Board Member Obligations

Specific board positions and descriptions will be defined in our bylaws, but all board members are expected to:

● Attend all board meetings and work sessions;

● Read agendas, supporting materials, and any other preparatory materials in advance of meetings;

● Attend functions and special events as able (some will be required, and board presence is important at most events but not all board members need to attend all events);

● Represent the board at events (virtual or in person) including member growth opportunities, co-op or related industry informational sessions, tabling events, public forums, fundraisers. Frequency varies by development stage, but at least once a month is recommended (not including standard public, board, or committee meetings);

● Plan one significant event per calendar year or head a committee that pushes the co-op forward in a measurable and meaningful way (can be done in partnership with other board members);

● Be informed of and able to communicate about the Bethlehem Food Co-Op mission, services, policies, and programs;

● Participate in task forces, ad hoc committees, etc. as needed and offer to take on special assignments;

● Follow through on assigned tasks relating to co-op development;

● Make a personal financial contribution to the co-op by becoming a full member-owner and by participating at a mutually agreed upon level in fundraising endeavors, including capital campaign;

● Inform others about the co-op;

● Suggest volunteers, businesses, and/or potential board members who can make significant contributions to the work of the board and the co-op;

● Keep up-to-date on developments in the cooperative business and food realms;

● Follow conflict-of-interest and confidentiality policies;

● Assist the board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities, such as reviewing the organization's annual financial statements;

● Follow all other policies as defined by the bylaws.

● If you are struggling to fulfill obligations or are overwhelmed, communicate honestly with the chair and/or entire board. If the need to step down arises, give as much notice as possible (preferably at least one month).


Board members should possess the following traits:

● Ability to: listen, analyze, think clearly and creatively, work well with people individually and in a group; able to work on projects and seek answers to questions independently

● Comfortability with technology and/or a willingness to learn to use programs such as Slack and NationBuilder, among others.

● Willing to: prepare for and attend meetings, ask questions, take responsibility and follow through on a given assignment, contribute personal and financial resources in a generous way according to personal circumstances, open doors in the community, evaluate oneself.

● Develop certain skills if you do not already possess them, such as those needed to: cultivate and solicit funds, cultivate and recruit board members and other volunteers, read and understand financial statements, learn more about the substantive program area of the organization.

● Possess: honesty, sensitivity to and tolerance of differing views, a friendly, responsive, and patient approach, community-building skills, personal integrity, a developed sense of values, concern for the co-op's development, and a sense of humor.


Last updated 7/2020

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