Being an HOA board member is a great way to serve your neighbors and actively participate in your community. A proactive, attentive board is a valuable asset to the association.
The responsibilities of HOA board members are divided into two areas, what they owe each other and what they owe the members of the community. Homeowners Association HOA management is the complex set of responsibilities and tasks associated with running a successful community association. First, let's explore the responsibilities of HOA board members positions first.
The President is captain of the ship. The position requires equal amounts of delegation, ambassadorship, negotiator, and leadership. The primary duties are:. The VP will also head up important committees for the board, such as architectural changes, landscaping, or other big-ticket items. The primary role of the VP is to be prepared to step up for the president at a moment's notice. The VP must be knowledgeable about all issues facing the board.
The Secretary is the custodian of records for the HOA. At board meetings, the secretary, or somebody they have appointed, must take notes and record votes. As custodian of records, the secretary has to ensure the files are safe and accessible to all board members at any time. The HOA board is the representation of the members of the association.
As a group, they have obligations to fulfill on behalf of the members. These responsibilities may seem like an overwhelming amount of work, but when delegated it is entirely manageable. Thousands of HOA boards operate successfully every year, and yours can also, as long as the board works as a team. A board with the mindset of serving their association will have a fruitful and impactful year. Media Inquiries. Subscribe to Email Updates. Select Topics. RealManage Insight. Customer Support: Sales: Media Inquiries.
Site map. Useful Links. Keep Up-to-Date. Subscribe to Our Blog. Write For Us. All rights reserved.Also see Carter's Board Blog for for-profits and nonprofits. Vast majority of content in this topic applies to for-profits and nonprofits. This book also covers this topic. There are a variety of views about the roles and responsibilities of a board of directors and most of these views share common themes. This document attempts to portray those themes by depicting various views.
Simply put, a board of directors is a group of people legally charged with the responsibility to govern a corporation. In a nonprofit corporation, the board reports to stakeholders, particularly the local communities which the nonprofit serves.
In addition to the articles on this current page, see the following blogs which have posts related to Board Roles and Responsibilities. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog. Provide continuity for the organization by setting up a corporation or legal existence, and to represent the organization's point of view through interpretation of its products and services, and advocacy for them 2.
Select and appoint a chief executive to whom responsibility for the administration of the organization is delegated, including:.
Account to the stockholders in the case of a for-profit or public in the case of a nonprofit for the products and services of the organization and expenditures of its funds, including:.
BoardSource, in their booklet "Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards", itemize the following 10 responsibilities for nonprofit boards.
However, these responsibilities are also relevant to for-profit boards. For more information about each of these responsibilities in nonprofits, see Becoming a More Effective Nonprofit Board. To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below.
Determine the Organization's Mission and Purpose 2. Select the Executive 3.Board Member Roles and Responsibilities
Ensure Effective Organizational Planning 5. Ensure Adequate Resources 6. Manage Resources Effectively 7. Enhance the Organization's Public Image 9.
10 Essential Roles of Foundation Board Members
Serve as a Court of Appeal For the Category of Boards of Directors: To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below.
Related Library Topics Recommended Books.And perhaps more recently, you were tapped to be a steward of those resources by serving as a foundation trustee. As a board member, how can you make sure you bring your best to the table and bring out the best in your foundation?
But those boards are made up of individuals, each with critical skills and knowledge to contribute. Here are 10 essential roles that every foundation board member should play. But remember, while you are here for a limited period of time, the foundation must operate with a view to both past and future. You need to look back to recall why the foundation was started and what its mission and goals were when it began.
Then you must look at the present to ensure that you are mindful of the mission and that your decisions are advancing the mission and the good of the community. And finally, you must look toward the future and think about how your decisions about investments and budgets today may have an impact on future generations.
It should go without saying that being an effective board member means showing up for every board meeting. If you find you have multiple conflicts, it may be time to step down from your post. You should also expect to sit on at least one board committee and attend those committee meetings as religiously as you do meetings of the full board. Committee service is a chance to lend your expertise in a certain area, but also an opportunity to learn about a new area.
