syllabus.