Just as employees sometimes need to resign from jobs, so too do board members. Resigning from a board is is similar to resigning from a job; but because board members often represent others in the organization and may be elected to their jobs, board resignation is slightly more complex. Therefore, you must approach board resignation formally, spelling out exactly what has led to your exit and what your leaving means for the organization.
Review the board policies and bylaws regarding the procedures and allowances provided for resignation.
Consider all of your reasons for leaving, as well as how your exit would impact the operation of the board. List these out informally in writing to organize yourself.
Think about the best time for your resignation. Certain times of the year may be worse for resignation than others -- for example, when you are in the middle of trying to settle the budget. Look at the board calendar and agenda for upcoming meetings to determine what would work well for everyone.
Discuss your intent to resign informally with the members of the board so they are not taken off guard when you announce the resignation formally. Talk to the treasurer in particular about how best to handle any unpaid benefits such as vacation, if provided.
Write a formal resignation letter to the board. List all of the reasons, pros and cons, associated with your resignation as you outlined in Step 2. Indicate in the letter when your resignation is to take effect.
Notify the secretary you would like your resignation added as new business to the formal meeting agenda if necessary according to your board's guidelines. Announce your formal resignation at the meeting and provide each member of the board with a copy of your resignation letter. Send an additional registered copy of your resignation letter to the board secretary, as well as the board director if you are not the director yourself.
Request a copy of the minutes of the meeting at which you resigned. This way, you have evidence the resignation was addressed by the entire board; some board bylaws may require board approval for you to resign, so this is important.
Fulfill any outstanding obligations you may have with the board. If you are parting from the board amicably, offer to help recruit candidates to apply or run for your former position.
Wipe any digital media you have of board information. Return any board property.
Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.