A nonprofit Board of Directors is legally responsible for governing, budgeting and overall oversight of a nonprofit organization. The board has an obligation to keep the nonprofit on mission, to make sure it operates efficiently and suggest remedial action wherever performance falls short.
In addition to submitting an annual tax return for an exempt organization or Form 990, the IRS requires charitable nonprofit organizations to provide information about their governance. The IRS generally requires nonprofits to have a minimum of three board members. The IRS and several states require the board of directors to meet at least once a year, advisably 4 times a year.
Shortly after your new nonprofit has been incorporated, the first meeting of the board of directors should be held. Typically, items on the agenda for first meetings include:
Subsequently, the purpose of a board meeting is to ensure a nonprofit’s sustainability and growth, through collectively directing the nonprofit’s smooth functioning, while furthering its charitable cause. In other words, the purpose of board meetings is to make decisions, put forth policy, solve ongoing issues, make plans, and evaluate program service results.
The goal of a board is to decide what it must do to further a nonprofit’s cause and find out ways to improve on what it is already doing.
Board meetings should never be held just for the sake of it. It is a vital component to the success of any nonprofit; therefore, it is important that boards use board meetings in the most efficient way possible. There are several steps that can make meetings purposeful:
After every meeting, it is a good practice to reach out to all participants for feedback on the meeting and suggestions for the next meeting. This can be done through a questionnaire or a survey. You are much more likely to get forthcoming feedback if you inform participants that their feedback will remain anonymous.
Written by Franklin Asongwe