Board of Directors Duties

I: Philosophy.

The Board of Directors of the Windham Textile and History Museum is a working board and a policy setting board. As the elected representatives of the Museum’s general membership, it is the Board’s responsibility to see that the Museum is managed in a way that comports with State of Connecticut and federal law, with professional standards within the museum field, and in accordance with the wishes and interests of the membership.

II: General Expectations.

  1. Know the Museum’s mission, purposes, goals, policies, programs, services, strengths, and needs.
  2. Enhance the Museum’s public standing.
  3. Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability.
  4. Ensure effective organizational planning.
  5. Manage resources effectively.
  6. Determine, monitor, and strengthen the Museum’s programs and services.
  7. Serve on at least one Board committee.
  8. Volunteer to help with Museum programs and activities. Undertake assignments willingly when asked.
  9. Complete designated tasks in a timely manner.
  10. Bring a sense of humor to Board and committee meetings.
  11. Be responsive to fellow Board members and staff and reply to emails and phone calls promptly.
  12. Recruit and orient new Board members and assess Board performance.

III: Governance Responsibilities.

  1. Review mission, vision, bylaws, job descriptions, goals, other policies, and programs regularly and consider revisions as needed.
  2. Appoint new Board members and officers between annual meetings, in accordance with the bylaws.
  3. Consider and approve an annual Museum budget.

IV: Financial Responsibilities.

  1. Demonstrate support for the Museum by maintaining at least an individual Museum membership.
  2. Attend as many programs as possible.
  3. Make a donation to the Museum’s annual appeal (even if only a small one), supporting our standard of 100% Board participation.
  4. Take an active role in fundraising activities.
  5. Be alert and proactive to funding opportunities.

V: Fiduciary Responsibilities.

  1. Exercise prudence in the control and transfer of funds.
  2. Ensure adequate resources.
  3. Faithfully read and understand the Museum’s financial statements and otherwise help the Board fulfill its fiduciary responsibility.

VI: Meetings.

  1. Prepare, attend, and participate in Board and committee meetings as consistently as possible.
  2. Maintain confidentiality of the Board’s executive decisions; adhere to the Museum’s Confidentiality Policy.
  3. Suggest agenda items for Board and committee meetings to ensure that significant issues are addressed regularly.
  4. Ask timely and substantive questions.
  5. Support the majority decision.

VII: Relationships with Staff. 

  1. Select the Executive Director.
  2. Counsel the Executive Director as appropriate and offer support.
  3. Assess the performance of the Executive Director.
  4. Reply to emails and phone calls from staff promptly and complete requested tasks.
  5. Avoid asking for special favors of the staff.
  6. Recognize when acting as a Board member (in a role that is supervisory of the Executive Director, but not of other paid or unpaid staff) and when acting as volunteer or unpaid staff (in a role that is supervised by the Executive Director, and may be supervisory of other paid or unpaid staff).

VIII: Ethical Responsibilities. 

  1. Abide by the Museum’s Board Conflict of Interest Policy.
  2. Serve the Museum as a whole, rather than special interest groups.
  3. Maintain independence and objectivity, and do what fairness, ethics, and personal integrity dictate.
  4. Never accept or offer substantive favors or gifts from or to anyone who does business with the organization.