Talk The Talk

When you read about the work of NSPI's standing committees or read the minutes of your local professional organization (whether IPSSA, SPEC, NESPA or others), do you come across terminology that's not quite clear. When you hear references to "due diligence" or "quorum" or Òduciary," do you truly understand the meaning of those terms? More fundamentally, do you know the language of your association board and organization. If you're tired of bored, er, board meetings where things take twice as long as they should, make sure everyone is speaking the same language.

Match the letter next to each vocabulary term listed on the next page with the appropriate number in the definitions list below to see if you make the grade.

1. _____ A matrix identifying desired qualities of board or committee members

2._____ The written record of formal meetings

3._____ The required number of individuals present before decisions can be made

4._____ Section of U.S. tax code that defines trade and professional associations

5._____ Leader on the board or committee, such as “chair” or “treasurer”

6._____ Length of time an individual may serve on a board or committee before reelection or reappointment

7._____ Formal guidelines that govern board and staff activities

8._____ Individual serving on a board or official committee by appointment or by virtue of a position held

9._____ “Rules” for conducting formal meetings

10._____ Statement of the broad purposes of the organization

11._____ Grant-making organization affiliated with the association or corporation, and charged with supporting charitable activities

12._____ Formal process for educating new members about their duties and the organization

13._____ Local or regional “branch” of a national association

14._____ Report of the organization’s fiscal activities for the past year, filed with the Internal Revenue Service

15._____ Policy and procedure prohibiting officers or directors from using their positions to engage in personal business

16._____ Permanent committee of the board

17._____ List of items to be reported on or deliberated during a meeting

18._____ Committee charged with managing the association between board meetings and overseeing activities of the board

19._____ Promotional or fundraising activities tying commercial and charitable interests together

20._____ Procedural comment or directive on the conduct of a meeting

21._____ The process of prudent deliberation about important issues

22._____ Temporary committee, usually formed to address a single issue or need

23._____ Legal and procedural guidelines for the composition and operation of the board and association

24._____ Local or regional organization linked by contract or membership status to a national association

25._____ Formal authorization to operate the association, usually granted by a state government

(a) 501(c)(6)

(b) 990

(c) Ad-hoc committee

(d) Affiliate

(e) Agenda

(f) Board grid

(g) By-laws

(h) Cause marketing

(i) Chapter

(j) Charter

(k) Conflict of interest

(l) Due diligence

(m) Ex officio

(n) Executive committee

(o) Foundation

(p) Minutes

(q) Mission

(r) Officer

(s) Orientation

(t) Policy

(u) Quorum

(v) Parliamentary procedure

(w) Point of order

(x) Standing committee

(y) Term

How did you do? If you're like most people, you have a good general idea of what most of the terms mean, but you may be a little vague on the specific meanings in the context of a board or association meeting.

So if you're tired of inefficient association meetings, make sure everyone is speaking the same language.

See answers below.

1 (f); 2 (p); 3 (u); 4 (a); 5 (r); 6 (y); 7 (t); 8 (m); 9 (v); 10 (q); 11 (o); 12 (s); 13 (i); 14 (b); 15 (k); 16 (x); 17 (e); 18 (n); 19 (h); 20 (w); 21 (l); 22 (c); 23 (g); 24 (d); 25 (j).

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