Report to the Board

Introduction

Volunteer ToolkitAn association board set the goals and objectives to be achieved by the various volunteer units and then monitors and evaluates their work. Communicating progress to the board is an important responsibility of the volunteer unit.

Reporting progress usually requires some formal communication processes. At AMSN, the chairperson, coordinator or representative and the board liaison share the responsibility to communicate the progress of a VU to the Board of Directors.

Progress reporting occurs three ways:

  1. The chair and the board liaison should communicate regularly.
  2. The chair emails an informal status report to the board liaison for monthly board conference calls. The board liaison should inform the chair when they require the report. Here is the template to use.
  3. The chair, staff liaison and board liaison should collaborate and send a formal status report (board report) to the National Office about 6 weeks prior to every board meeting. These reports are sent to the board members for review prior to the meeting. If there are recommendations that need to be discussed during the board meeting, the board liaison also needs to send an agenda item to the National Office.   

Final Reports

Task forces will also need to send the board a final report with their recommendations when they have completed the task force charter. Ultimately, the chair is responsible for creating the final report, but it should be a collaboration of the work of the task force members, the chair, the staff liaison and the board liaison.

The board liaison will review a draft of the final paper with the President to ensure completion and inclusion of all necessary information. The President may request additional information from the task force at that time.  

Click the tabs below for more information and templates for each of the formal communication processes.

Board Reports

Board reports are the formal status reports that VU use to communicate their activities and progress to the board of directors. The board report should be a collaboration between the chair, staff liaison and board liaison. The board liaison will need to be able to answer any questions regarding the activities of the VU at board meetings.

The final board report is required by the staff liaison about 6 weeks prior to board meetings. The staff liaison should send out a reminder about 8 weeks prior, so that the three have time to collaborate and complete the report on time. The staff liaison will make sure that it is included in the materials sent to the board for review prior to the meeting.

The AMSN board meets three times per year, but the exact dates change every year. Your staff liaison will advise you of exact dates. 

Board Meeting Name Time Frame Board Report Due Average
Winter February Early January
Spring Early June Later April
Fall Pre- and post-convention Late August

Board reports can also be a useful tool for chairs to use to guide the volunteer unit. It may state the AMSN Strategic Plan goal and specific objectives for direction and focus.

It then lists all the various roles, activities and parameters that are to be accomplished by the volunteer unit. Next to each of these is a corresponding section for a progress statement. The report also includes who is involved in the volunteer unit, reports on time frames and other details important to the individual VU.

There is a template for on-going VU, representatives and another template for project based task forces. Feel free to customize these reports to fit the work of your VU. If you are a chair, you may also ask your staff liaison to pre-populate much of the information and then send it to you.

Task Force Final Report

A critical step in the work of a task force includes communicating findings and recommendations to the board when the charge of the task force and all the charter parameters have been completed. This communication step is done with a final report that is reviewed by all board members and discussed as an agenda item at a board meeting.

Ultimately, the chair is responsible for creating the final report, but it should be a collaboration of the work of the task force members, the chair, the staff liaison and the board liaison. The board liaison will review one or more drafts of the final report with the president to ensure completion and inclusion of all necessary information. The board liaison collaborates on any changes required with the chair and staff liaison until the report is accepted as final.

During this review process, the board liaison and president will also determine for which board meeting or conference call the board liaison should write an agenda item. Occasionally review of the report must be delayed due to the quantity of items being considered by the board.

The template for the final report facilitates board discussion and review, particularly when the charter has multiple parameters and deliverables. Report appendices may follow a format that fits the charge or parameter.

Agenda Items

Most meetings have agendas. The agenda for the AMSN board meeting is usually determined 4-6 weeks before the meeting by the President with the collaboration of the Executive Team. The board liaison will be in communication with the President about when a task force or committee recommendation should be an agenda item in a board call or meeting.

When a task force completes their charter or a committee requires the formal approval of a recommendation, the board liaison needs to formally bring the topic to the board via an agenda item. The agenda item provides background on the topic and outlines what the decision the board is being asked to make and the recommendation from the task force or committee. There may be attachments to the agenda item, for example, the final report of a task force.

The agenda item and any attachments are sent prior to the meeting so that the board members have time to review the item and can be prepared to discuss and ask questions. The agenda item and attachments should be submitted to the National Office approximately 4-6 weeks prior to the meeting.

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