In Pursuit of a Mission: The Governing and Advisory Board

If you are interested in serving on our governing board or our advisory board, you may find the description below. You may also find attached a sample contract for governing board members. 

Difference between Governing Board Members & Advisory Board Members

The Governing Board and Advisory Board positions are very similar. Usually, interested parties will join the advisory board first as a means of getting to know our organization. Unlike Governing Board members, Advisory board members have no fiduciary duties. However, they will be held the same standard as Governing Board members regarding communication, performance, proactivity, and encouraging collaboration among professionals.

The Advisory board has no formal chair positions (i.e.: head chair, treasury, committees... ). Albeit, interested parties are encouraged to interact with their Governing counterparts and even retroactively take on "positions of their interest" within the advisory board.

Finally, any advisory board member who want to formally join the governing board must be voted in by the other governing board members. 


To create a high performing board through clarity and to encourage collective accountability. This document will
  • Outline expectations the organization has for its board members 
  • Describe plans of action when errors occur 
  • Establish a clear distinction between the roles of the board members from those of the executive director and staff



Rewriting negative cultural narratives for people of color through education, research, and development.


Establish appropriate checks-and-balances to ensure the organization is well managed and its mission is carried out. Specifically, "programs" are defined as ongoing activities that should directly address facets of our mission.
The organization will begin on this mission through these two programs:

Organization for Social Science Research Projects (Outreach) 

Provide a platform for researchers to investigate an issue and other interested entities to give their resources in support. The governing and advisory boards will focus on:
  1. Assisting with obtaining professionals to create legal infrastructure for research and publication projects between several parties 
  2. Voting on potential expeditions: providing a platform for researchers to investigate an issue and other interested entities to give their resources in support.
    • Issues such as: gentrification, children's rights, voter's rights, etc
    • Resources such as: venues, audience, etc

Scholars in Residence

This scholar in residence program will be for incubating activists, journalists, researchers, and entrepreneurs for social research expeditions.
The governing and advisory board will be expected to:
  1. Provide input for developing standards of evaluation of potential scholars in residence 
  2. Discuss possible projects, and their impact on the community. 
  3. Identify both funding opportunities and career development through cultivating relationships
A residency program is only as valuable as its connections to the people already on the ground. 

Resource Development

Ensure the organization has the financial and human resources it needs to fulfill its mission. This will be done through: 
  1. Direct donations and endowments from the board 
  2. Board members identifying and activating potential donors from their connections 
  3. Voting on effective fundraising and development staff


Connect with the external community to promote the organization's mission, values and programs. This will be done through: 
  1. Activating potential authors and journalists to submit to the foundation's outreach newsletter 
  2. Encouraging connections to connect with the outreach newsletter

Board Member Job Description

  1. Regularly attends monthly board meetings at the agreed on date and time listed on the schedule.
  2. Makes serious commitment to participate actively in committee work.
  3. Volunteers for and willingly accepts assignments and completes them thoroughly and on time.
  4. Stays informed about committee matters, prepares themselves well for meetings, and reviews and comments on minutes and reports.
  5. Gets to know other committee members and builds a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus.
  6. Is an active participant in the committee's annual evaluation and planning efforts
  7. Participates in fundraising for the organization by regularly sending personal messages to high level contacts

Board Chair Job Description

  1. Is a member of the Board
  2.  Serves as the Chief Volunteer of the organization
  3. Is a partner with the Chief Executive in achieving the organization's mission
  4. Provides leadership to the Board of Directors, who sets policy and to whom the Chief Executive is accountable.
  5. Chairs meetings of the Board after developing the agenda with the Chief Executive.
  6. Encourages Board's role in strategic planning
  7. Appoints the chairpersons of committees, in consultation with other Board members.
  8. Serves ex officio as a member of committees and attends their meetings when invited.
  9. Discusses issues confronting the organization with the Chief Executive.
  10. Helps guide and mediate Board actions with respect to organizational priorities and governance concerns.
  11. Reviews with the Chief Executive any issues of concern to the Board.
  12. Monitors financial planning and financial reports.
  13. Plays a leading role in fundraising activities
  14. Formally evaluates the performance of the Chief Executive and informally evaluates the effectiveness of the Board members.
  15. Evaluates annually the performance of the organization in achieving its mission

Board Treasurer Job Description

  1. Is a member of the Board
  2. Manages finances of the organization including developing and maintaining the initial budget
  3. Administrates fiscal matters of the organization
  4. Provides annual budget to the board for members' approval
  5. Ensures development and board review of financial policies and procedures

Rahni Jere Sumler,
Sep 19, 2017, 11:14 AM