There are main three legal responsibilities for boards of nonprofits in the U.S. - the specific statutes vary a little from State to State.
The long and short is, if you are coming into a Board position with your own agenda, an axe to grind, and a desire to change the way things are being done, it will end up being an exercise in futility for both you and the rest of the team. No single Board member has any real "power", a board acts as a single unit to make strategic decisions. Once those decisions are made, they must speak as one even if personally you disagree with the decision made.
Still this gives you an idea of the nature of what is expected - just a taste.
1) Duty of Care - this is expressed as "care than an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in a like position and under similar circumstances." This means that the person needs to have general understanding of the business and exercise care as a steward of the organization.
2) Duty of Loyalty - "a board member must give undivided allegiance when making decisions affecting the organization." You can't use the information you have as a board member for personal gain. You have to have the best interest of the organization in mind always.
3) Duty of Obedience - A board member must always be obedient to the organization's mission. The basic idea here is that the board member will manage funds to fulfill the organization's mission. I was involved in crafting the current mission, vision, and values of the of the Drupal Association.
To establish the community-built Drupal software as the leading platform for the Web.
Drupal powers the best of the Web. The Drupal Association unites a global open source community to build and promote Drupal.
The Drupal Association shares the values of our community, our staff, and open source projects:
1) COMMUNICATION: We value communication. We seek community participation. We are open and transparent.
2) RESPECT: We respect and value inclusivity in our global community and strive to recognize, understand, and respond to its needs.
3) ACTION: We act decisively and proactively, embracing what we learn from both our successes and our mistakes.
4) FUN: We create environments that embrace humor resulting in fun, positive, supportive and safe interactions.
5) TEAMWORK: We add value to the Drupal community by helping each other solve problems to create quality human and digital experiences.
Where are the lines between what the Board should do vs Staff?
Who should be directing mission vs strategic planning vs program management? This chart lines up my expectations of proper governance vs operations activities.
I have gone through board training on several occasions and understand what it is that we should do and shouldn't do and the circumstances around how those rules work.
I would be honoured to continue to represent the Community as an At Large Board Member if you would be willing to place that trust in me. My love and respect of our "Team" transcends just a job and extends to some of my deepest friendships. If you want to talk to me about my candidacy - please find me on IRC j_matthew_s or in Skype jmatthewsaunders or you could even call me +1(720) 254-1546.
If you would like me to remind you to vote come election day, please signup here: http://eepurl.com/bQ7P5T