Avoiding Conflicts of Interest In An Association

Posted on July 26, 2016 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
The board members of an association have a responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the association's members. This is an important responsibility regardless if the association is based on social activities or professional affiliation.  It is also important to keep in mind that the board members' choices also have a direct impact on all members of the association.
Association Responsibilities Come First
It is the primary responsibility of board members to do what best benefits the association.  This includes putting the association ahead of their own interests.  However, questions may arise when a board member uses their personal knowledge, expertise and business contacts.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that all decisions avoid any claim for a conflict of interest.  These claims and situations can lead to other members becoming dissatisfied with that board member and the association as a whole. Conflicts of interest are viewed more negatively when they impact the financial well being of the association.
How To Reduce Conflicts of Interest
Often these conflicts can be due to a misunderstanding or due to lack of communication. The more board members are able to communicate their decisions and the reasons for those decisions, the less likely these decisions will cause confusion. When communicating these decisions, it is important to show that other vendors were reviewed and neutral options were explored.  All board members should also be in agreement with these types of decisions.  
To make sure all members are aware of the decisions being made and the reasoning for these decisions, it is best to post the details on the association's website. This keeps all members equally informed so that there is not a concern that important information is being withheld.  
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