What Should be, Documents in Association Board Books

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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