By Corinne Gartner
Directors of California nonprofit corporations owe fiduciary duties to the corporation they serve. These include the duty of care (which includes an obligation of due inquiry) and the duty of loyalty. But what does all of this really mean, and how can directors ensure that they are acting in accordance with the standards of conduct to which they are held? By conducting periodic board trainings, nonprofits can help educate their board members about director roles and responsibilities, which can contribute to a more engaged board and, ultimately, can strengthen the nonprofit’s organizational effectiveness.
Key topics for board trainings can include:
- An explanation of the management structure of nonprofit corporations, and the board’s role and scope of authority within that structure.
- A “deep dive” into director fiduciary duties – what do they mean, and how to properly exercise them.
- How to identify and handle conflicts of interest.
Board trainings can be vitally important for new board members, especially if they haven’t served on a nonprofit board before. But board trainings can also be advantageous for experienced directors, who might benefit from a “refresher” on important corporate governance concepts – and who might come away from the training with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication to the organization and its mission.
As California nonprofits continue to emerge from the upheaval wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic – and with some nonprofits resuming in-person board meetings and retreats – now may be the perfect time to consider conducting a training for the board of your nonprofit.
Nothing in this blog is intended to constitute legal advice and your interactions with this blog do not result in the formation of an attorney-client relationship. All matters are different and, as such, nothing in this blog is intended to guarantee, warrant, or predict a specific outcome.