Board Composition and Responsibilities
Chamber of Commerce Boards vary greatly in size and composition. Boardsource.org reports that the “sweet spot” for nonprofit boards ranges from 15-22 members. The larger the organization, the larger the board. However, as board size increases, attendance decreases. Based on data collected in the 2011 ACCE Operations Survey, chamber board sizes range from approximately 11 to 128, with the average for smaller chambers being 19 and the average for the largest chambers being 55. Typical roles on the board are board chair, vice chair (some boards have more than one), secretary, treasurer, and members. The majority of boards have an executive committee, which acts on behalf of the board between meetings. Boards often have other committees as well to manage their core governance functions, such as fundraising and financial management.
- General Guides:
- Board Matrix Resources:
- Board Selection: Investor Categories - A matrix of investor categories to help determine what sectors your nominating committee needs to focus on, provided as an example by ACCE.
- Board Development Matrix - This matrix from Fox Cities Chamber can be used to analyze current and prospective board members according to industry size and type, diversity, resources, and expertise.
- Board Matrix - Blank board member matrix template from St. Tammany West Chamber with fields for gender and nature of occupation/business, and location in the chamber's area of operation.
- Birnbach Success Solutions Resources:
- Blue Avocado Resources (A magazine from American Nonprofits):
- BoardSource Resources:
- Robert C. Harris Nonprofit Center Resources:
- General Board Guidelines - Clear outline of how “The Board Governs, the Staff Manages."
- Avoiding Board Orientation - Explains the importance of holding an annual orientation for board members, and discusses some common reasons why board members may not understand the extent of their responsibilities.
- Before Saying "Yes" to Serving on a Board - Checklist to consider before accepting an offer to serve on a board of directors, with information about documents that prospective board members should review, as well as what to ask about expectations, risk and compliance.
- Board Responsibilities: Guide to Orientation and Understanding Board Roles - Explains the purposes and duties of a board of directors.
- Forty Chamber Challenges: Boards, Committees, Strategic Planning, and Policy Adoption - Addresses four areas of persistent concern: boards and governance, committee management, strategic planning, and policy implementation. It identifies ten challenges related to each area, and suggests perspectives and solutions for each.
- Whose Role Is It? - A matrix tool of twenty-five chamber duties, assigning responsibility to several from among the chief elected officer, board of directors, staff, and committees. The remainder are left blank for chambers to complete.
Board Member Job Description Samples
- Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce Board Member Job Descriptions - Lists descriptions for Chair, Chair Elect, Past Chair, President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
- Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Bylaws - Many board bylaws provide brief descriptions and duties for each board member position. See more Bylaws Samples.
- Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Job Description and Commitment Form - Lists descriptions for Chairman, First Vice-Chairman, Second Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice Chairs
- Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce Board Job Descriptions - Contains position descriptions for Chairman, Chairman-Elect, Chairman-Elect Designate, Treasurer, General Counsel, Executive Board Member, and Committee Chairman.
- Los Angeles Area Chamber Board of Directors Responsibilities - Provides an overview of the board; nomination process; meetings; financial commitment; and other responsibilities.
- Michigan West Coast Chamber Board of Directors Job Descriptions - Lists duties and responsibilities of the chair, chair-elect, treasurer and board members of the chamber's board of directors.
- Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & CVB Role of Officers and Directors - Includes the function of the board, role and responsibilities of the individual board director, role of the officers, and role of the executive committee.
- Board and Volunteer Orientation examples from Birnbach Success Solutions, includes: Board Chair Position Description; Board Composition by Board Member; Board of Directors Position Description and more.
- Board Job Descriptions (Generic Sample) from the Robert C. Harris Nonprofit Center - Lists board job descriptions and is designed to insert in a leadership manual.
- Committee Liaison Roles from the Robert C. Harris Nonprofit Center - Explains the roles and importance of board and staff liaisons to committees, and includes sample position descriptions for liaisons between committees and the board of directors, who act as advisers and advocates for the committees; and liaisons between committees and the chamber staff, who serve as a resource for the committees.
- Sample Board Officer Descriptions from CompassPoint - See page 6-8 for Executive Committee Descriptions.
- Sample Job Descriptions for Members of Boards of Directors - Resource compiled by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
Board Member Application Samples
- Board Position Application - Application from the Carmel Chamber of Commerce with clear descriptions of the Chamber's Mission statement, time allocation for serving on the Board, including term length, meetings, attendance, and financial commitments.
- Board of Directors Statement of Interest - Statement of interest/self-nomination form for the Fox Cities Chamber's board of directors contains a brief series of multiple choice and open-ended questions.
- Prospective Board Member Questionnaire - Application and questionnaire from the Irvine Chamber of Commerce that helps focus the Board recruitment and interview process and includes Board member expectations.
Board Member Nominations & Ballot Samples
Board Contracts & Agreement Samples
- Board Member Agreement - Androscoggin County Chamber's Board Agreement lists the responsibilities owed by the chamber to the board member, and vice versa.
- Board Commitment Form - Grapevine Chamber has created this guide to serving on the chamber's board of directors, and outlines the roles and responsibilities, including participation expectations, of board members.
- Board Consent to Serve Form - Robert C. Harris Nonprofit Center
- Board Member Contract - example from Blue Avocado
We're seeking Board Contracts & Agreements from Chambers. Have one to share? Email us at HERO@acce.org
Board Manual Samples
- Board Policy Manual (generic/template) - This generic manual advises a chamber board of its roles, individual responsibilities, and policies that pertain to the relationship of a Director in a not-for-profit Corporation.
- Board Policy Manual - Forks Chamber of Commerce board manual provides board member expectations and responsibilities, orientation details, board guidelines, and ethics and conflict of interest policy.
- Board Orientation Handbook 2013 - Lebanon Valley Chamber's handbook, which is included in the orientation packet given to new directors each year, discusses the qualifications and role of chamber board members, in particular their relationships to the public, chamber staff, committees, fellow board members, and various initiatives.
- Board of Directors Manual - Longview Chamber's manual, distributed for leadership orientation for the chamber's board of directors, covers the chamber bylaws, legal and fiscal responsibilities, the upcoming year's strategic plan and the budget, among other topics. It also includes several documents to sign and return.
- See more Board Manuals in ACCE's Samples Library
Chamber Executive Committee Resources & Examples
Compensation Committee Resources
Volunteer Committees Samples
See more on the Volunteer Management
Articles & Online Resources
- How to Help Board Chairs Lead - A recent study says nonprofit board chairs are often ill-prepared and frustrated. Training can help, says an expert. So can shared leadership. Associations Now (November 2016)
- 14 Interview Questions for Board Members - from the NonProfit Times (December 2014)
- Setting Criteria For Board Members - from the NonProfit Times (November 2014)
- How Non-Profit Boards Can Effectively Utilize Committees - White Paper by Social Venture Partners (November 2011)
- Rightsizing and Restructuring, by Tom Kern, Chamber Executive magazine (Spring 2009)
- An Effective Board Begins With Clarity, by Mark Eagan, Chamber Executive magazine (Winter 2009)
- How Effective Is Your Board?, by Lana J. Furr and Richard M. Furr, Ph.D, Chamber Executive magazine (Winter 2007)
- Board Committee Structure - ASAE Whitepaper (See under: Standing Committees, 1. Executive Committee) (January 2006)
- How Well Does Your Board Govern?, by BoardSource, Chamber Executive magazine (January/Feburary 2004)
- Board Orientation, by Robert C. Harris, Chamber Executive magazine article (January/February 2003)
- The Chamber Board, by Susan Higginbotham, Chamber Executive magazine (January/February 2003)
- Good Governance - by George Constantine, Chamber Executive magazine article
- Functions of Committees in Non Profit Organizations - Quality Enhancement for Nonprofit Organizations at the University of North Carolina Wilmington
Convention & Seminar Resources
Videos, Webinars & ACCE U Resources
Related Chamberpedia Topics
| Governance and Leadership
| Board Composition and ResponsibilitiesLast Updated: 11/14/2016