The Board of Directors of the American Society on Aging (ASA) is charged with providing effective governance to the organization. Board members are the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the organization has adequate resources to advance its mission. The board focuses on ensuring long-term goals are achieved in the manner consistent with mutual respect, and with a focus on the productive use of people and resources. The board also governs with an emphasis on long-term organizational vision rather than on administrative details; observes clear distinctions between the board and CEO and staff roles; makes collective rather than individual decisions; models a future-orientation rather than operating from the past or present; and governs proactively rather than reactively – with this accomplished through a set of major policies and goals that serve as the board’s touchstone.
Board Member Roles and Responsibilities
As part of a nonprofit governing authority, an ASA board member must meet certain standards of conduct and attention in carrying out their responsibilities to the organization. These fundamental legal duties include:
- Duty of care: The responsibility to participate actively in making decisions on behalf of the organization and to exercise their best judgment while doing so.
- Duty of loyalty: The responsibility to put the interests of the organization before personal and professional interests when acting on behalf of the organization.
- Duty of obedience: The responsibility of ensuring that the organization complies with applicable federal, state, and local laws and adheres to its mission.
In addition to these three legal duties, ASA board members also play a significant role in guiding and contributing to ASA’s strategic focus, effectiveness, and financial sustainability, as well as serving as fundraisers and advocates.
- Effectively articulate the mission, purpose, strategic direction, goals, and programs of ASA;
- Participate in the periodic review and revision, when appropriate, of the organization’s mission, purpose, strategic directions, and goals;
- Participate actively in assessing ASA’s performance against its strategic plan goals and objectives;
- Assist the board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities;
- Actively generate revenue for ASA, whether through personal giving, professional fundraising, membership recruitment, and/or programmatic advancement and development;
- Attend and actively participate in all board meetings, including reviewing board documents in advance;
- Serve on committees, task forces, and/or volunteer for special assignments when the opportunity arises;
- As a member of a committee, attend and actively participate in all committee and task force meetings;
- Act in the best interest of the membership as a whole, supporting directions that serve all members and institutions types;
- Act as an ambassador for ASA, helping to establish, strengthen and advance strategic alliances, collaborations, and other affiliations;
- Participate in ASA’s efforts to advance its mission by attending ASA events, speaking, contributing to publications, and other programmatic engagement;
- Participate in the hiring and regular evaluation of ASA’s chief executive officer, programing and initiatives;
- Support and advise the chief executive officer as appropriate; and
- Ensure ASA’s commitment to a board and staff that reflect the diverse membership ASA serves.
Time Commitment: Serving as a board member is one of the most challenging and rewarding of volunteer assignments. While board service is an honor, it also requires a significant commitment of time. Board members can expect to dedicate time each month to ASA service, with an increase in intensity during the months board-related meetings are held or events take place. Board members are expected to commit adequate hours to Board service per year in addition to attending four board meetings and participating in ASA programming year-round.
Board Orientation: Offered to new board members after their election.
Term: Terms of service are two years, renewable for a maximum of six years.