Board Member Orientation – Now Available in Spanish!

Complimentary copies are available to current BMWL clients. Please email [email protected] to request additional copies.

Board Member Orientation: The Concise and Complete Guide to Nonprofit Board Service

Author: Michael E. Batts, CPA

Serving on a nonprofit board can be an incredibly rewarding experience for the properly prepared board member. This book is for the generous and busy people who agree to give of their time and talents by serving on nonprofit boards. Nonprofit boards often fail to do a good job of board member orientation for a variety of reasons. It takes a significant amount of time and effort to plan and conduct quality board member orientation programs, and every time a new board member arrives, it’s time to do it again! Because of the challenges associated with providing quality board member orientation, many nonprofit organizations do not do it at all, leaving their board members to wing it. This book provides help and support to the truly great men and women serving on nonprofit boards whose service makes a positive difference in the lives of countless people every day.

A One-Hour Read

This book is a concise and appropriately comprehensive guide to nonprofit board service designed especially for new board members. It is a quick read, (about one hour), yet it addresses with accuracy the most significant elements of board service, such as mission, responsibility, duty, risk, liability, and board meeting dynamics.

Hooey Alerts! 

Watch for Hooey Alerts! where the author identifies and dispels common myths and legends about nonprofit board service. There are many sources of false or misleading information about the nonprofit board service environment. A perfect example is the often vaguely-worded and intimidating assertion or implication that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act passed by Congress in 2002 applies to nonprofit organizations in a manner similar to how it applies to publicly-traded companies. (It does not.)

Board Member Orientation in a Simple 3-Step Process

The Simple Board Member Orientation Process Using This Book:

  1. Your board members read Chapters 1-9 of the book, which will provide them with insights regarding the key elements of nonprofit board service.
  2. You provide the board members with copies of the documents described in Chapter 10 related to your organization.
  3. You meet with your board members to discuss the unique attributes of your organization following the discussion questions provided in Chapter 10.

Editorial Reviews

This book is the perfect guide for every nonprofit board member! Loaded with wisdom, it’s a must read that will take board members to the next level of successful board governance.

 J. Todd Chasteen, General Counsel | Samaritan’s Purse


Mike Batts has put his quarter century of advising and serving on nonprofit boards to good use in this accurate and easy-to-read book.

Chuck Hartman, Associate Professor of Business & Law | Cedarville University


This book is exactly what a busy volunteer board member needs. It is perfect for board member orientation and for quick reference reminders for the experienced board member.

Doug Starcher, Attorney, Partner | Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP


This book provides clear, no-nonsense guidance on the basic issues for new nonprofit board members. Using it will ensure your organization has communicated fundamental governance issues.

Dan Busby, Former President | ECFA