BOARD ROLES AND EXPECTATIONS
General Responsibilities of a Board Member
The principal responsibility of a Member of the Board is to act in the best interests of the Organization and its supporters through directing the Organization’s operations and affairs.
Summary of the Specific Duties of a Board Member:
a. Duty to Understand:
A member of the Board of Directors has an obligation to become familiar with the Organization and to understand the issues and challenges it faces. This includes but is not limited to gaining an understanding of the principal operational and financial objectives, strategies, and plans of the Organization. Board members should also be generally familiar with the results of operations and the financial condition of the Organization. This requires that Board members be prepared for meetings and questions as well as any issues that are facing the foundation, including reading all reports and various communications sent to members of the Board. If a Board member has a question, he/she should contact an officer who is likely to be able to provide an adequate answer. The objective is for the Board member to become sufficiently familiar with the Organization’s activities to be able to exercise independent judgment for the overall benefit of the Organization and its supporters.
b. Duty to Participate:
Members are expected to attend a minimum of 80% Board meetings and conference calls and to actively participate in discussions in an informed manner. This normally requires that members become familiar with items on the meeting agenda prior to the meeting. Members of the Board should be afforded an opportunity to hear the comments and views of all other members of the Board on issues, either at a meeting personally attended by the member or through a conference call where all members can hear what others have to say. The reason for is clear: often, after reading written meeting materials, a member may reach a tentative decision; but after hearing the issue discussed by others, a member may gain new understanding and decide that another result will better serve the best interests of the Organization. Debate should be thoughtful, on occasion spirited, and always civil.
c. Duty to Make Informed Decisions:
After becoming informed and listening to the discussion, the member has an obligation to vote in the best interests of the Organization and its supporters, without regard for the personal interests of those who have elected him or her to the Board.
d. Duty to See that the Decisions are Implemented:
Board members have a responsibility to provide sufficient oversight to ensure that the decisions they have made are implemented. Inaugural Board Members may be asked to implement the decisions directly.
In view of these important duties, members elected to the Board should possess the integrity, strength of character, practical wisdom and judgment essential to effective decision making. They should also be prepared to devote the time and attention required to be an effective member of the Board of Directors.
General Expectations of a Board Member
a. The Organization is dedicated to creating an atmosphere free of discrimination and harassment. Furthermore, Board members and supporters are responsible for respecting the rights of their colleagues.
b. Board members are expected to maintain confidentiality of Organization business and shall sign a confidentiality agreement upon being voted onto and accepting appointment.
c. Board members are expected to represent the Organization in a professional manner.
d. Board members are expected to fully participate in the activities of the board above and beyond regular board meetings, including leadership orientation and training, strategic planning and fund-raising events.
e. Members of the Board of Directors shall not receive any compensation for their services as Directors.
f. Board members are expected to maintain email communication as well as other forms of Organization communication. Additionally, any reports or materials required for duty should be submitted in a timely manner.
g. Board members shall serve for a term of three years and may be reelected for one subsequent three-year term. Inaugural Board members may have initial terms that are staggered in 1-, 2-, or 3- year terms.
h. Board members are expected to give, tax-deductible donations annually.
i. Board members are expected to utilize their community and other appropriate contacts to provide fundraising opportunities to the Organization.
The Advisory Council members shall be elected by the Board of Directors annually but shall have no duties, voting privileges, nor obligations for attendance at regular meetings of the Board. Advisory Council members may attend said meetings at the invitation of a member of the Board of Directors. Members of the Advisory Council shall possess the desire to serve the community and support the work of SAGE Compassion for Animals by providing expertise and professional knowledge. Members of the Advisory Council shall comply with a confidentiality policy and shall sign a confidentiality agreement upon being voted onto and accepting appointment to the Advisory Council.