Whether through committee service, a task force or individual action, if you agree to take on a project, make sure you accomplish it. An ambassador is a person who helps promote the foundation to the community in the course of her or his daily activities. Being an ambassador means sharing information, spotting opportunities and spreading the word about the foundation. Attend events on behalf of the foundation when appropriate, attend site visits, make check presentations, talk about the foundation informally in the course of your life and consider making more formal presentations about your work to other community groups.
Remember too that consistency is important. If there are other foundations in your area, make a point to meet with them to learn about how their approach and philosophy compares to or aligns with your own. Listen constantly to the voices in your community, and especially to those whom you most desire to help. Let their experience and ideas inform and guide your decision-making and shape your investment.
As mentioned above in point one, board members have to take a long-term view. This is as true for grantmaking and community engagement strategy as it is for investments and financial stewardship.
Do you foresee that a large local industry may move or shutter operations? Will a boom in births mean a future strain on community schools? What can you do now to prepare for that? Planning ahead also applies to changes that may be needed in your board governance practices. How will you transition new, younger members into board service as more seasoned members retire? How will technological advances change the way you interact with other board members or with staff?
No foundation board member knows everything. Luckily for you, philanthropy is a field that likes to share and help. Whereas in many corporate and some nonprofit institutions the secrets to success may be closely guarded, the knowledge and wisdom of other foundation trustees and staff are there for the asking, so build and call upon your personal networks within the field often. Membership associations such as Exponent, your regional association of grantmakers or philanthropic affinity groups are a great source of professional resources and connections.
There are also vast libraries of knowledge about good governance available from organizations such as BoardSource or the Foundation Center. True social change takes a wide variety of partners working together. Although most foundation partnerships are forged at the staff level, where logistics and roles are hashed out, you can cement the deal by also reaching out to board members of partner organizations and forming relationships with them.
For example, just because everyone else is funding a long-revered institution in your community, does that mean you must do the same? Just because the community expects you to fund a particular issue, is it not possible that you could deliver greater value by shifting your focus elsewhere?
According to The Trustee Handbook a publication I highly recommend, from Exponent Philanthropyboard members have three overarching duties when it comes to serving their foundations:. Never, ever forget that, as a board member, you are in a position of service and servant leadership, period.
Yes, you will sense an increase in power.The value of a well-informed board of directors at nonprofit organizations cannot be taken for granted.
Because board members are usually selected for multiple-year terms, clarifying the function of a board of directors and the responsibilities of its individual members is essential. The basic legal responsibility of a board member is to exercise reasonable business judgment and do what is in the best interests of the nonprofit.
Board members should have knowledge of finance, accounting and business, be willing to have hands-on involvement in audits, and use sound judgment in decision making. Board members do not always realize the varied duties they may be expected to fulfill for the nonprofit. While serving on the board, members may find themselves making policy, planning strategies, forming or leading committees, enforcing regulations and mediating disputes. Take steps to ensure that your board is functioning the way it should and that nonprofit board members are meeting their legal responsibilities.
Board membership obligates members to be diligent in their pursuit of an appropriate amount of understanding of the issues before they pass judgment on any request by management.
In other words, they must do their due diligence. Board members should be conscientious and diligent and stay informed. They should be knowledgeable about federal, state and local laws that may affect the nonprofit organization. Nonprofits concerned about possible conflict of interest of board members should have a conflict of interest policy or statement that their board members are required to sign.
The basic legal responsibility of a board member is to exercise reasonable business judgment and do what is in the best interests of the nonprofit and its stakeholders or donors.
This responsibility requires board members to put aside their personal interests and opinions when performing board duties and participating in decision-making.
Board members should insist that materials and board minutes of the previous meeting are sent to them before the scheduled meeting so that they can carefully review the materials. The preparatory work is a great time to formulate questions, ask for clarifications and perhaps determine other potential agenda items.
