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Board Policy
A Guide to Creating a Board Policy Book

To help your congregation be nimble and effective, consider putting only the essentials in your congregation's bylaws, and put the rest into board policies. No matter the size of your congregation, policies can help to build institutional memory and structure, but can have the flexibility to be changed when needed.

Although board policies are superseded by the congregation's bylaws, policies are still governing documents that should be used by all leaders, staff and members of the congregation to be in alignment with the mission and vision of the congregation.

There is no one exhaustive list of policies. However, there are some general categories of policies. Links to details of some of these policies can guide you as you determine and write your own.

Governance Policies

Governance policies augment the bylaws by giving more detail and guidance. Policies defining roles and responsibilities the Executive Committee and board members (as a group and as individual roles) can be modified as needed. 

  • Board Officer Policy
  • President Policy
  • Vice President Policy
  • Secretary Policy
  • Treasurer Policy
  • Congregational Meeting Conduct Policy
  • Board Meeting Conduct Policy
  • Finance Committee Policy
  • Personnel Committee Policy

Staff Policies

  • Personnel Policy
  • Non-Discrimination Policy

Ministry Guidance and Limitation Policies

  • Membership Policy
  • Ministry Team Policy
  • Animals Policy

Accountability Policies

  • Real Estate Policy
  • Indemnification Policy
  • Finance Policy
  • Safety Policy
  • Disruptive Behavior Policy
  • Gifts Policy
  • Endowment Policy

Contents

  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Some responsibilities are held in common by all officers and directors, and some duties are specific to a particular office. The bylaws should set out these particularities in general terms, and specific responsibilities that may change over time should be stipulated in other governing policy...

About the Author

  • The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the UUA Congregational Life Staff...

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For more information contact conglife@uua.org.