OUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS BOARD MEMBERS:
To be an effective, contributing, successful and valuable board member, the following responsibilities should be kept foremost in our minds. These are our basic board member responsibilities:
- SETTING POLICY: Our primary board function is to make policy decisions that ensure that Invest is run effectively, legally, ethically and in accordance with its purposes. These policies are building blocks for us and for our Executive Director who, in turn, is responsible for implementing these policies and managing the organization in accordance with them.
- GUIDING MISSION, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT: Board members will be asked to assess the present and potential assets of the communities and determine how Invest may enhance those assets.
- RAISING MONEY AND MONITORING FINANCES: We are responsible for looking into the financial future, determining what resources will be needed to meet our goals, and fund raising for the necessary funds to support those resources.
- WORKING COOPERATIVELY WITH OTHER BOARD MEMBERS: We must work together cooperatively, courteously and respectfully. This is true in every aspect of board service: meeting efficiency, conflict management, recruitment, fundraising, and administrator evaluation.
- SUPPORTING OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Through our Executive Director’s day-to-day management skills, the policies and plans adopted by the board are carried out. The board then evaluates and provides feedback to the Executive Director relative to the accomplishment of those policies and plans.
- PERFORMING WITHIN A CODE OF ETHICS: Our obligation is to pay attention to ensure that our organization meets its moral obligations (including Exhibit I).
- CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: A conflict of interest occurs when the interests or actions of a board member actually, potentially, or perceptually affect Invest in a negative way or when a Trustee personally receives economic benefit from action taken by Invest. All board members should disclose in writing any affiliations, interests, or relationships with Invest or Invest contract agencies, or member contracts, that may be construed as a conflict of interest.
The following are examples of conflicts of interest:
- Business Interests. Board members may not earn profit from business interests that directly result from his or her affiliation with Invest.
- Personal Beliefs: Board members should not attempt to use Invest’s time and or facilities for furthering their personal beliefs when these personal beliefs are not representative of an Invest in Neighborhoods position.
- Grants and Contracts: Board members should not personally profit from any of Invest in Neighborhoods grants and contracts.
- Related Parties: Board members should disclose relationships with people who benefit from Invest grants or contracts Invest is responsible for administrating.
- Use of Invest in Neighborhoods Name, or Grant or Contract Resources as a Financial Instrument: Board members should not use the Invest in Neighborhoods name, any of its grants, or contracts resources as collateral for personal or business loans without the specific, expressed authority of the Board.
- MEETING ATTENDANCE: Board members should actively participate in our meetings. If there is cause to not attend, board members should notify the President or Executive Director, recognizing that after three consecutive unexcused absences, a board member may be removed.
- COMMITTEES: Each board member should willingly and actively serve on at least one committee, preferably more, and to attend the meetings and participate in the work of the committee.
BOARD MEMBER CODE OF ETHICS
As a member of this Board, I will:
- Represent the interest of all people served by this organization and not favor special interests inside or outside of this nonprofit.
- Focus my efforts on the mission of the nonprofit and not on my personal goals.
- Approach all board issues with an open mind, prepared to make well considered decisions for everyone involved.
- Not use my service on this board for my own personal advantage or for the advantage of my friends or associates.
- Keep confidential information confidential.
- Respect the majority decisions of the board.
- Do nothing to violate the trust of those who elected or appointed me to the board, or of those we serve.
- Never exercise authority as board member except when acting in a meeting of the board or as I am delegated by the board.
- Consider myself a “trustee” of this organization and do my best to ensure that it is respected, credible, well-maintained, financially secure, thriving and always operating in the best interests of those we serve.
BOARD MEMBER SERVICE COMMITMENT PLEDGE
Recognizing the important responsibility I am undertaking in serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of this organization, I hereby pledge to carry out in a trustworthy and diligent manner the duties and obligations of my role as a board member.
I acknowledge that my primary role as a board member is 1) to see to the fulfillment of the organization’s mission; 2) to engage in periodic reassessment or redefinition of the mission; and 3) to carry out the functions of the office of Board Member and/or Officer as stated in the bylaws.
My role as board member will focus on the development of broad policies that govern the implementation of institutional plans and purposes. This role is separate and distinct from the role of the Executive Director who determines the means of implementation.
I will exercise the duties and responsibilities of this office with integrity, collegiality and care. In addition, I will:
- Honor our General Board Policies and Code of Ethics.
- Attend the meetings of the board committees and task forces on which I serve.
- Be prepared to discuss the issues and business to be addressed at scheduled meetings, having read the agenda and all background materials relevant to the topics at hand.
- Work constructively with and respect the opinions of my peers who serve this board.
- Observe the parliamentary procedures and display courteous conduct in all board, committee and task force meetings.
- Respect all actions taken by the Board of Trustees even when I am in a minority position on such actions, unless I believe the action is illegal or otherwise improper.
- Serve on at least one committee or task force, attend meetings and participate in the accomplishment of its objectives. If I chair the board, a committee or a task force, I will:
- call meetings as necessary until objectives are met;
- ensure that the agenda and support materials are mailed to all members in advance of the meetings;
- conduct the meetings in a orderly, fair, open and efficient manner;
- make committee progress reports/minutes to the board at its scheduled meetings, using the adopted format;
- ensure that all members of committee have the opportunity to participate in the committee’s activities.
- Participate in special activities such as 1) the annual strategic planning retreat, 2) board self-evaluation programs, and 3) board development workshops, seminars and other educational events that enhance my skills as a board member.
- If for any reason, I find myself unable to carry out the above duties as best as I can, I will resign my position as board member/officer.