The Documents to Include in an Association Board Manual

image of people working on giant bookAny association worth its salt should provide their board of directors members with a detailed manual. Specifics are the key to efficiency; outlining them in a manual will reduce the potential for confrontations and misunderstanding.

A robust association board book should include:

  • Welcome letter
  • Board roles, responsibilities, and requirements for involvement
  • Conflict of interest policy and questionnaire
  • Outline of the board’s structure and how it relates to the association
  • Information on board insurance coverage
  • Board policies and procedures (e.g. travel reimbursement, whistleblower policy)
  • Board member contract / letter of agreement
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • List of all current board members: Bios of current board members and key staff
  • Roles of existing board members
  • List of board committees, who is in charge, and members of each
  • How the board conducts meetings (e.g., Robert’s rules of order)
  • Board processes
  • Division of roles between board and Executive Director/ CEO
  • Executive Director/CEO compensation performance appraisal process
  • Staff Organizational Chart: organizational structure/ history
  • Glossary of abbreviations and acronyms commonly used
  • Mission statement
  • A copy of the association’s by-laws
  • Association history one-pager
  • Strategic plan / any planning document (e.g., vision document)
  • Listing of facilities owned or rented by the association
  • Emergency response plan
  • Approved budget for the calendar year
  • Most recent monthly financials
  • Most recent audited financial statement
  • Most recent newsletter
  • Recent board meeting minutes
  • Fundraising one-pager
  • Program highlights for the year-to-date
  • List of upcoming meetings
  • Event schedule
  • The agenda for the next meeting

Get the Field Guide to Board Orientation for
a detailed, step-by-step plan.

SEE ALSO: Part 3 of our Board Orientation series which focuses on how to plan your association’s board of directors orientation event.


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