It’s Back: Board Training Bill Reintroduced for 2015 Session

The Center will be holding an informational conference call about SB 17 on Tuesday, January 20th, starting at 9:00 AM. If you'd like to participate, call (712) 432-0926 on Tuesday, and use the access code #486587.

Once again, nonprofits will be addressing a legislative bill that will impose mandatory training for their boards. The bill, which proposes mandatory board training for nonprofits that receive public funds in the amount of $250,000 or more, has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Sharon Carson.


Senator Carson’s bill, SB 17, specifically proposes a mandatory board training for the chairperson or presiding officer of the board of directors, or a board member designee, on a biennial basis. The bill specifies that the training occur within four months of appointment and be at least 4 hours including instruction on fiduciary responsibilities, financial controls, authorities of boards and corporation employees, ethics, and federal and state laws and regulations governing nonprofit corporations.

“…nonprofit corporations should not be treated differently than for-profit corporations that contract with the state.”

The NH Center of Nonprofits and a large coalition of nonprofit organizations, along with private sector professionals who serve on boards, oppose the legislation.

While the Center strongly promotes governance education, as evidenced by their quarterly offerings of the “NH Certificate Program in Nonprofit Board Governance”, Hoffman-Haas Board Fellowship Program, regional offerings of “Staying Legal with the NH Attorney General” with Assistant Director of Charitable Trusts Terry Knowles, and the myriad of online board resources and webinars they offer.

“The Center does not support legislating mandatory board training because nonprofit corporations should not be treated differently than for-profit corporations that contract with the state,” explains Mary Ellen Jackson, CEO of the Center.

She adds, “Approximately 165 nonprofits contract with the state to provide federally and state funded programs and services. With that in mind, any such mandate can easily be part of the contracting process.”

“Once we talk with policy makers about how a proposal like this would fail to address the important and complex issues facing nonprofits and the reality that a four hour training is not a solution to these complex challenges,” said executive director Mary Ellen Jackson, “we are hopeful they will refrain from pursing the creation of a law that will result in minute impact and be difficult and costly to track.”

A hearing on SB 17 has been set for Wednesday, January 21st, before the Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee in LOB, Room 102.

Post date: January 15, 2015
Topics: NH Legislative Updates

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