Board Resources

Franciscan Ministries in the West

Purpose Statement for All Ministries

North Star Image

All sponsored ministries have a shared purpose. The shared purpose sits above each ministry’s individual mission and serves as a north star for strategy, decision-making and relationships.

Shared Purpose Statement & Franciscan Culture Assessment

English / Spanish

Orientation Manual

New Board Member Orientation

A weekend in-person orientation session is a requirement for all new board members.

This manual is used and contains reference material on all the significant responsibilities of a board member.
(Next orientation: November 22-24, 2024)


Orientation Manual Table of Contents

  • Our (unusual) Two-Tiered Governance Structure – Pages 2-6
  • Purpose Statement & Franciscan Behaviors – Pages 7-8
  • Stories of St. Francis and St. Clare and relevance to board service – Pages 9-15
  • Franciscan Values, different from dominant culture values – Pages 16-21
  • Tensions Serving on a Franciscan Board – Pages 22-23
  • Roles and Responsibilities – Pages 26 -39
  • Board Best Practices (separate document, below)


  • List of All Ministries – Pages 49-55
  • Franciscan Ministries Members – Pages 56-57
  • Bylaws – Pages 58-71
  • Guidance Documents – Page 72
  • Developing a Strategic Plan – Page 86
  • Mission Integration Plan & Assessment – Pages 93 – 100
  • Strategy – Pages 101-103

Board Best Practices

Board Best Practices by Mollard Consulting


  • Fundamentals of Board Governance & Legal Duties – Slides 6-21
  • Governance Research – Slides 22-27
  • Board Composition, Recruiting, Tenure, & Succession – Slides 28-38
  • Constructive Partnership between Board & Executive Director – Slides 39-64
  • FM Guidance on Financial Oversight & Budgets – Slides 42-44
  • Mission Integration – Slides 45-46

Annual Board Effectiveness Evaluation (Example)

Key Governance Documents

Bylaws — Click Here

The bylaws across all ministries have been standardized. From time to time, Franciscan Ministries may update them.

Guidance Documents — Click Here

in certain cases, the ministry board plays an advisory role to FM, but FM makes actual decision on appointment or approval. Guidance documents are created by FM to help boards understand the criteria FM will use for its appointments and approvals. Following the guidance documents aligns the board with FM and makes board recommendations likely to be accepted.

Guidance Documents Contents

  • Real estate transactions – Pages 1-3
  • Budgets and capital campaigns – Pages 4-6
  • Solidarity contributions – Pages 7-8
  • Appointment of Executive Directors – Pages 9-11
  • Appointment of Board Members and Chairs – Pages 12-13
  • Approval of Strategic Plans – Pages 14-15
  • Approval of Mission Integration Plans – Pages 16-17

Sample Committee Charters

Governance Committee Charter
Finance Committee Charter

Annual Board Chair Requirements
Checklist – Click Here

There are certain responsibilities that need to take place annually. This checklist will help you track those.

Contingency, Transition, and Succession Planning

Sample Template

Executive Performance Reviews

It is the board’s responsibility to review the senior executive annually. The annual review is then sent to FM.

Best Practice for Performance Evaluation with Sample Template

Strategic Plans

Each Board recommends strategic plans to Franciscan Ministries for approval.

Each ministry’s strategic plan should be clearly aligned with the PURPOSE STATEMENT (above) and the specific mission of the ministry.

Strategic Planning Guidance
FM Strategy Tool

Mission & Culture Experiences

The primary role of a board is to ensure a ministry culture that fully embodies Franciscan purpose, values, and mission. Two-thirds of the responsibilities of board members as defined in bylaws relate to issues around culture. Only one-third are centered around financial issues.

Mission & Cultural Requirements

An annual plan is developed jointly between the board and management.

Mission Integration Plan Template
Mission Integration Annual Assessment

Legacy Day

The Next Legacy Day is Tuesday, April 1st, 2025

Legacy Day is the day each year when all ministry staff, friars, boards and staff’s come together virtually to celebrate our Franciscan heritage and how it is being lived out in the present. The day has a theme, activities, and sharing among ministries.

Cultural Programs

Culture & Mission Integration

Annual Leadership Pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome

Next Pilgrimage: October 2025

Board members and ministry leadership members have an opportunity to come together to learn more about St. Francis and Clare and connect with their peers in other Franciscan ministries. The Pilgrimage is designed especially for leaders.

Annual Immersion Experiences

Immersion experiences are 3-4 day programs open to all board and ministry members. They provide an opportunity to see how other ministries are advancing the Franciscan Movement and to network with ministry peers. FM organized the programs and logistics so that you can fully immerse yourself in the experience.

  • Mission Casa Franciscana in Guaymas, Mexico

    October 21st – 24th 2024


  • Topawa Indian Reservation, Arizona
  • St Anthony’s Foundation, San Francisco, CA

Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting Between Each Ministry Board and Franciscan Ministries (FM)

Joint meetings occur annually. Each board’s FM member will coordinate the date and agenda with the ministry board chair. Please refer to the following document for more information:

Joint Ministry Board and Franciscan Ministries Meeting Outline and Purpose

Educational Resources

Br Bill Short

There are resources we invite you to explore to learn more about the Franciscan tradition.

Ministry Sustainability

Sustainability refers to a ministry’s ability to sustain its mission under a variety of conditions. Below are templates or examples to aid you with the following elements of sustainability.

  1. A clear strategy aligned with our Franciscan Purpose
    FM Strategy Tool
  2. Budgets with clear narratives outlining how revenue is being acquired and spent to further our Franciscan purpose and mission.
    Sample guidance re: narrative (coming soon)
  3. A Transition Plan that would allow the ministry to operate in the event of emergency and/ or the sudden loss of a leader.
    Sample Transition Plan template
  4. Key Policies (samples coming soon)
    1. Sample Investment Policies
    2. Conflict of Interest Statement
    3. Whistleblower
    4. Documents Retention
    5. Reserve
    6. Major Gifts