Some organizations call such a commitment “Board Assurances,” or “Board Affirmation” or simply “Board Commitment.” Whatever it is called, its purpose is clear-to outline the expectations of all board members and to have each board member’s agreement to uphold and fulfill the expectations. And, ultimately, having such a document sets your board members up for success.
What to include in a Board Commitment:
- Expectations for meeting attendance-how many meetings is it ok to miss? Can meetings be held and attended via conference call or virtually?
- Expectations for financial giving-remember all board members should be contributing financially at a level that is meaningful significant for them; this expectation should be detailed in the annual commitment letter.
- Expectations for participation on committees-do all board members have to serve on a committee? Do they have to lead a committee?
- Expectations for participation in fundraising events- fundraisers are generally necessary to support the work of the organization while also building its presence in the community, participation by board members allows them to support the organization while also allowing others in the community to see their support.
- Expectations for volunteering-many organizations require board members to support the organization by volunteering in a program or service. This allows board members to more fully understand the work of the organization.
For faith-based organizations, there may also be a faith statement which outlines the beliefs of the organization. It may be a good idea to ensure that all board members agree with the statement of faith.
Organizations will want to ensure that potential board members are aware of and understand the commitments they are making before they join the board. If this is something new for your organization, it may be helpful to review the commitments with current board members prior to having them sign it.
Does your organization need help developing a board commitment letter? Contact us, we can help.