Interested in board service? Here are the expectations.
Purpose of Board Membership
To advise, govern, oversee, and assist with the leadership and general promotion of Nourish California so as to support the organization’s mission and needs.
The primary responsibilities for board members are to:
- Provide overall organizational leadership and counsel
- Select and evaluate the Executive Director
- Provide financial management and accountability, including adopting the annual budget and leading long-term financial planning
- Set and oversee policies and procedures
- Oversee strategic planning, program planning, and evaluation
- Promote the organization to funders and communities
- Support effective relationships with stakeholders
- Oversight of program planning and evaluation
- Commit to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive board.
Every board member shall:
- Know our mission, purpose, goals, policies, programs, services, strengths, and needs.
- Bring his or her skill and talent to benefit of the organization in a visionary, energetic, and strategic manner.
- Engage in long-term visionary planning for our present and future activities, rather than engage in day-to-day activities or staff functions.
- Promote our’ goals and objectives in their own communities and in other communities as appropriate to the organization's mission.
- Follow trends related to the mission and goals of Nourish California.
- Prepare for all board meetings by reading all materials.
Conflicts of Interest
Every board member shall:
- Avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, and disclose any possible conflicts to the Board Chair in a timely fashion.
- Avoid prejudiced judgments on the basis of information received from individuals and urge those with complaints to follow established policies and procedures.
- Not commit Nourish California or its resources to any activity without the prior approval of the Board.
- Behave consistently with the expectations, bylaws, and substantive policies of the organization.
- Complete an Annual Conflict of Interest Statement Form.
Every Board member shall:
- Financially support the organization annually as commensurate with one’s ability.
- Support the fundraising efforts of our staff by recommending or referring the Executive Director to potential fund development opportunities.
- Be prepared to assist with fundraising strategies by utilizing their personal influence with others (foundations, individuals) and to participate in fundraising activities.
Planning and Evaluation
The Board will:
- Evaluate the progress of the organization on an annual basis.
- Complete an annual survey to assess their own performance to identify ways to improve.
- Annually evaluate the Executive Director’s performance.
- Support each committee’s work to ensure that a process is in place that measures the extent to which Nourish California is achieving its mission.
All board members shall:
- Be responsible for identifying prospective board members based on priorities set by the Governance Committee and shall submit nominations to the committee.
- Share their time and talents in the various committees as described in the Bylaws and committee charters.
- Work to ensure that board membership is sufficient to meet the demands of the work and the needs of the organization.
- Provide a list of potential successors for the Board to consider for recruitment as they approach the end of their term.
Board Tenure and Terms
All board members shall:
- Serve at the will of the Board under terms spelled out in our bylaws. No one on the Board will serve more than four consecutive two-year terms unless the end of the fourth term coincides with the conclusion of the person’s term as Board Chairperson. (A chairperson who concludes their board term will be invited to serve one additional year on the Board to assist in the transition to new leadership.)
- Be encouraged to continue to support the work after their retirement from the Board by responding to action alerts and attending events.
- Be eligible for consideration for a new term after one year’s absence following retirement from the Board.
All board members shall:
- Be prepared for and participate in all board meetings, committee assignments, and other organizational activities.
- Note: Committee member expectations are detailed in committee charters
- Be on time for board and committee meetings and attend the entire meeting.
- Participate in 100% (but no less than 80%, with excused absences) of scheduled quarterly board meetings. Meetings are held virtually, with the exception of the Annual Member meeting in October which requires in-person attendance (subject to change based on public health recommendations).
- Be open to taking action or providing input via email on time-sensitive issues that do not require discussion.
- