Avoiding conflict of interest is one of the most important duties of board members.
A board member must be careful not to do anything, or appear to do anything that could be construed as benefiting themselves at the expense of the organization.
Examples of best practices policies:
· Your business cannot do business with the board if you are a member of the board.
· You can’t hire your children to work in the organization.
· If you leave the board, you cannot be an employee of the organization for two years.
· If you leave your employment with the organization, you cannot sit on the board for two years.
There are other examples; if your organization can offer benefits — does your group give out grants, or loans, or scholarships? If so, the rules for who can apply need to be clear so that board members understand when they are in a conflict of interest situation.
Conflict of interest should be discussed at board meetings and specific examples should be used so that board members understand their obligations.