Adopted: 01/22/2019 Revised: 01/22/2019


The Board of Directors of the ACLU of Minnesota (the “Board”) should include, among others, stakeholders from the community it serves and should accurately reflect the diversity of that community. Directors should be willing and able to fulfill the responsibilities outlined in the Board Manual and support the Mission of the ACLU of Minnesota (“ACLU of MN”). This process is designed to support that end by outlining a well-organized process with clear expectations.

Commitment and Responsibilities of Directors:

This description is meant for quick reference and does not replace the Amended and Restated Bylaws of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (the “Bylaws”) or the Board Manual. The responsibilities of Directors are set out comprehensively in the Bylaws and the Board Manual.

Directors are expected to prepare for, attend, and participate in all Board meetings. There are five regularly-scheduled Board meetings each fiscal year. Any Director who fails to attend three (3) consecutive, regularly-scheduled meetings will be subject to removal from the Board. 

Directors are required to serve on at least one standing committee and are expected to prepare for, attend, and participate in the meetings of that committee. Each committee will dictate the schedule and frequency of committee meetings.

Schedule of Director Selection and Recommendation Process:

Candidates should apply for election to the Board by January 15.

The Governance Committee will review and evaluate all applications. The Governance Committee, or a portion of the Governance Committee, delegated by the Chair, will meet with and interview candidates. The Governance Committee will then hold a selection meeting to review the candidates’ qualifications.

The Board will vote to nominate candidates at the last meeting of the board year.

The Governance Committee reserves the right to consider applicants outside of this timeline if it is in the best interests of the organization.

In accordance with the Bylaws, once nominated by the Board, the candidates shall be elected upon the approval of Voting Members at the next annual meeting.


Candidates should submit a resume and statement of interest specifically discussing their perspective on the mission and initiatives of the ACLU of MN. Candidates should also detail their participation in the ACLU of MN, including, but not limited to, volunteer experience, committee participation, and attendance at ACLU of MN events. Candidates should explain what they believe they can contribute to the Board, including, but not limited to, establishing their ability and willingness to attend and participate in board and committee meetings, and outline any other board service, leadership roles, or other relevant experience they have. Letters of recommendation are optional.

Evaluation of Candidates:

In assessing candidates, the Governance Committee should evaluate candidates based on the following criteria:

  • Commitment to the mission and values of the ACLU of MN.
  • Reflection of the racial and ethnic community that the ACLU of MN represents.
  • Ability to listen, learn, analyze, think creatively, and work one-on-one with people and in a group setting.
  • Willingness to learn more about the ACLU of MN, prepare for and attend board and committee meetings, ask questions, and take responsibility and follow through on assignments.
  • Willingness to contribute personal and financial resources to further the mission of the ACLU of MN.
  • Willingness to be self-reflective and evaluate themselves as Directors.
  • Willingness to develop skills, such as cultivating and soliciting funds, recruiting additional Directors and volunteers, and reading financial statements.
  • Ability to demonstrate honesty, sensitivity to, and tolerance of differing views, a friendly, responsive and patient approach, community-building skills, a sense of values, a sense of humor, personal integrity, and concern for the development of the ACLU of MN.

Representative Demographics:

The Governance Committee is charged with ensuring that candidates are being recruited and promoted in a way that reflects diversity in the following nonexclusive categories:

  • Members of racial and ethnic minority communities;
  • Reside in different geographical areas within the state of Minnesota;
  • Different gender identities;
  • Different sexual orientations;
  • Different socioeconomic groups and donors of all levels;
  • Different ages;
  • Lawyers (including those in academia, private practice, public service, and in-house counsel); and
  • Non-lawyers
    • Business Experts and Owners
    • Government and Public Service
    • Finance
    • Human Resources
    • Information Technology
    • Marketing/Advertising/Social Media
    • Medicine/Health Care
    • Real Estate/Facilities Management
    • Fundraising/Development