Suggested Format for the "New Board Member's Orientation Manual"

Note: If any of the documents and policies do not already exist, they must be created with the help of the mission's staff and   Executive Director (and the Field Supervisor, if you are an intern).

  1. Constitution and By-laws

  2. The mission's purpose statement most recently adopted by the Board of Directors.  If they have not dealt with this issue recently, the original statement will be found in the mission's Articles of Incorporation.

  3. Brief history of the mission (include photos if appropriate)

  4. Descriptions of its current programs that includes goals and objectives of each program, description of facilities, organizational chart, relevant statistics, etc. (include photos if appropriate)

  5. Samples or promotional literature; newsletters. brochures, etc.

  6. Current board members roster, Include their occupations, addresses and phone numbers, plus the end of their term of office, length of service on the board, and special knowledge they bring to their role.

  7. Qualifications and expectations for all board members. Note if the mission as any special requirements regarding contributing financially, volunteering, participating in fundraising activities, etc.  This could be in the form of a "job description" for board members (especially those who are not officers).

  8. Schedule of the board's planned activities for the mission's current fiscal year.

  9. Written description of the responsibilities of the board's officers,  committees and committee chair-persons.

  10. Outline of the board's decision/policy-making making process. A "flow chart" may be used to illustrate how a proposal is developed and by whom, how it is presented to the board for a vote, an how it is finally implemented.

  11. List of materials usually mailed to board members in pre-meeting information packets; board meeting agenda, minutes of last meeting, financial statements, proposals to be voted on, reports of director, committees, etc.

  12. Description of how new members are selected and brought on to the Board.

  13. Application form that is filled out by prospective board members.

  14. Procedure for orienting new board members.

  15. Job descriptions for the mission's executive director and other key staff members.