Board Member Expectations

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Members of the Center for Nonviolent Communication Board of Directors are collectively responsible for ensuring effective governance and fiscally sound programs, as well as for setting the strategic direction of the organization. Board members serve as decision-makers, developing policies to govern operations and monitoring the organization’s financial and program performance in the consciousness of Nonviolent Communication. 

As of April 2022, the current board of 6 members, together with the Executive Director Jeff Brown, are recruiting 5 new board members who will commit to serving for 3 years. During this time, board members will work with the Executive Director in line with the responsibilities described here below, and will have the same responsibilities as any board member of any U.S.-based nonprofit corporation.


A. Governance Infrastructure

Continue the ongoing work of designing and implementing a shared governance model for CNVC including the following processes:

  • Decision making 

  • Resource Allocation

  • Data Flow

  • Feedback

  • Conflict engagement based on learnings from the restorative process in the coming months 

Develop and adopt additional governance policies as needed.

B. Membership

  1. Consolidate the Associate membership benefits and responsibilities
  2. Design process for inclusion and engagement of “members” in organizational decision-making

C. Executive Director

  • Work on the terms of references of the role of Executive Director within the new shared governance for CNVC. 

D. Financial Matters

  • Assess CNVC financial situation and develop plan to ensure solvency.
  • Develop and adopt financial policies providing for effective management of CNVC resources, internal controls, and proper reporting to board and members

E. Ensuring sufficient resources

Engage in fundraising as needed to ensure CNVC operates “in the black” from now on.

Legal and Fiduciary Role of the Board

  1. Maintain and promote high ethical standards in making good-faith decisions while preventing actual or perceived conflicts of interest with other activities or organizations.
  2. Commit time, thought, and effort to establishing goals and priorities for the Center for Nonviolent Communication, developing life-serving governance. policies, defining program outcomes, and monitoring their effectiveness. 
  3. Comply with the state and federal laws governing nonprofit corporations.
  4. Accept responsibility for the Center for Nonviolent Communication fiscal accountability: know the budget and take an active part in reviewing, approving, and monitoring it, together with fundraising.
  5. Contribute to a safe space for the board to work in by balancing between confidentiality and transparency to our members on board discussions and records.
  6. Avoid all direct or indirect intervention in campaigns supporting or opposing candidates for public office in the name of Center for Nonviolent Communication or when using Center for Nonviolent Communication assets.

Specific Duties of Board Members

  1. Attend and actively participate in regular meetings, as well as board planning sessions, working groups, and board development workshops (about one per year).
  2. Notify the board administrator whenever another commitment or illness will prevent attendance at a meeting.
  3. Be informed and prepared for meetings, including reviewing all financial documents and other meeting materials.
  4. Contribute skills, knowledge, and experience and strive to communicate effectively.
  5. Respect and listen carefully to differing opinions and viewpoints.
  6. Be accessible and responsive, at least by phone, WhatsApp, or e-mail, to staff and other board members as needed.
  7. Support all decisions made by the Board and represent the Center for Nonviolent Communication in a positive light to the public.
  8. If you are a Certified Trainer, we ask you to maintain a current CT relationship with the Center for Nonviolent Communication.

CNVC's Commitments to Board Members

  1. Board members will receive without request: ample notice of all meetings, minutes of all board meetings, regular financial reports, and any other information relevant to upholding their responsibilities.
  2. Board officers and staff will respond in a straightforward and thorough fashion to any questions board members have and feel are necessary to carry out their fiscal, legal, or moral responsibilities to this organization.
  3. Directors and Officers Liability Insurance will be provided, and to the extent allowed by law, indemnification from liability for reasonable and necessary actions will be offered.
  4. Board members will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses in conducting and attending to Center for Nonviolent Communication board business, to the extent provided for in its Bylaws.
  5. Board members’ time will be respected and effort will be made to use each person’s talent effectively.


  1. Committed to the mission of CNVC
  2. Able to commit to carrying out the responsibilities described above
  3. Previous experience with one or more nonprofit organizations, as staff or as a board member
  4. Fluent in English
  5. Fill a role that is diverse in skills, understanding and experience in working with people from diverse backgrounds (e.g. race, gender, age, ethnicity, religious, economic, political, regional and global demographics, etc).