Nonprofit board members learned more about their professional and legal responsibilities while serving on a nonprofit at a free Nonprofit Governance Workshop on Jan. 12 hosted by The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.
Despite inclement weather, around 40 participants attended the workshop training to hear leading expert and attorney Robert Rich of Cincinnati, Ohio, give an overview of the leadership role of a nonprofit board member and legal liabilities as defined by statutes.
While it is often considered an honor to be asked to serve on a nonprofit board, Rich said service should not be taken lightly.
He reminded participants that, as nonprofit board members, they are placed in a position of trust and service as representatives of their community.
“Service on a nonprofit board, as a board member and manager, is a commitment to act in the best interest, financially, and ethically, of the community or general public at large,” Rich said. “The current nonprofit, tax-exempt organization environment requires more consideration of moral and ethical standards and liabilities than strict legal compliance.”
He also shared information on state law duties and responsibilities of a nonprofit trustee and board member; federal and IRS guidelines, reporting requirements, and new Form 990 standards for a tax-exempt organization; the role of a public trustee and mission faithfulness; prudent personal standards for investment and administration; reasonable compensation and avoiding public censure and criticism; protections from legal liability and bad publicity; and board orientation, training, and engagement as protection from liability.
The workshop training was provided at no cost to participants as part of The Center’s leadership focus area to build strong, effective leaders in Southern and Eastern Kentucky and beyond.
“The Center is committed to providing training and professional development to help new and prospective nonprofit board members better serve their communities,” Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, said. “The workshop was insightful and informative in helping participants know their professional and legal responsibilities as a nonprofit board member.”
Col. William M. Landrum III and Minie Moore of Greensburg, representatives of Greensburg Main Street Renaissance, said the training will help them in planning their next endeavor.
“The workshop provided us with clear information that will greatly assist us in starting up a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit chartered educational museum in the city of Greensburg,” Landrum said following the presentation. “The material presented was relevant to the present and future of Green County.”
To learn more about The Center or other possible future workshops, contact The Center at 606-677-6000 or visit the Web site at centertech.com.