Board Member Responsibilities

General Responsibilities

  1. The board of directors and each board member is legally accountable for the operations of Compassionate Action for Animals.
  2. The board should continuously evaluate the mission of the organization and its strategic direction, define specific goals and objectives related to the mission, and evaluate the success of the organization’s actions toward achieving the mission. The board will spearhead the creation of strategic plans, and communicate these plans to the rest of the organization.
  3. The board approves policies for the effective, efficient, and cost-effective operation of the organization.
  4. The board should approve the organization’s annual budget and assess the organization’s financial performance in relation to the budget at least four times per year.
  5. The board is responsible for the financial health of the organization. Board members are expected to make a yearly contribution at any level and are also expected to participate in the fundraising process. This can include asking friends and family for donations, posting about the organization’s fundraising activities on social media, or helping plan fundraising events and campaigns.
  6. The board is responsible for hiring and firing all staff and all the responsibilities associated with maintaining employees i.e. salary, fundraising for salary, benefits, vacation, sick leave, retirement, job description, policies and procedures governing the worker and her/his actions.
  7. The board should ensure that an internal review of the organization’s compliance with known existing legal, regulatory, and financial reporting requirements is conducted annually and that a summary of the results of the review is provided to the entire board.
  8. Board members should know what the organization is doing. At a minimum, all board members should read our Weekly Update.
  9. Board members are not expected to volunteer to plan events or campaigns, though they can if they choose to.
  10. Board members are expected to commit to serving a minimum of one year.
  11. Board members are expected to attend most meetings (5 out of 6 per year). If a board member cannot attend a meeting, they must read the minutes and respond to them on the board email list.

Position Responsibilities


The President of CAA is responsible for the overall coordination of the activities of the board of trustees. This includes ensuring that the board follows the guidelines listed above as well as:

  • Recruitment of new members to the board of trustees
  • Finding members of the board of trustees to volunteer to carry out its activities
  • Acting as a liaison between the board of trustees and the primary staff person
  • Oversee board meetings
  • Serve as ex-officio member of all committees
  • Work in partnership with the chapters to make sure board resolutions are carried out
  • Call special meetings if necessary
  • Assist secretary in preparing agenda for board meetings
  • Assist in conducting new board member orientation
  • Coordinate employees annual performance evaluation
  • Act as an alternate spokesperson for the organization
  • Periodically consult with board members on their roles and help them assess their performance


The Treasurer of CAA is responsible to ensure CAA’s overall financial health and accountability. This includes:

  • Ensuring that #4 & #5 in the board resposibilities list above are carried out
  • Ensuring that 990s and state Attorney General filings are done accurately and in a timely manner
  • Ensuring that payroll taxes are paid accurately and timely and that appropriate forms are filled out
  • Understand financial accounting for nonprofit organizations.
  • Manage the board’s review of and action related to the board’s financial responsibilities.
  • Work with chapters to ensure that appropriate financial reports are made available to the board on a timely basis.
  • Assist the chapters in preparing the annual budget and presenting the budget to the board for approval.
  • Audit finances yearly.


The Secretary of CAA is responsible for:

  • Calling meetings of the board of trustees, creating agendas, and facilitating meetings
  • Taking notes at every meeting
  • Maintain all board records and ensure their accuracy and safety
  • Review board minutes
  • Assume responsibilities of the chair in the absence of the board chair, chair-elect, and vice chair
  • Provide notice of meetings of the board and/or of a committee when such notice is required

Time Commitment

We expect approximately 3-5 hours per month.

We have six meetings per year, and meetings are approximately two hours. Board members are also strongly encouraged to come to our annual fundraising banquet, which happens once per year. The banquet runs for approximately 4-5 hours.

We also may have one or two strategic planning sessions per year. These are typically weekend events, and can last anywhere from 3 to 8 hours. Board members must attend strategic planning sessions.

Board members are expected to read our weekly update (10 minutes per week). Board members should also read and participate in discussions on the board email list. This list is very low traffic, and we often often go several weeks without any traffic at all. This probably adds another 20-30 minutes per month.

Board members may also be asked upon occasion to participate on subcommittees for specific tasks. In the past, this has included things like working on the budget, participating on a hiring committee, or working on a review of the organization’s core values. These sorts of tasks are always optional, and the amount of time needed can generally be estimated up front.

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