Your nonprofit’s board members need accurate financial and strategic information to make the best decisions for your organization. If they don’t have the information they need, board time could be wasted, voting could be delayed, and your organization may be unable to act when it needs to. Worse, board members might make decisions based on faulty information, negatively affecting your mission. Here’s how to prevent such outcomes.
For fiduciary success
To properly fulfill their fiduciary duties, your board needs certain information. The first is financial. To help your board fully understand your nonprofit’s position, provide it with copies of your Form 990. The board president or treasurer should review this document and approve it before it’s filed.
The board also must get the results of any audit you’ve conducted, salary information for key staff, and monthly and quarterly financial reports showing income and expenses. If your organization provides directors and officers insurance, provide proof to board members.
Share and share alike
Board members also need strategic information. Strategic information includes reports on your nonprofit’s work, such as how programs are being carried out and how they’re used, progress on event timelines, and membership statistics. If your organization collects information from the audience it serves, you should provide at least an executive summary of your findings to your board. Occasional sharing of articles that relate to your nonprofit’s mission, locations, or audiences also may be useful to the board.
Sharing should go both ways. To help foster teamwork and commitment to the cause, ask that members provide brief bios and other relevant background information. Also, publicly share thank-yous when board members make special efforts — whether those efforts are individual (such as securing an event sponsor) or group (performing due diligence on a new executive director).
To ensure that your board doesn’t waste time reviewing irrelevant information, the documents should be funneled through your executive director or senior manager, and only be provided to the board if approved. Contact us if you have questions about your board’s fiduciary role.