It is also necessary to attend all board meetings, committee meetings and specialized committee meetings — in particular, audit committee meetings. The board approves annual budgets and is responsible for ensuring that adequate financial resources are available to the nonprofit organization. It should set appropriate policies on internal control and seek regular assurance that the system is functioning effectively. Board members should insist on reviewing all documentation that supports the risk assessment review of all of the tough choices between auditor and management.
Failing to have this insurance is not a good sign.You are flattered to be asked. You enjoy working out at the Y. You think this is great — maybe board members get to attend classes for free!
You tell your boss you are interested, and a meeting is set up with the YMCA executive director. As the meeting draws closer you realize you are unsure about what it means to be a board member. What exactly are the roles and responsibilities of a board member? Your first responsibility is to find out the expectations of a board member and ensure you can meet those expectations. Learn all you can about the organization.
Are their mission and values consistent with yours, such that you will become a passionate advocate for the organization? You have a responsibility to prepare for and attend all board meetings. There may also be events and community activities that board members are asked to attend. Understanding the time commitment prior to agreeing to serve is important. If a board member does not fully participate, they let their fellow board members and the organization down. Giving your talent is your next responsibility.
A well-planned board recruitment strategy results in a diversified board with skillsets needed to fulfill the mission of the organization. Every non-profit expects the board to take a leadership role in fundraising. Asking others to give without setting the example is difficult and may make the potential donor question why they should give if the board is not giving.
Some boards have a minimum donation they ask from all board members. Others may ask each board member to give to their personal capacity. Your first meeting is approaching, and in reviewing the pre-meeting materials, you feel a bit overwhelmed and start to doubt yourself. The financial statements look like they are in a foreign language.
There is an investment presentation included that is confusing. And you have been assigned a mentor who has requested a call prior to the meeting.
Set up a time to speak with your mentor.
Board Member Roles and Responsibilities
They will help you navigate the board meeting and help you feel comfortable. Also, you can ask them questions prior to meeting that you might be afraid to ask during the meeting. Prior to your first meeting review all the materials provided in advance.
Ask your mentor or the executive director any questions. Attend the orientation where you will likely hear about the history of the organization, review the financial statements, be provided with key documents such as the by-laws and key policy statements, meet staff and hear about which areas they are responsible for, and meet the officers of the board.
The officers may explain the committee structure and their responsibilities. They may invite you sit in on the committees so you can decide which committees you would like to serve on. Or they may appoint you to a committee that fits your skillset. Hopefully during the orientation, they will explain your roles and responsibilities. It is your responsibility as a board member to serve as a fiduciary of the organization to ensure to the best of your ability its long-term viability.
Parties owing this duty are called fiduciaries. The individuals to whom they owe a duty are called principals.
Governance, Fiduciary and Strategic Oversight
A fiduciary duty is the strictest duty of care recognized by the US legal system. In your situation as a board member, you are a fiduciary for the organization who is the principal in the above definition. Whenever you are acting as a board member, you should ask yourself if you are acting solely for the benefit of the organization.Are you in the dark about what your board of directors is supposed to do?
You're not alone. Nonprofit board responsibilities are often poorly understood and badly communicated. For charitable nonprofits c3incorporation precedes filing for tax-exempt status from the IRS.
Effective governance: the roles and responsibilities of board members
You won't be able to apply to the IRS for tax exemption until you incorporate. Importantly, incorporation limits personal liability for the board of directors. For instance, a nonprofit board must oversee the nonprofit organization's operations and make sure that its staff and volunteers act legally and ethically. States often use the following principles of nonprofit corporation law.
A board member must be active in organizational planning and decision making. Board members must exercise reasonable care when he or she makes a decision for the organization. Reasonable care is what an "ordinarily prudent" person in a similar situation would do. Board members must avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts. He or she cannot act in a way that is inconsistent with the organization's goals.
