Board of Directors
Members of the Board of Directors of Asperger Works serve an important role within the organization. The future of Asperger Works is in large part ensured through the active participation of its Board. Service as a Board Member holds certain expectations in terms of involvement, participation, support and commitment to Asperger Works’ mission. Prospective and incumbent Board Members should commit themselves to the following Board of Directors job description:
- Understand and support Asperger Works’ mission, vision, and values.
- Exercise the core duties of care and loyalty in a manner consistent with the best interests of the mission of the organization.
- Be knowledgeable and current on the various services Asperger Works offers; follow trends in the social services and policy and legislative arenas that affect Asperger Works and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders; be familiar with Asperger Works’ history and current organizational structure.
- As a Board Member, your principle responsibilities will entail fiduciary and strategic and governance activities. The expectation is that these practices will model that of the best standards of corporate and nonprofit governance.
- Support the decisions of the Board. Once a decision has been made, it is the decision of the Board. Board Members are expected to engage in informed and respectful exchange of possibly differing thoughts and perspectives leading up to a vote in a matter coming before the Board. Once the Board has voted on a matter, the director’s duty of loyalty precludes the individual directors from expressing public criticism of the decision.
- Make known and make available your talents, skills, and areas of expertise; serve in leadership positions and undertake special assignments. Use any special skills or training you may have to further the work of the Board and Asperger Works. If Asperger Works has staff or paid consultants in your area of expertise, treat them with respect. Express professional disagreement in a way that moves the discussion forward.
- Exercise oversight with respect to the Asperger Works’ compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
- Develop a rapport and be respectful and encouraging with fellow Board Members; be accessible to other Board Members via phone and email between meetings as needed.
- Regularly assess Board performance; suggest possible nominees to the Board who clearly are individuals of achievement and distinction and who can contribute to the work of the Board and the organization’s progress.
- Enhance Asperger Works’ public standing; serve as an Asperger Works advocate and ambassador to family, friends, business associates, and other constituents; convey the significant impact Asperger Works has in the lives of adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families.
- Establish as a high priority attendance and participation in all regular Board meetings, conference calls, and the annual fundraising events.
- Serve as asked as an active member on committees; attend all of its regular meetings (and, in some cases, conference calls); participate fully in its work.
- Suggest agenda items periodically for board and committee meetings to ensure that significant, policy-related matters are addressed.
- Arrive prepared to discuss the issues and business to be addressed at board and committee meetings, having reviewed the materials in advance.
- Maintain confidentiality of Board and committee executive sessions, and speak for the Board or organization only when authorized to do so.
- Exercise constructive skepticism with respect to matters and proposals presented to the Board by management and staff.
- Exercise overall fiduciary responsibility to ensure organizational fiscal stability and accountability and to maintain legal and ethical integrity.
- Each Board Member will be expected to support all aspects of the strategic and business plan and will contribute through fund-raising and executive leadership activities to assist in achieving intended outcomes.
- Each Board Member will be held accountable to personally contribute (between $5.00 and $25.00 a month according to ability to pay), find others to contribute, and/or organize activities to help forward the financial needs of Asperger Works.
- Each Board Member will assist in fundraising for the organization through personal influence with contacts, including individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Relationship with Staff:
- Work with the executive director and ensure that his/her performance is assessed annually through an appropriate committee of the Board (keeping in mind that, per Asperger Works Bylaws, he/she is on the Spectrum needing special allowances and aid).
- Be accessible to the executive director and other management staff (if any) by phone as needed.
- Refrain from intruding in operational and administrative issues that are the responsibility of management, except to monitor the results and ensure they are consistent with Board policy.
- Serve Asperger Works as a whole rather than any special interest group, constituency or affiliate; maintain independence and objectivity as a sense of fairness, ethics and personal integrity dictate.
- Use good faith efforts to avoid interests that could create a potential conflict of interest; avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest that might create a conflict for the Board or the organization; and if such a conflict does arise, declare that conflict before the board in a timely fashion and refrain from voting on matters affected by the conflict.
- Never accept (or offer) favors or gifts from (or to) anyone who does business with Asperger Works.