New Haven Land Trust Duties and Expectations

Position Title: Member, Board of Trustees

Function: Provide governance to the organization, represent it to the community, and accept the ultimate legal authority for it.

Basic Expectations:

1. Regularly attends board meetings and important related meetings.

2. Is a member of at least one committee and 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 or board annual evaluation and planning efforts.

7. Personally makes a gift to the organization and participates in fund raising for the organization

Summary of Board of Trustee Duties:

Duty of Planning

Organizational Duties


 Operations Duties

Fiduciary Responsibility Duty

  Duty of Care

 Duty of Loyalty

What Board Members Should Expect:

Certain kinds of support by staff and each other are required for board members to be able to fulfill their duties. Board members should expect, and insist on, the following:

  1. An orientation for new board members to the history, mission, goals, structure and budget of the organization and to the expectations of board members. This orientation should provide them with copies of all governing documents and board policies.
  2. Regular board meetings, scheduled well (at least 2 weeks) in advance.
  3. Board packets providing the information needed to make well informed decisions as required by the agenda, 24 hours before each board meeting.
  4. Regular and financial reports which include: income and expense statements that include a comparison with the budget and balance sheets at least quarterly (typically monthly), an annual budget presented for approval, and an independent audit provided annually. Sufficient time in board meetings to answer any questions board members have about finances.
  5. Formal, written minutes for board meetings presented to the board for review and official approval at or before the next board meeting. These are public record and should be filed in a way that makes them easy to access if questions arise.
  6. An active role in setting policy for the organization. All board members will be involved in any changes to the mission, values and primary goals of the organization, and to the bylaws or articles of incorporation, and be part of the strategic planning work for the organization.
  7. Willing engagement by staff and other board members in providing information the board needs to make good decisions.