The public trusts the board to manage donated funds to fulfill the organization's mission. Since a nonprofit belongs to the public and serves the public interest, the board of directors has been given the responsibility of making sure that the organization abides by the law. Make sure that your board members realize the seriousness of their duties when they agree to serve on the board.
To ensure that a potential board member understands his or her responsibilities, the CEO and board president should have a sit-down meeting with the new board member. Such a meeting will likely impress the new board member or potential members with the seriousness of their board commitment. An overview of board responsibilities is especially important for new members who haven't served on any other boards and for members recruited from among your volunteers.
While volunteers bring an in-depth knowledge of how the organization works, they may not understand what a board does or realize that they must help with fundraising. After that initial meeting, the next step is training. If you have several new board members, a group training works well. Board members can learn about the organization's history, mission, bylaws, activities, and more. Include a tour of your facility, introductions to key staff, and some time devoted to observing your programs in action.
Arm new board members with lots of reading that they can do on their own. Your board can be an excellent source of pro bono expertise in areas that you need to understand but can't afford professional help. For instance, your board members could have skills in:. So many nonprofits are reluctant to mention fundraising to their board members.
Yet, helping to raise funds has everything to do with making sure the charity remains financially sound. Finances are not just about overseeing the budget. It is about understanding how the organization is funded, how fundraising works and participating in that fundraising. Consider the fundraising potential of every board member. That doesn't mean that every board member should be wealthy. However, they are expected to set an example by donating to the organization and soliciting other contributions.
Every board member should participate in giving in the way that they can afford.Running a health care organization is a team sport.
It is very important that all members of the team—whether on the medical staff, in management, or on the board—understand the role of governance and what constitutes effective governance. Many misunderstandings about the roles of boards exist. Many people think that board members are paid, for example, which is not true. My interest in the subject of governance began when I became chief executive officer CEO of an organization that was to establish a major health care and medical educational program in West Virginia.
Five organizations merged to create the new organization; 5 boards also merged to create 1 board of 56 members. Two years after the merger, we created a governance committee to study the subject, and that's when my interest in governance began. While CEO of the Voluntary Hospitals of America, which grew from 30 to hospitals during my tenure, I had the opportunity to visit with many boards.
More recently, I have given 15 to 20 board retreats annually and have been an advisor to the Governance Institute. If I were allowed to focus on only one subject during the rest of my career, it would be governance. Governance is fundamental. I have seen good boards become bad boards and bad boards become good boards. I have seen organizations fail because of problems at the governance level.
Ineffective governance compromises the ability of the management to succeed. Effective governance, in contrast, greatly assists the organization. Effective governance has the following characteristics: it is efficient, allows a respectful conflict of ideas, is simple, is focused, is integrated and synergistic, has good outcomes, preserves community assets, and leads to enjoyment and personal reward for the individual board members. In the sections that follow, I review the roles and responsibilities of boards, factors that increase board effectiveness, and the evolution of governance.
Boards have 3 primary roles: to establish policies, to make significant and strategic decisions, and to oversee the organization's activity. Effective execution of policy is necessary to fulfill the other 2 roles. Policies define focus and differentiate responsibilities among the board, the management, and the medical staff. Well-written policies lead to more efficient board functioning.
Instead of having the same matter or very similar matters on the agenda repeatedly, the board can develop a policy that covers the issue and leave implementation of the policy to management. Boards have approximately 24 hours together each year, spread over regular meetings. It is essential to use that time wisely. At the same time, board-level policies should be reviewed regularly. At Baylor Medical Center at Irving, where I chair the board of trustees, we asked a staff member to review past board minutes and extract all policies.
We then refined and consolidated them. The board now reviews policies annually to see if they are still needed. Decision making involves making choices about the organization's vision, mission, and strategies. Boards make decisions about issues that are strategic and significant, such as whether to enter an affiliation agreement with another organization. As decision makers, boards can also delegate nongovernance types of decisions to others—and would be wise to do so.
Oversight is an important function, but boards must remember that the organization is theirs to oversee, not to manage.