In cases where a Board of Directors seeks input from outside stakeholders, one of the most effective mechanisms can be an Advisory Board or Advisory Council. This tool explains the benefits of having an Advisory Board. It also offers specific tips on creating an effective Advisory Board. (2 pages)
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The role of an Advisory Board is to provide ideas, input and recommendations to the Board of Directors. Unlike Boards of Directors, where members must focus on the longterm interests of the organization that they govern (and should not be beholden to outside organizations in fulfilling their governance responsibilities), Advisory Boards are forums for stakeholders to express their ideas, views and positions. Whereas Boards of Directors must focus on their legal and contractual responsibilities, Advisory Boards are generally free of such responsibilities. As such, they are advisory in nature; they do not have authority to direct the organization.
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