We hosted our third not-for-profit seminar of 2019, “Nonprofit Governance & Risk Management,” on November 6th. It was a compelling topic to close the year! Our speaker was attorney Nicola Fuentes Toubia, whose work is dedicated to legal and tax issues facing nonprofits.

three rows of people sitting in chairs in an open room, facing towards two speakers and project screens for the seminar "nonprofit governance & risk management"

In her discussion, Toubia provided tips on better governance best practices and offered insight on various areas where organizations are susceptible to risk.


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To properly fulfill their fiduciary duties, your not-for-profit’s board needs certain information from its board members, and it’s up to the executive director and managers to ensure they have it. This doesn’t mean you have to share every internal email, memo or phone message. Board members are busy and you don’t want to bog them down with superfluous reading material.

two women sitting at a table with various forms, one woman hands over a page and the other has pen in-hand to fill out paperwork; for a blog about not-for-profit board members information

However, there are several types of information you must share so that they can make informed decisions.


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Nicole Riley, an Audit Senior Manager and one of the faces of the PKF Texas Not-for-Profit team. Nicole, welcome back to The Playbook.

Nicole: Thank you. Glad to be here.

Jen: You know, we’ve been covering topics relevant to not-for-profit organizations, and one thing I noticed that you’ve talked about with clients are the fiduciary responsibilities of a board member. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Nicole: A lot of board members don’t realize that they do have a fiduciary duty, and it’s really important that they understand that, because they could be held financially responsible for the financial harm they do to an organization.

Jen: Wow, interesting. So, are there certain steps that they need to be mindful of?


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Not-for-profit board members — whether compensated or not — have a fiduciary duty to the organization. Some states have laws governing the activities of not-for-profit boards and other fiduciaries.

But not all board members are aware of their responsibilities. To protect your not-for-profit’s financial health and integrity, it’s important that you help them understand.


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Contrary to popular belief, it’s usually perfectly legal to compensate not-for-profit board members — and sometimes it might even be necessary. But is it right for your organization?

Pros and Cons
Board member compensation comes with several pros and cons to consider. Your organization might, for example, find it worthwhile to offer compensation to attract