To properly fulfill their fiduciary duties, your non-profit’s board needs certain information. And it is up to the executive director and managers to ensure they have it. This does not mean you have to share every internal email, memo, or phone message. Board members are busy, and you do not want to bog them down with superfluous reading material. However, there are several types of information you must share so that they can make informed decisions.
Financial data & filings
The first is financial information. To fully understand your non-profit’s position, the board must receive copies of your IRS Form 990. The board president or treasurer should review this document and approve it before it is filed.
The board also must get the results of any audit you have conducted, salary information for key staff, and monthly and quarterly financial reports showing income and expenses. If your organization provides directors and officers insurance, provide proof to board members.
Strategic information includes reports on your non-profit’s work, such as how programs are being carried out and how they are used, progress on event timelines, and membership statistics. If your organization collects information from the audience it serves through formal or informal means, provide at least an executive summary of your findings to your board.
Occasionally sharing with the board articles that relate to your non-profit’s mission, locations, or audiences also may be useful.
Board member info
To help foster teamwork and commitment to the cause, ask that members share brief bios and other relevant background information. Also publicly share thank-yous when board members make special efforts — whether those efforts are individual (such as securing an event sponsor) or group (performing due diligence on a new executive director).
How do you know whether a piece of information should be shared with your board? Ultimately, if it is something that will help them serve your non-profit, it is something you should share.