Individual Board member duties and responsibilities

The role of individual Directors of Local Independent Online News Publishers

October 10, 2012 by Dylan Smith

General expectations

  • Know and support LION’s mission, values, goals, policies, programs, and services.
  • Stay abreast of the organization’s developing trends.
  • Serve in leadership positions or undertake special assignments willingly when asked.
  • Avoid prejudiced judgments on the basis of information received from individuals.
  • Urge those with grievances to follow established policies and procedures.
  • Suggest nominees for the Board.
  • Speak on behalf of the organization only when asked to do so by the Board Chair
  • Bring a sense of humor to the Board’s deliberations.


  • Prepare for and participate in Board and committee meetings, and other organization activities.
  • Support the majority decision of the Board.
  • Maintain confidentiality of the Board’s regular meetings and executive sessions.
  • Suggest agenda items periodically for Board and committee meetings to ensure that significant policy related matters are addressed.

Avoiding conflict

  • Disclose any possible conflicts to the Board Chair in a timely fashion.
  • Be independent and objective. Form decisions based on a sense of fairness and personal integrity.
  • Never accept or offer favors or gifts from or to anyone who does business with the organization.

Fiduciary responsibility

  • Ensure fiduciary responsibilities of the Board are responsibly met.
  • Faithfully read and understand the organization’s financial statements and otherwise help the Board fulfill its fiduciary responsibility.


  • Give an annual, personal, cash gift according to personal means.
  • Assist resource development by supporting fund raising and sponsorships through personal influence with others.

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