Three Types of Information Your Nonprofit’s Board Needs

By Carlye Dooley

Information is power. And regularly supplying information to your not-for-profit’s board of directors is the key to the board properly fulfilling its duties. This doesn’t mean you have to share every internal email or phone message, but board members should, however, receive and understand information that will help them work together and better serve your organization.

Three types of information important to share with your board, include:

1. Financial: To fulfill their fiduciary duties, the board must receive copies of your Form 990, and the board president or treasurer should review and approve it before it’s filed. The board also must get the results of any audit you’ve conducted, salary information for key staff, monthly and quarterly financial reports showing income and expenses, and proof of directors and officers insurance, if your organization provides it. 

2. Strategic: This includes reports on your nonprofit’s work, such as:
  • How programs are being carried out
  • Program usage statistics
  • Progress on event timelines, and,
  • Membership statistics.
If your organization collects information from the audience it serves through formal or informal means, provide at least an executive summary of your findings to your board. Occasionally sharing with the board articles that relate to your nonprofit’s mission, locations or audiences also may be useful. 

3. Details on Your Board members: To help foster teamwork and commitment  to the cause, ask that members share brief bios and other relevant background information. Also, publicly share thank-you’s when board members make special efforts, whether those efforts are individual (such as securing an event sponsor) or group (performing due diligence on a new executive director).  
Of course, you always want to inform your board when unexpected events occur, particularly if they have the potential to negatively affect your organization or require swift action. But don’t deluge your board with so much information that they can’t keep up. If it’s something that will help them serve your nonprofit, it’s something you should share.

Windham Brannon has extensive experience providing accounting services for the not-for-profit sector. Contact Carlye Dooley for more information.

Carlye Dooley, Principal, Tax
Phone: 678.510.2735