Maintaining appropriate documentation is critical for nonprofit success.

While a handy mnemonic for “A Board’s Critical Documents,” the acronym ABCD also represents a top-down outline that ranges from formative and rarely-changing documents (Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws) through regularly-revised strategic (Core) documents to daily, dynamic, tactical operational (Documentary) documents. We have tried to include a wide variety of sources in our hyperlinks for you to explore further:

A – Articles of Incorporation

Your organization’s “birth certificate:” Articles of Incorporation

B – By-Laws

Your organization’s “DNA:” By-Laws

C – Core (Strategic) Documents

From vision and mission statements through board member solicitation and welcome packets, these documents are your organization’s heart and brain:

D – Documentary and Operational (Tactical) Documents

The best organizational strategic plans are a complete waste of time if they are not implemented. The following documents are your organization’s tools and materials used throughout the year to ensure the organization’s mission and vision remain a focus and that the organization’s activities support the organization’s strategic plan:

All of these documents should be retained in an organized manner and accessible to all board members and executive directors. Maintaining appropriate documentation is critical for nonprofit success. See also these 19 Essential Samples and Templates for Nonprofit Organizations, and BoardSource’s Must-Have Board Documents.

This article is published by Yvonne Adkins of Adkins & Company, a Kentucky-based consulting group whose mission is to position charter schools for success by providing boards, operators and authorizers with access to high quality services and expertise.

Yvonne Adkins

Photo credit: (c) Can Stock Photo / kaysus