Governance: Board Liaison Policy
The Lamaze Board of Directors, in carrying out its policy and program responsibilities effectively, must maintain strong and active interaction and communication with committees and other groups within the organization. Board liaisons are assigned to facilitate this commitment.
The objectives of the Board liaison position are:
- To improve communication between the Board and other groups within the organization, and facilitate advancement of strategic priorities identified in the Lamaze strategic plan.
- To facilitate the work of committees or other groups particularly when there is a need to report or to seek approval of recommendations from the Board.
- To enable early identification of issues or opportunities, and support effective discussion/action to resolve issues and advance success.
- The President makes all the liaison assignments for her or his term as President. Board members are assigned as liaisons to standing committees, special committees, task forces, and councils. Each Board member normally has one or two liaison assignments. It is customary for the President to ask Board members for their liaison preferences.
- Ordinarily, the Secretary/Treasurer serves as the liaison to the Finance Committee.
- Ordinarily, the President is the liaison to the Search Committee and the Conference Committee.
- Provide a channel for committee communication with the Board.
- During the budget planning process, provide input to the committee chair and staff liaison on the proposed activities contemplated for the coming year consistent with the Lamaze strategic priorities.
- Provide input on quarterly initiative tracking reports and report on committee activities at Board meetings.
- Review all proposed agenda items for the Board and obtain appropriate background information from committees prior to the Board meeting. Committee chairs should send all agenda items to the Executive Director and to the liaison at least six weeks before the scheduled Board meeting to allow ample time for review by the President, Board Liaison and Executive Director before the meeting.
- Present committee agenda items at Board meetings and lead the discussion. Report back to the committee promptly, generally within one-two weeks, via telephone or email regarding the discussion and any action taken by the Board.
- Be alert to potential problems, e.g., committee inactivity in execution of its goals or specific assignments from the Board, expenditures, etc. Notify the President and/or Executive Director as needed.
- Be sensitive to potential duplication of effort between committees and attempt to eliminate or minimize duplication by suggesting communication and/or coordination among relevant groups within the organization. If such communication occurs, the Board liaison(s) to the other groups should be notified.
- Join the committee's online forum if one is used for the committee [the liaison only fulfills a communications role].
- Participate in committee activities in an advisory capacity:
- The Board liaison should actively reach out to help the committee to be productive, keeping in mind that the liaison serves as a facilitator and is not intended to be a part of the committee or to participate in the committee's work.
- Monitor the committee's adherence to its charge and provide guidance as needed.
- Work with the committee to recommend changes to the committee charge to insure that it remains up-to-date and of value.
- Remind the committee chair to review the Lamaze policies, committee and volunteer resources and inform the Executive Director of any changes or corrections that are needed.
- Request the committee chair send copies of important correspondence, budget proposals, and reports for review.
Approved: April 2011