Give your Nonprofit’s Board the Right Information
October 30, 2019

To properly fulfill their fiduciary duties, your not-for-profit’s board needs certain information. And it’s up to the executive director and managers to ensure they have it. This doesn’t mean you have to share every internal email, memo or phone message. Board members are busy and you don’t want to bog them down with superfluous reading material. However, there are several types of information you must share so that they can make informed decisions.

Financial data and filings

The first is financial information. To fully understand your nonprofit’s position, the board must receive 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.

Strategic reports

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 through formal or informal means, provide at least an executive summary of your findings to your board.

Occasionally sharing with the board articles that relate to your nonprofit’s mission, locations or audiences also may be useful.

Board member info

To help foster teamwork and commitment to the cause, ask that members share 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).

How do you know whether a piece of information should be shared with your board? Ultimately, if it’s something that will help them serve your nonprofit, it’s something you should share.

© 2019


You might also like

Putting Accountability into Practice

Putting Accountability into Practice

At its base, “accountability” means taking responsibility for outcomes — both good and bad. But one common byproduct of accountability is that results are actually more likely to be positive than negative. That’s because accountable managers work proactively, seeking...

read more
The Audit Is Over. Now What?

The Audit Is Over. Now What?

Whew! That’s probably your reaction when outside experts announce that their audit of your nonprofit is complete. But even if auditors have left your premises and returned the documents they’ve reviewed, the work isn’t really over. Not only do your executive director...

read more
The FLSA Asks Your Nonprofit to Accurately Classify Staffers

The FLSA Asks Your Nonprofit to Accurately Classify Staffers

Are your nonprofit’s staffers employees or independent contractors? It’s an important question because under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), misclassifying workers can lead to penalties and other costs. If you haven’t reviewed your staffers’ status since the...

read more