Sample Board Operations Calendar

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Also see Carter's Board Blog (for for-profits and nonprofits).

The following calendar can be reviewed by an organization to modify according to their own nature and needs. The following calendar should be updated yearly and provided to each board member and the chief executive.

NOTE #1: There are certain one-time activities that the board should conduct during the startup of the organization. See the list Startup Activities List at the end of this document.

NOTE #2: There are also certain activities that recur in each regular board meeting. Regular board meetings might be held once a month, every two months, once every three months, etc. To get a sense for the activities that occur in these meetings, see Sample Meeting Agenda and Sample Meeting Minutes.

NOTE #3: The timing for each of the following activities should be relative to the timing of the beginning of the fiscal year. In the following sample table, the fiscal year begins January 1.

Regular Board Activity Approximate Date (see NOTE #3 above)
1. Fiscal year begins January (fiscal-year timing is often specified in the Bylaws)
2. Conduct Board Self-Evaluation (do once a year and in preparation for first board retreat (there are 2 per year)) March-April (do shortly before evaluating chief executive)
3. Evaluate Chief Executive (by referencing his or her progress towards last fiscal year's goals and his or her job description) April-May (do shortly after completion of last fiscal year)
4. Review and update board policies and personnel policies April-June (do concurrent to board and chief evaluations)
5. Conduct first board retreat (address board self-evaluation results, team building, begin strategic planning, etc.) April
6. Begin recruiting new board members April-May (in time for June/July elections)
7. Conduct strategic planning to produce organizational goals and resources need to reach goals May-June-July (start planning in time for setting mission, vision, values, issues, goals, strategies, resource needs, funding needs (nonprofit-specific), and time for getting funds before beginning of next fiscal year)
8. Elect new board members June-July (per By-Laws)
9. Establish chief executive's goals for next year (as produced from strategic planning) August (as organizational goals are realized from planning)
10. Hold annual meeting July (per By-Laws)
11. Draft next year's budget (based on resources needed to reach new strategic goals) July-August-September
12. Develop fundraising plan(nonprofit-specific) (with primary goals to get funds needed for budget) July-August-September
13. Conduct second board retreat (address board orientation/training, re-organize or form new committees based on goals from strategic plan, develop work plans, update board operations calendar, review planning status, etc.) August (in time to orient new board members soon after they join the board)
14. Conduct fundraising plan(nonprofit-specific) (primarily to meet fundraising goals) August-December


Startup Activities List (to start the organization)

When forming a new corporation or association (these are the types of organizations that usually have boards of directors), the board typically has several specific activities they must conduct, including meeting to:
1. Approve the mission statement (may include vision and values statements, as well)
2. Approve Articles of Incorporation (or whatever charter document is required in your state)
3. Approve Bylaws (these are not always required in every state; you should strongly consider having them anyway)
4. Select officers in the board (usually including the president or chair, vice president or vice chair, secretary and treasurer)
5. Approve (probably very rough drafts of the) strategic plan and yearly budget

Return to Free Complete Board Toolkit


Submit a link


For the Category of Boards of Directors:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

For-Profit ("Corporate") Boards of Directors

Nonprofit Boards of Directors



For-Profit ("Corporate") Boards of Directors

Leadership and Supervision in Business - Book Cover Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best employees for your business. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or employee), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among employees of small businesses. Many materials in this Library are adapted from this book.

NOTE: This is one of the few books that's all about leadership AND how to effectively work with a corporate (for-profit) Board.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Nonprofit Boards of Directors

Developing, Operating and Restoring Your Nonprofit Board - Book Cover Field Guide to Developing, Operating and Restoring Your Nonprofit Board
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to organize, operate and sustain high-quality nonprofit Boards -- and to fix a broken Board! Includes variety of Board models you can choose from, roles and responsibilities, how to get the best members, how to train and organize them, goals for standard committees, ensuring high-quality meetings, evaluating Boards, how to evaluate and/or replace the Executive Director, and much more! Includes many sample Board policies you can download! Written by the developer of the Free Management Library. Many materials in this Library's topic about Boards are adapted from this book. 30-day, money-back, guarantee!
Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff - Book Cover Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best staff members for your nonprofit. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or staff member), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among nonprofit staff. Written by the developer of the Free Management Library. Many materials in this Library are adapted from this book.

This is one of the few books that's all about leadership AND how to effectively work with a nonprofit Board.
Consulting and Organization Development With Nonprofits - Book Cover Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development With Nonprofits
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides complete, step-by-step guidelines to identify complex issues in nonprofit organizations and successfully resolve each of them. This book is also helpful to organizations that are doing fine now, but want to evolve to the next level of performance. This is one of the truly comprehensive, yet practical, books about this complex subject! Includes online forms that can be downloaded. Written by the developer of the Free Management Library. Many materials in this Library's topic about guiding change are adapted from this comprehensive book. 30-day, money-back, guarantee!
Nonprofit Strategic Planning and Facilitation - Book Cover Field Guide to Nonprofit Strategic Planning and Facilitation
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Step-by-step guidelines to customize and facilitate planners to implement the best strategic planning process to suit the particular nature and needs of their nonprofit. This is one of the few books, if any, that explains how to actually facilitate planning. Includes many online forms that can be downloaded and used by planners. Written by the developer of the Free Management Library. Many materials in this Library's topic about strategic planning are adapted from this book. 30-day, money-back, guarantee!

For Nonprofits, Also See

Strategic Planning -- Recommended Books

Social Entrepreneurship (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Capacity Building (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Fundraising -- Recommended Books

Program Management -- Recommended Books

Leading -- Recommended Books

Training and Development -- Recommended Books

Volunteers -- Recommended Books






Find a Topic

Learn Consulting

Learn Strategic Planning


Free Management Library, © Copyright Authenticity Consulting, LLC ® ; All rights reserved
Website developed by NilesRiver.com         Graphics by Wylde Hare Creative
Provided by

Authenticity Consulting, LLC
Contact Info Privacy Policy Disclaimers