Checklist for Onboarding Directors

Napa Legal Staff
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June 24, 2021

Faith-based nonprofits should provide their directors with an onboarding package containing key documents related to the organization and its operations. This onboarding package will help directors understand the organization so that they can provide accurate and helpful guidance. Directors at faith-based nonprofits should request an onboarding package if one is not provided. Both nonprofit executives and directors can use the example lists below to work with their teams to obtain appropriate onboarding material.  

Keeping directors well-informed about the organization’s activities and financial position helps a faith-based nonprofit succeed. Additionally, onboarding material and regular updates help directors in comply with their legal duties—care, loyalty, and obedience to the organization’s mission.  

Below is an example list of documents and information that should be included in a director orientation packet. This is not an exhaustive list; rather, it is a starting point that nonprofits can customize based on their own unique needs.  

Forms  

  - Contact Information Form (to be returned to nonprofit staff)

  - Conflict of Interest Policy and Acknowledgement Form (to be renewed annually)

  - Statement of Faith or equivalent (to be renewed periodically)

Copies of Legal and Tax Documents  

  - Corporate Bylaws

  - Articles of Incorporation and Amendments  

  - Most Recent IRS Form 990

  - Financials  

Miscellaneous Information  

  - Staff Biographies

  - List of fellow directors with biographies and contact information

  - Organizational Chart  

  - Calendar

  - IRS Form 1023 Application  

  - Information about Charitable Registrations

  - Committee charters, if applicable  

  - Recent committee reports, if applicable

  - Resolutions and contracts under consideration, if applicable

In addition to equipping the director with the information needed to fulfill his or her responsibilities, the nonprofit’s leaders should also update their own internal records and calendars to ensure their ongoing compliance.  

Below are a few examples of action items to complete when a new director joins the board:  

  - Set calendar reminder for expiration of new director’s term and, if applicable, officer terms

  - Add record of election in files  

  - If applicable, introduce director to other board members

  - Save signed Conflict of Interest Acknowledgment in records  

  - Committee assignments  

The board of directors can be one of a faith-based nonprofit’s greatest assets. Taking the steps to carefully onboard new directors benefits both the nonprofit and the directors themselves. Together, the organization and its board can form a team to pursue their mission with excellence.