What is a Microboard?
A microboard is a small group of committed family and friends who join with a person with a disability to create a nonprofit corporation. Since the microboard is a structured and legal entity, its purpose is to ensure that the person’s circle of support will endure. Members of a microboard have a personal relationship with the focus person. Microboard members help develop the resources and support that the person requires to reach his or her dreams. They act as "bridge builders" and make certain that the person has opportunities to participate in their community in as many ways as possible.
Who can serve on a Microboard?
Family, friends and acquaintances who are committed to knowing the person for whom the microboard is established, and to sharing in a reciprocal relationship with that person, are all uniquely qualified. Committed relationships are the most important component of the board. Although some individuals begin with limited social networks, through the microboard experience, meaningful friendships, activities, and circles of support increase and they feel self-confident and more in control of what happens in their lives.
What is the purpose of a Microboard?
Individuals and families form microboards to create an unpaid circle of support that will endure for as long as needed. They want to establish a means to build up resources to meet the unexpected needs or desires of the individual, to control who comes in the front door, and what they are paid to provide services and support.
How is a Microboard formed?
The Association provides basic information to the individual and his/her supporters, and a person-centered plan is created using the PATH process. The Association provides Board of Directors training, as well as assistance with formal incorporation procedures and organizational structure.
What makes a successful Microboard?
To be successful, a sufficient number of board members is required to carry out the work, and new members are often added as the individual's needs change. The successful microboard must have clear support for managing the funds they receive, an effective system for maintaining required records, and a positive working relationship with funders. Every microboard has a financial officer who is familiar with the budget and understands the overall goals and objectives of the family.
What do microboard members do?
Microboard members spend time with the person and are a friend in ways that are natural for all of the people involved. They may network with other community members in a job search or be on call when family members are out of town. They might assist in finding local activities, help with household repairs, share a meal, go to a sporting event, or plan a small gathering of friends. Whether board members are building a budget or just taking a walk, they make a difference by developing a relationship that supports a contributing citizen in their community.
Five Simple Steps to Developing a Microboard
1. Schedule an appointment where basic information about Microboards is presented to the individual and his/her family members and supporters.
2. Create a person-centered plan using the PATH process.
3. Identify your Board of Directors.
4. Board of Directors training is provided in addition to assistance with incorporation and organization.
5. The Microboard will begin helping the individual carry out his/her PATH.