I’m the president of a homeschool co-op. Am I personally liable if someone were to sue or come after the co-op? I already feel slightly vulnerable in this area as the president and having my signature on our building contract, etc.
As president your are an officer of our nonprofit organization and as an officer there are certain responsibilities that you carry more so than other board members and certainly more so than the co-op’s family participants.
With the authority comes responsibility.
But responsibility does not automatically mean personal liability, if you do your fiduciary duties and do not commit acts of gross negligence or fraud.
What are those fiduciary duties?
Duty of Care, Duty of Loyalty, Duty of Management and Duty of Compliance
To better understand these duties as board members and do them here’s some help:
- Listen to this podcast (12 minutes) Homeschool Board Duties
- Read this blog post: Serving on a nonprofit board: What is required?
- You may find my Homeschool Organization Board Manual very helpful in learning about your board duties and training your board members.
A prudent board member can reduce the risk of lawsuits by understanding the duties and
- incorporating as a nonprofit
- obeying the bylaws and laws in general
- carrying insurance
- being educated on nonprofit duties and risk
To get educated, there are some excellent resources online for nonprofit boards like these:
- Board Source: https://boardsource.org/resources/risk-management/
- Guidestar: https://www.guidestar.org/Articles.aspx?path=/rxa/news/articles/2012/board-roles-and-responsibilities.aspx
- National Council of Nonprofits: https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/board-roles-and-responsibilities