Serving on Non-Profit Boards
If you are serving on a non-profit board, we recommend that you call our office to ask us to send you our Non-Profit Board Checklist. The checklist provides 19 items that are critical to the success of your board and that will help you protect your personal liability. Example: When Warren served on a previous board (not NHEC), he was told that the board had liability insurance for its directors and officer. When he asked to see the policy, the managing entity could not produce it. In fact, everyone thought they were covered based on past discussions, but there was no policy in place.
As a board member, your job is to ask the tough questions. You need to verify the accuracy of everything that is presented to you. Example: Do not accept a spreadsheet as a substitute for an investment statement received directly from the investment custodian. A spreadsheet may show investment reserves, when, in fact, they have been pilfered by an unscrupulous employee.
Similarly, anyone can put profit and loss numbers on a spreadsheet and make an organization look solvent. Instead, watch the bookkeeper actually print the financial statements from the accounting software.
You are the one who has to be looking five and ten years ahead to see if your organization will be able to sustain itself long term. You are the visionary that sets the policy. Board service can be very fulfilling. We hope you will give your community or favorite charity the gift of your time.