A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

Training Book for Community Action Boards

Last Revised: Mar 14, 2011 - Initial Posting: Jun 16, 2005

The Office of Economic Opportunity/Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning has developed a training manual to help Community Action Agency board members learn about and effectively fulfill their roles and responsibilities.


The Training Book for Community Action BoardsThe Office of Economic Opportunity under the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning has published The Training Book for Community Action Boards with extensive information to help strengthen governance of Community Action Agencies (CAAs).

The Training Book has information and materials that can be used by CAA’s nationwide.  A few portions of The Training Book are specific to Minnesota (MN - as noted below) and items from each respective state could be substituted accordingly.  A video presentation can be used to supplement The Training Book.

There are four sections to The Training Book:

  • Background
  • Responsibilities
    • 501(c) Organizations
    • What Does a Board Member Do?
    • Sample Board Member Job Description
    • What Does the Board of Directors Do?
    • Corporate Structure/Board Organization
    • Sample Conflicts of Interest Statement
    • What is the Function of a Board of Directors?
    • How Does the Board Carry Out Its Functions?
    • Financial Management
    • Fiduciary Duties of Directors of Charitable Organizations
    • Sample By-Laws
    • Sample Code of Ethics
  • Administration
    • Basic Responsibilities of Effective Board
    • Board and Executive Expectations
    • Characteristics of an Effective Board of Directors
    • Board and Advisory Committees
    • Effective Committee Structures
    • Guidelines for Better Meetings
    • Checklist: Was Your Meeting Successful?
    • Sample Board Meeting Agenda
    • Evaluating Board Performance
    • Sample Board Member Self-Appraisal Form
    • Sample Evaluation of Executive Director
  • On-Line Resources for Non-Profit Boards (as shown, several items have been added by Virtual CAP)
    • CAA Board Members Toolkit from the Center for Community Futures (added by Virtual CAP)
    • Free Complete Toolkit for Boards from the Free Management Library – On-line resources, information about publications, and numerous links designed to help nonprofit boards and employees carry out their responsibilities
    • Resources for Nonprofit Boards from BoardSource formerly the National Center for Nonprofit Boards – Dedicated to building the capacity of nonprofit boards to exercise effective governance (includes information on numerous board-related topics along with publications)
  • Reporting
    • Attorney General’s Oversight of Charities (MN)
    • Application Process and Annual Reporting for 501(c) Organizations
    • Principles and Practices for Non-Profit Excellence (MN)

Effective governance is an element of ROMA National Goal #5: Agencies Increase Their Capacity to Achieve ResultsCSBG Information Memorandum 82 (issued March 23, 2005) emphasizes that CAA boards are ultimately responsible for assuring that an agencies continue to assess and respond to the causes and conditions of poverty in their community, achieve anticipated family and community outcomes, and remain administratively and fiscally sound.


Connie Greer, Director