From Fat Cat Fab Lab


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As of writing, CiviCRM runs on a DigitalOcean droplet.

Organizational Structure (work in progress)

Being a not-for-profit, the structure of Fat Cat Fab Lab can be whatever we want it to be, though we strive to have a relatively flat structure and self-organized hierarchy.

  • Executive Director
  • Board of Directors
  • Member Committees
  • Members

Executive Director

The executive director runs the everyday operations of a not-for-profit. In this role, he or she has full authority and accountability for the leadership of the organization’s programs and activities. The individual fulfilling this role is accountable for the financial performance and decisions they make on behalf of the organization.

  • The Executive Director is responsible for
  • Are they elected or appointed? By whom?

Board of Directors

What is the FCFL Board?

By contrast, the board of directors’ responsibility is to govern the organization and support the executive director and other leaders. Not-for-profit boards are accountable for fiduciary duties which include:

  • Hiring and monitoring the chief executive, setting appropriate compensation for leader, and setting goals for the organization. This duty also entails planning for executive succession and conducting executive director performance evaluations.
  • Ensuring that they establish conflict-of-interest and whistleblower policies and that they accept responsibility to honor the lines of authority between the board, executive director, staff, and volunteers.
  • Supports governance decisions inside and outside the board room, operating as a single unit in supporting the executive director, and caring out the board’s decisions.

Reference: https://www.boardeffect.com/au/blog/building-a-strong-not-for-profit-board-executive-partnership/

What makes a good board member PDF.

An Effective Board-Executive Partnership Supports Respective Roles

If you haven’t done so already, your board should set up a committee to develop job descriptions for board members, the executive director, and any other top-level executives. It’s essential for everyone to be clear on the roles and expectations of everyone’s position.

  • The Board of Directors should have no less than 3 active Board Members.
  • There is no upper limit to the number of FCFL Board Members

Board Meetings

Generally meetings occur monthly, but additional meetings are scheduled on an as-needed basis. All Members are welcome to view and contribute to the current list of open agenda items [link] or by emailing _______________. .

  • Board meetings agenda & meeting confirmation should be sent out at least 1 day prior.
  • Attend meetings and be on time. Alert members ahead of time if you cannot attend.

How do I become a Board Member?

Prospective Board Members are usually invited by a current Board Member, though any Member can ask to join the Board if they are interested.

  1. Potential board members are invited to a board meeting to meet the other board members and discuss…
    1. Skills, interests, or a specific role that they can contribute. Enthusiasm and a willingness to do work is enough!
    2. Time commitment and availability
  2. The prospective member leaves the meeting
  3. The existing Board discusses and votes.
    1. The votes in favor of adding a member to the Board must be unanimous.
      1. ^^ The above feels a bit like “an old boys club” - shouldn’t this be voted on by all members? Or at least board majority rule so there are checks and balances?
      2. How are vote ties handled?
    2. The Executive Director notifies the nominee of the board’s decision outcome
  • Action Items
    • Ideate how to surface jobs that need an owner
      • Ex: job board with Current/Past owner
        • Empty slot means that someone can step up
        • Past owner is who can teach you this
        • Fits in well with our volunteer-ethos
      • Ex: Domain Pairs
        • Each jobs needs at least two people
        • If too many jobs have 1 or fewer owners, start killing jobs
    • Prioritize Roles and Responsibilities
      • Goal in 2022 is to onboard someone else onto half of the remaining


Reference: To Pay or Not to Pay: Compensating Nonprofit Directors and Officers


Reference: Responsibilities of Not-For-Profit Board of Directors - WithumSmith+Brown


Responsibilities Of A Not-For-Profit Organization’s Board Of Directors

What are some of the responsibilities of a non-for-profit organization’s board of directors? As the governing body of the organization, the board has many responsibilities. Following are some of the responsibilities your board should be aware of:


The organization’s governing board is ultimately responsible for overseeing and ensuring that the organization complies with its legal obligations and detecting and remedying any wrongdoing by management. This responsibility should lead to the development of a code of ethics and conflict of interest policy. The board should also ensure that appropriate information is widely available to the public in order to raise its profile within the community(ies) it serves. In this regard, the board is responsible for review and approval of Form 990 which is a public document and available to the public upon request. The board should not only ensure the correctness and completeness of Form 990 but ensure that the organization’s mission and accomplishments have been accurately disclosed. The board should also be mindful of its responsibility for the administration of employee benefit plans and filing requirements and governmental reporting.


The board bears the primary responsibility for ensuring that a not-for-profit organization fulfills its obligations to the law, its donors, its staff and volunteers, its clients and the public at large. The board is also responsible for the selection and evaluation of the chief executive. The board must protect the assets of the organization and provide oversight to ensure that its financial, human and material resources are used appropriately to further the organization’s mission. A best practice includes forming an independent board to include members with diverse backgrounds and experience. Additionally, the board should have processes that include regular self-evaluations and reviews of governing instruments and the organization’s mission.


The not-for-profit organization must maintain complete, current and accurate financial records. The board should receive and review timely reports of the organization’s financial activities and should institute policies and procedures to ensure that the organization manages and invests its funds responsibly. The board should approve the annual budget and monitor actual performance against the budget, noting that a significant portion of its annual budget should be spent to pursue its mission. The board should always ensure adequate resources are available to fulfill the mission. A balance should be maintained between utilizing resources for today’s mission while ensuring the future of the organization.


Adequate training and supervision should be provided to individuals soliciting funds on behalf of your organization, and proper record keeping should be expected.

****A bunch of good makerspace documentation examples

good example of roles and division of Leadership – Lowell Makes https://lowellmakes.com/leadership/

Frequently Asked Questions – BOSTON MAKERS - https://www.bostonmakers.org/faq/

FAQs | Artisan’s Asylum BookStack - https://bookstack.artisansasylum.com/books/member-handbook/page/faqs

Resources for New Instructors - https://bookstack.artisansasylum.com/books/instructor-handbook/page/welcome-to-artisans-asylum-resources-for-new-instructors

example roles and titles - Staff and Lead Directory | Artisan’s Asylum BookStack - https://bookstack.artisansasylum.com/books/member-handbook/page/staff-and-lead-directory#bkmrk-staff

organizational structure - Solid State Depot, Boulder Hackerspace https://boulderhackerspace.com/wiki-embed/

Bylaws - SolidStateDepot https://boulderhackerspace.com/wiki/index.php?title=Bylaws

Certified B Corporation - https://bcorporation.net/

Membership Materials - Google Drive https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B7p6GERMDRBNTmZHa2o4S0JBTUk

Resources - Fort Collins Creator Hub https://www.fortcollinscreatorhub.org/resources/

Rules and Policies - Dallas Makerspace https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Rules_and_Policies

Area Champion - faq [Milwaukee Makerspace Wiki] https://wiki.milwaukeemakerspace.org/faq#what_is_an_area_champion

projectstorage [Milwaukee Makerspace Wiki] https://wiki.milwaukeemakerspace.org/projectstorage

might be good policies to grab from here - Pumping Station: One Wiki https://wiki.pumpingstationone.org/Main_Page

to do -add faqs and wiki to gitbook https://www.fatcatfablab.org/faqs