Trustee Job Description
The following description of the basic job description of DP Foundation Trustees was adopted by the DPF board members at the August 11, 2012 board meeting
Organizational health, compliance and oversight
Trustees have overall responsibility for the organization. This includes fiduciary oversight, legal compliance, long-range planning, and overall stewardship. Trustees may be called upon to resolve conflict, deal with emergencies, and deal with extraordinary circumstances, but as mentioned below do not generally have day-to-day responsibilities.
In some cases, the by-laws identify specific roles (such as the Treasurer), in other cases roles will be assigned by the Trustees, or be undertaken by the group as a whole.
Trustees have overall responsibility for fostering the long-term viability and health of DP. Trustees must individually and collectively be conscientious about risks to DP, as well as opportunities. Planning and discussion of long-term futures is part of Trustee responsibility.
Smooth day-to-day operations
Trustee roles do not include day-to-day operations of DP Web sites and related functions. However, Trustees do have oversight and approval responsibility for policies and procedures related to day-to-day operations. Generally, minor changes to existing policies and procedures will be outside of the Trustees' purview. Other changes will be brought to the Trustees for consideration, via the GM or other parties. Similarly, Trustees may express concerns or provide feedback on day-to-day operations via the GM.
Communication on behalf of the Trustees
Trustees should take care when communicating to DP members, the general public, or others, to not misrepresent their own views as the views of DPF or other Trustees.
Confidentiality of Trustee communications
It is the practice of Trustees that discussions during meetings or via Trustee email messages should not be disclosed to other parties outside of formal channels. The formal channel for disclosure of meeting discussions occurs via minutes, and official communications generally is via the Chair or designee. If Trustees engage in communications with specific privacy or confidentiality constraints, those constraints should also be communicated.
Expected time commitment and activity level
Trustees are expected to participate in regular teleconferences, which are currently held monthly. Absences should be rare, and communicated to other Trustees. Trustees who are unable to maintain regular participation should consider resigning the position.
In addition, Trustees have ongoing communication via email lists, forums, and other means. Trustees should plan on devoting at least a few hours per month to participation in such discussions.
Trustees are often asked to join committees, work on reports, or coordinate with other persons on tasks. Commitments to engage in such activity should be taken seriously, and every effort should be made for conscientious and timely progress towards meeting goals.
Trustees should expect to spend an average of 8-12 hours of time on Board activities a month. This time includes the 2-hour monthly Board teleconference and a few hours every week participating in Board email and forum discussions. Officer positions, particularly the Secretary and Treasurer, are likely to consistently fall on the higher end of this range. Board members assigned to a committee (such as the Election Committee) will also fall on the high end of this range sporadically. The Treasurer may find that more time is required of them at the end of the year (sending donation acknowledgements) and around tax time.
Resolution of uncertainty in roles
If a Trustee has questions, concerns or suggestions about individual or collective roles of Trustees, they should be communicated to other Trustees, or to the Chair, as appropriate. None of what is written here is intended to unduly constrain Trustees from working, in conjunction with other Trustees, towards the best interests of DP.
- Board Officer Job Descriptions
- General Manager Job Description
- Memorandum of Understanding for DPF Trustees