New Board Member Orientation Checklist

It’s important to give new board members – and other  volunteers – an orientation to your program. This makes them feel more confident about their new role and better able to speak about what your Main Street program does in the community. Orientations often include key features which are described below.

Describe the program

  • Clearly explain to the new board member the following points:
    • Who the Main Street organization serves
    • What the organization does
    • How the organization is financed
    • Any other key information about the purpose of the organization and how it functions


Explain board roles and responsibilities

  • Confirm that the new board member fully understands:
    • Meeting attendance requirements for both the board of directors and committees
    • Committee assignments
    • The role of the board, its organization, and its relation to administration, staff, and volunteers


Conduct tours

  • Make sure the new member is familiar with:
    • The organization’s office, board room, and other facilities
    • The Main Street district and greater community


Deliver important information

  • Make sure the new member has access to the following materials:
    • Letter of welcome from the program manager
    • The organization’s mission and vision statement
    • Bylaws & articles of incorporation
    • Board policies
    • Copies of the minutes of board meetings from the last year
    • Current budget & other financial reports including year-end statement from preceding year
    • Current work plan including goals and objectives
    • The organization’s long-term plan
    • Latest newsletter
    • The “Main Street Approach” information sheet
    • Participation agreement with Minnesota Main Street
    • List of all board members and officers including addresses and telephone numbers
    • List of committee members including committee chairpersons
    • Calendar of meetings and events for the year
    • Any other important documents or materials



  • Introduce the new member to the following people:
    • Program manager
    • Chairperson of committee to which board member has volunteered
    • Other board members
    • Any other people who have a prominent role or relationship with the program


Collect Data

  • Ask the new member about the following personal information:
    • Mailing address, email address, and telephone numbers (home and office)
    • Best time to contact
    • Best time for meetings
    • Other important information


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