New Board members receive written notice of their election to the board stating dates their term begins and ends, regular meeting dates, times, places, and information about the board orientation process.

Board Orientation Process

  • Special meeting for new Board members
  • Orientation packet
  • Personal phone call or meeting with an experienced Board member
  • Follow up personal contact after first three months of Board service

Board Orientation Packet

  • Statement of purpose or mission (if developed and adopted by the Board)
  • Brief overview of agency programs and services
  • Agency annual report with financial statements for the past fiscal year
  • By Laws
  • Personnel Policies in brief, or brief overview of personnel system for larger organization including: staff organization chart, number of professional and non-professional staff, identification of any unions or employee bargaining associations, date of last major revision of Personnel Policies.
  • Policy statement and procedures which have been formally adopted by the Board
  • Alphabet Soup: Glossary of abbreviations and acronyms used to refer to agencies and programs with which this organization is connected
  • List of all Board members’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and terms of office
  • List of committees with chairperson identified. If committees have regular meeting times and places, these are included. Board organization chart showing committee and sub-committee structure.
  • Most recent financial statements and current annual budget.
  • Minutes for most recent Board meeting.
  • Listing of facilities owned or rented by the organization for its operations, including address, staff member in charge, and general purpose of the facility.

Board Orientation Meeting

  • Opportunity for personal introductions among new and experienced Board members.
  • More formal introduction of new Board members by the nominating committee, highlighting background and credentials for new members
  • Brief presentations by experienced Board members explaining Board role and procedures
  • Brief presentation by staff about scope of agency􀂶s services
  • Structured opportunity for small group discussion by interest areas (i.e. financial, personnel, programs, planning, fundraising)
  • Clear statement of expectations of Board members, including role in agency fundraising
  • Open-ended opportunity for questions from new Board member

Personal Contact with Experienced Board Member

  • Discussion of new Board member preferences for committee assignment
  • Brief explanation of upcoming significant Board decisions or events
  • Specific commitment to greet the new Board member at the next Board meeting and provide personal introductions to Board members with common interests

Follow Up Contact After Three Months of Service

  • Opportunity for general comments about Board service so far
  • Inquiry into involvement with committees – if no involvement yet, discussion of barriers and problem solving
  • Request for feedback in orientation process

Source: Technical Assistance for Community Services, 2004.

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