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.
· Contact Information Form (to be returned tononprofit staff)
· Conflict of Interest Policy and AcknowledgementForm (to be renewed annually)
· Statement of Faith or equivalent (to be renewedperiodically)
Copies of Legal and Tax Documents
· Corporate Bylaws
· Articles of Incorporation and Amendments
· Most Recent IRS Form 990
· Staff Biographies
· List of fellow directors with biographies andcontact information
· Organizational Chart
· 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 fulfillhis or her responsibilities, the nonprofit’s leaders should also update theirown internal records and calendars to ensure their ongoing compliance.
Below are a few examples of actionitems to complete when a new director joins the board:
· Set calendar reminder for expiration of newdirector’s term and, if applicable, officer terms
· Add record of election in files
· If applicable, introduce director to other boardmembers
· Save signed Conflict of Interest Acknowledgmentin records
· Committee assignments
The board of directors can be one of a faith-based nonprofit’s greatestassets. Taking the steps to carefully onboard new directors benefits both thenonprofit and the directors themselves. Together, the organization and itsboard can form a team to pursue their mission with excellence.
May 27, 2022 | While the first line of protection from liability is exercising best practices, holding adequate insurance is essential for any organization as a fail-safe when human error occurs.
May 16, 2022 | Compared to the more common fiduciary duties of care and loyalty, the duty of obedience to mission is often forgotten. Unlike directors in the for-profit sector who seek to maximize profit for shareholders, non-profit directors must consider their organizational purposes and mission statements when making decisions.
May 11, 2022 | The Parable of the Talents is often referenced when the topic of investing arises. The story aims to teach us that talents (our money, resources, tools, or gifts) are to be placed out in the world and put into action where they can benefit others, grow, and then come back multiplied. The principle applies to faith-based nonprofits, as well as individuals and for-profit businesses. When a faith-based organization finds itself with extra cash, the organization should consider whether investing these extra funds prudently would be in the organization’s best interest.