Walpole said the days of non-profit boards just dealing with fundraisers and social events are gone. Today board members attend strategic planning meetings for short and long term goals with a higher focus on accountability.
Many boards are having to find ways to do more with less financing. New laws, including those regarding personnel and employment issues, health care, and tax status can create extra work to provide reporting compliance. Government regulations, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, put in place after the financial crisis not only affect public companies but also non-profits as well. The IRS has instituted more reporting requirements as far as donations are concerned. An organization must be careful how it spends money since the funds are from the public.
Walpole said every board member should make sure their board has the following in place:
* An independent audit committee to help the board understand financial statements
* A strategic plan that includes major future spending
* Clear fundraising goals
* Familiarity with the management and operations of non-profits
* Benchmarks for measuring results
* Personal liability insurance for officers and directors
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