New York State Literary Technical Assistance Program

CATEGORY: Board Governance

Tips on how to deal best with boards and committees so that they work at maximum capacity for your organization.

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Links

http://www.littap.org/resources/4.2.12.BoardLeadership.pdf

Strong boards are composed of team players who are passionate about wanting to make a difference in their communities, and who have moved beyond the relationships that drew them together initially.

Board Basics

A collection of helpul essays on Board Essentials at Board Source (www.boardsource.org)

This Tip Sheet covers all the bases of sound Board fiscal management.

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Links

http://www.littap.org/resources/4.2.11.BoardFinancialOversight.pdf

The Nominating Committee may be the most important committee of the board because it is charged with soliciting and recruiting new board members who are ready and able to share their time, energy, connections, resources, and talents with the organization.

Nominating Procedures

A useful form for Board Member recruitment and assessment.

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Links

http://www.littap.org/resources/4.2.3.BoardApplicationForm.pdf
http://www.littap.org/resources/4.2.3.BoardApplicationForm.doc

Boards of directors have three major legal duties:

  • Duty of Care – Requires that a board member act as an ordinary, prudent person in a like circumstance;
  • Duty of Loyalty – Requires that a board member act in good faith and in the best interests of the organization;
  • Duty of Obedience – Requires that a board member act to ensure that the organization is in compliance with the laws of the land and rules of governing its formation and status.

Board members are expected to exercise those duties in the oversight of seven major areas of responsibility, including:

  • Board affairs – Candidate identification, recruitment, orientation, training and evaluation, including the identification of membership needs and management of committee operations;
  • Planning – development of the vision and mission statements, and strategic plan monitoring and evaluation;
  • Business and Financial Management – fiscal oversight, facilities and property management, insurance and legal matters, information systems and reporting requirements;
  • Fund Raising – personal contribution, planning strategy, and assisting with solicitation;
  • Human Resources – hire, supervise, evaluate and terminate the executive director; approve personnel policies and procedures and the benefits and compensation plan;
  • Communications and Public Relations – approve public relations strategies and serve as ambassadors to the community; and
  • Service Delivery – oversee and evaluate service or product delivery and volunteer involvement.

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A quick reference guide to Board Member duties.

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Links

http://www.littap.org/resources/4.2.1.BoardResponsibilities.pdf

In this piece, consultant and entrepreneur Susan Kenny Stevens presents her ideas about how a cultural organization led by a single dynamic founder can develop a succession plan that will allow the organization to thrive after the founder departs.

With mission as their guide, organizations can view turbulent times as opportunities to re-examine themselves, reassess their priorities, and refocus on why they do what they do. They should formulate strategic plans to further their mission, recruit and develop people (both trustees and staff) who respond positively to it, and restructure the organization around the work and the audience.

Mission

Planning is a particularly important issue for the nation’s cultural community. It’s also a familiar one. The very nature of many cultural organizations’ work requires that major artistic and programmatic decisions be made two or three years in advance, and donors and government agencies often require long-range or strategic plans as a condition of funding. In this paper, we share our observations on planning, its value to cultural organizations and, in particular, how to design a process that will produce a plan that is dynamic and actually put to use.