For Volunteers

Chapter Board Member Onboarding

To ensure great volunteer engagement, it’s important that your new board members feel like they’re an integral part of the board as soon as possible. No matter how well-qualified your new board members are, it will take some time to get them up to speed and comfortable as contributing members of your team.

Conducting an onboarding process for all new board members will not only help them understand their role on the board, but also help them learn and understand the mission, values and goals of your chapter and CUPA-HR.

Use the below resources to create or add to your chapter’s leader onboarding process. If you have examples or templates to share, please send them to

Send a Welcome Email

Sending a welcome email to your new board leaders is not only about providing the logistics of getting started in their new role, but it’s also about setting the tone for the year ahead. Here’s what you can include in your welcome email:

  • Welcome message
  • Introduction to the current board
  • Introduction (and links!) to the chapter website and online community (if applicable)
  • Your chapter's policies and procedures document
  • A link to the Chapter Management Community in CUPA-HR Connect (and summary of the purpose of the resource)
  • Other material to catch them up on the work of your chapter

We have a Welcome Email template in the volunteer leader toolkit you can use to welcome your new board members.

Remember to update your chapter board listing with the national office and on your chapter website.

Host an Orientation Call

After you’ve provided background material to your new leader in your welcome email, host an orientation call to have a conversation about the chapter and answer questions. During your orientation call, you can:

  • Discuss your board structure and general expectations
  • Discuss in some detail the areas of work that will be the responsibility of your new leader
  • Review important policies or procedures related to the person's board role
  • Review the CUPA-HR website, including the About Us section, the Volunteer Leader Toolkit, your chapter website, etc.
  • Share the appropriate national office contacts such as Beth Humphrey or others

Facilitate a Connection With Your Region Board

Your region board has someone assigned to your chapter to provide support and encouragement throughout the year. Introduce your new leaders via email to your chapter’s CUPA-HR Region Board Liaison and explain that person’s role with the chapter as well as a summary of CUPA-HR’s governance structure.

We have an introduction email template in the volunteer leader toolkit you can use for to introduce your new board members to your region board representative.

Not sure who your region board liaison is? Email us at

Follow Up to Check In

After you first board meeting, call, email or video chat with your new leaders to make yourself available to answer any questions about their onboarding experience and first board meeting.