Board members should do more than show up. They should fully support and embody our mission and be loyal ambassadors for Time For Homes. When acting on behalf of the organization, each board member must put aside their personal and professional interests.
All activities and decisions should be in the best interest of the organization, not in the best interest of the individual board member.
Those who successfully fulfill this duty are those who proactively mingle with volunteers and participate in community initiatives. These individuals fully embrace our mission, not just board service.
One of the more subtle duties of a nonprofit board member is obedience. The board should do everything in its power to reach organizational goals, but members still have an obligation to follow our organization’s guidelines. These are found in our governance documents, and every board member has a legal responsibility to understand them.
A board that strays from our governance rules could steer Time For Homes in the wrong direction or even impact our standing in the community.
Our biggest advocates are our board members. These individuals are the face of our cause and are expected to use their efforts and abilities to promote the organization’s core mission in an ethical manner.
This responsibility will come naturally for our most enthusiastic board members. All directors should proactively promote our work, attempting to ignite that same passion in others. This pertains not only to their personal and professional networks but to public relations as well. When speaking to the media on behalf of Time For Homes, they should paint our organization in the best light possible.
It’s up to our board members to understand federal, state, and local laws that apply to our organization—they must assure that the organization adheres to those legal obligations.
For instance, all tax-related filings must be done completely and on time, including all annual state and federal tax returns. While registered 501(c)(3) organizations are exempt from income tax, they must still pay payroll tax, property taxes, and so on. Failure to file the IRS Form 990 return three consecutive times can result in revocation of tax-exempt status. Ensuring that it’s been filed is not only the responsibility of the treasurer but of everyone who participates in fundraising operations.
Additionally, boards should be aware of the penalties caused by:
Overpaying staff or other individuals
Engaging in excessive lobbying or political activities
Making egregious bad bargains on behalf of the nonprofit
Many states also implement laws that require board members to assume a fiduciary responsibility to the served population. This means acting in good faith and working for the benefit of those we serve, never against it.
We expect everyone that is involved in Time For Homes supports us financially, but we hold our Board of Directors to a higher commitment. We ask that you donate a personally meaningful donation to Time For Homes each year. That may look different based on your circumstances, but Time For Homes should be one of your top three philanthropic donations each year.