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Give your nonprofit’s board the right information

October 31, 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

All content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Matters discussed in this article are subject to change. For up-to-date information on this subject please contact a Clark Schaefer Hackett professional. Clark Schaefer Hackett will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this site.

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