Sample Board Operations Calendar

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    Sample Board
    Operations Calendar

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

    Vast majority of content
    in this topic applies to for-profits and nonprofits. This book also covers this topic.


    Developing, Operating and Restoring Your Nonprofit Board - Book Cover

    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

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