Board members will likely have different interpretations as to what is expected from them in their roles. In many cases, not all Board members know the full extent of what is expected of them and what their responsibilities are to the organization. To avoid such confusion and to ensure awareness and understanding of their responsibilities as a Board member, a Board member contract should be implemented to address these concerns. The purpose of a Board member contract is to officially outline and codify the expectation and responsibilities of each Board member.

As with any arrangement that involves a commitment of time (and sometimes money), having an agreement in place is best practice to ensure both the Board member and the organization have a clear understanding of what is expected. The contract will describe the Board member’s responsibilities as well as describe the responsibilities of the organization’s management so that the Board member can fulfill his/her fiduciary responsibility. Prior to a Board member being voted on at the annual meeting, presenting him/her with a sample contract will help ensure that the relationship between the Board member and the organization will start off on the right path.

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