Many community associations are now welcoming and orienting their new board members. The more information board members receive, the more effectively they can carry out their responsibilities. When given the right information in an easy-to-use format, most board members are happy to educate themselves about their new role, and come to their first board meeting prepared to participate meaningfully in the governance of their association.
Below is a checklist of items your association may wish to include in its standard board member handbook, CD, or orientation packet. The items are arranged, not in order of importance, but in the order that would be suitable for the table of contents of a printed handbook. Specifically, items that may change or be supplemented frequently (like meeting minutes and financial reports) are listed at the beginning. Items that do not change often and should be used as references (like governing documents and resources), are listed at the end.
It’s tempting – and of course a good idea -- to post all this information on a website accessible to the board. But remember that the board does its work in meetings. For that reason it’s very helpful for all members to receive a hard copy of at least the Governing Documents in a binder they can refer to during meetings. Most board members like to have agendas, minutes, key policies and selected financial information in hard copy for reference as well.
Good luck to all the new board members!