for America's Graduates recognizes the value of an oversight body
that feels a sense of ownership and commitment to the mission of the
organization. In addition to a well-organized and active JAG
Board of Directors, there are approximately 1,500 board members
that serve on a state or local Board of Directors. It is recommended
that the following "Best Practices"
be included in the organizing and training of state and local board
BP #1 -
The selection of the Board Chair is the single most important decision
in building a productive Board of Directors. Invest whatever time
and effort is needed to find the "right" person to serve
as Board Chair. The Board Chair should:
- Be a high level,
- Have the right level
- Be prepared to invest
adequate time and energy
BP #2 -
Board members should be senior level representatives of the key
stakeholders of a JAG statewide program. The JAG Model prescribes
51% or more of the board members should represent the private sector.
BP #3 -
The board should include representatives of funding sources (i.e.,
business, foundations, labor organizations, etc.). Remember: "People
support what they help create!"
BP #4 -
Prospective board members should be personally interviewed and provided
all "facts" about the organization. Remember: "No
surprises is the rule." Board members should not be surprised
by disclosures after they agree to serve on the board of directors.
When problems arise, distribute information to your board members
immediately. If a matter is urgent, an emergency board conference
call (or meeting) should be convened. Remember: "Board members
should hear about problems from the chief executive not others."
BP #5 -
Board members should be informed regularly. Remember: "Communicate,
communicate, communicate." Board members should receive periodic
(monthly or bi-monthly) mailings (i.e., correspondence, briefings,
reports, etc.) from the chief executive officer. News - good or
bad - should be shared immediately with board members. No surprises.
BP #6 -
Board meetings should be interesting, well-organized, informative
and efficient. Information should be provided to board members in
advance, including an agenda and briefing as to the importance of
the topics to be considered by the Board. Special presentations
for board meetings include:
- Testimonials and/or
briefings by program participants or staff.
- Potential funding
sources may want to brief board members.
- Testimonials by
employers who are satisfied with the program.
- Policy briefings
by state legislators
BP #7 -
Board members should be invited to provide special services to the
- Visit a JAG program
- Speak at a JAG function
(i.e., Initiation and Installation Ceremony, Career Development
Conference, chapter meeting, classroom session, etc.)
- Encourage a prospective
employer to offer quality jobs to JAG participants
- Call or visit a
prospective donor and encourage the organization to invest in
the JAG program
- Write a letter of
- Employ JAG participants
- Serve as judges
or workshop presenters at the Career Development Conference
- Attend a JAG national
event, i.e., National Leadership Awards Events, National
Training Seminar, CSA Winter Planning Meeting, etc.
BP #8 -
Board members should receive recognition for their service to the
organization. Recognition options include:
- Organize a recognition
event at the home of the Governor or corporate executive
- Present small tokens
of appreciation to board members (paperweights, plaques, etc.)
- Ask graduates to
send letters of appreciation to board members for leading the
BP #9 -
The organization should provide board members with "errors
and omissions" insurance. Board members are fiscally responsible
for the non-profit organization and it is appropriate to limit their
exposure against "errors and omissions".
- The chief executive and/or staff should respond promptly to all
requests and observations by board members.
- The chief executive and/or staff should listen carefully to board
members and send the message that what they say and do is valued.
Board members should never feel ignored or unimportant.
- Board members should receive adequate background information when
major decisions are under consideration, i.e. budget approval, hiring
decisions, funding strategies, etc.
- The chief executive should present the board with JAG's periodic
accreditation report. JAG conducts periodic site reviews to determine
the extent to which the state and local affiliates are operating
JAG Model programs. At the request of the board or staff, JAG also
conducts management reviews to give feedback to the management team
to improve the overall operation of the statewide program.
- An orientation should be presented to new board members immediately
following membership on the board. It is recommended that the orientation
include but not be limited to:
- JAG Affiliation
- JAG Model - Components,
Standards and Outcomes
- Corporate documents
- Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Policies and Procedures,
- JAG Electronic National Data Management System (e-NDMS) Capabilities and Reports
- JAG Accreditation
Reviews (prior and current)
- State budget and
other financial documents (including the current audit report)
- Directory of local
programs and staff
- National and State
Calendar of Activities
- JAG Model Books
- JAG Curriculum Modules
- Personnel Handbook
- Marketing materials
- print and/or video
- Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
JOBS FOR AMERICA'S
1729 King Street, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.684.8400 · Fax 703.684.9489
JAG National Center for Evidence-based Practices
6021 Morriss Road, Suite 111
Flower Mound, TX 75028
972.691.4486 · Fax 972.874.0063