Cause Areas


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186 Alewife Brook ParkwaySte 212CambridgeCambridge, MA 02138


The Board of Directors advances the work of Essential Partners (EP) through mission-based advocacy, direct and indirect financial support, cultivation of strategic relationships, and organizational leadership (ethical, legal, etc.). While day-to-day operations are led by Essential Partners’ Executive Director (ED), the Board-ED relationship is an essential partnership, and the appropriate involvement of the Board in organizational activity is both critical and expected. Specific Board Member responsibilities include:

Leadership, governance, and oversight

  • Serving as trusted advisor to the ED as they develop and implement EP’s strategic plan;

  • Determining benchmarks and metrics used to evaluate EP’s success / impact, and regularly measuring its performance effectiveness using those standards; reviewing agenda and supporting materials prior to Board and committee meetings;

  • Approving EP’s annual operating budget, audit reports, and material business decisions together with the ED; being informed of, and meeting all, legal and fiduciary responsibilities;

  • Contributing to an annual performance evaluation of the ED;

  • Assisting the ED and Board Chair in identifying and recruiting new Board Members;

  • Working with ED and other Board Members to ensure Board resolutions are carried out;

  • Serving on committees or task forces and taking on special assignments as able;

  • Representing EP to stakeholders; acting as an ambassador for the organization;

  • Ensuring EP’s commitment to a diverse board and staff that reflects the communities we serve.
Fundraising EP Board Members must consider the organization a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts that reflect that priority. So that EP can credibly solicit contributions from foundations, corporate sponsors, organizations, and individuals, EP expects to enjoy 100% of Board Members to "give or get" contributions totaling a minimum of $5,000 per year.
Board terms and participation EP Board Members will serve a three-year term to be eligible for re-appointment for up to two additional terms (for a maximum of three consecutive terms). Board meetings will be held quarterly and ad hoc / committee meetings will be held in coordination with full Board meetings. In-person attendance is preferred.


  • Financial Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Strategic Planning
  • Marketing & Communications (Mar/Com)
  • Business Development
  • Management

Good Match For


Requirements & Commitment

  • Quarterly meetings, ad hoc meetings, networking
  • Events and advocating the mission to current and prospective supporters

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