NONPROFIT BOARD BASICS CHECK-UP

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1 NONPROFIT BOARD BASICS CHECK-UP For each of the statements below, please check the appropriate box. If there is an item or section that does not apply to your organization, cross out that line or section. Below each section, there is room for any comments you may want to add. Our mission YES NO UNSURE Is consistent with what we do Clearly states what we do and for whom Is reviewed by the board at least every 2 years Is communicated regularly To our customers/clients To our staff To our board members To the public We have a vision and strategic plan that YES NO UNSURE Was formally adopted by the board in Clearly states where we want the organization to be X years into the future Includes measurable goals for the organization Has specific action steps that are updated annually Guides development of the annual budget Clearly defines the responsibilities of staff Clearly defines the responsibilities of the board Is communicated regularly to stakeholders Maine Association of Nonprofits Page 1 of 5

2 We monitor our programs and services delivery by Verbal reports given by our chief executive at every board meeting Written reports prepared by our chief executive and distributed in advance of every board meeting YES NO UNSURE Presentations to the board by program staff Soliciting direct feedback from our customers/clients Having formal outcomes measurement for our programs A dashboard (or scorecard) of key performance variables Our legal and regulatory compliance includes YES NO UNSURE Adherence to our bylaws on all matters Review and update our bylaws at least every 3 years A policies and procedures manual to guide our operations Review and update of our policies and procedures manual at least every 3 years A Conflict of Interest Agreement that board members sign every year A policy for the retention and appropriate destruction of records Protection of essential documents through such means as off-site storage Indemnification coverage for directors and officers Access to legal assistance to help guide our operations Maine Association of Nonprofits Page 2 of 5

3 Our financial oversight system includes YES NO UNSURE Accounting procedures that were establishing using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles An orientation to the budgeting and accounting system of the organization for all new board members An annual audit conducted by an independent, external entity Full board review of the IRS Form 990 A Finance Committee with members skilled in financial management A Treasurer s Report that is presented in written and verbal form at every board meeting Financial reports that every member of the board (even the English majors) understand A Whistleblower policy An investment policy for any/all liquid assets A spending policy A gift acceptance policy Internal controls (clear policies and procedures) that define how cash is handled and distributed Our fundraising effort includes YES NO UNSURE An annual contribution from 100% of board members A written fundraising plan with clear goals and action steps A Development Committee to help coordinate and implement the organization s fundraising plan Active support from all board members (over and above their annual contribution) in achieving the organization s fundraising goals Maine Association of Nonprofits Page 3 of 5

4 Our board members assist in community relations by Being champions for the organization and its mission throughout the community Being able to summarize the vision and priorities of the organization in an elevator speech Participating in community events that are sponsored by the organization Keeping disagreements and conflict about organizational issues within the board room YES NO UNSURE Our support for the chief executive includes YES NO UNSURE An annual performance review A performance review process that provides all board members with the opportunity to provide input Careful selection of the board chair to assure a good fit in the chief executive-board chair relationship An emergency succession plan in the event of an unplanned departure of the chief executive Review of the compensation level at least every 3 years to assure it is appropriate and competitive The allocation of resources on an annual basis for professional development Maine Association of Nonprofits Page 4 of 5

5 Our board has YES NO UNSURE An active committee structure Committees with clear, written charges and accountability to the full board Shared expectations for board member performance (expectations that are so well understood that any board member could describe them to a prospective candidate) A written board member job description A board member recruitment plan that takes into account what skills and experiences the board will need in the future A formal orientation for new board members Term limits Our board meetings YES NO UNSURE Have written agendas Are sufficiently frequent Are preceded by the timely distribution of materials at least 3 days in advance Are well attended Maine Association of Nonprofits Page 5 of 5

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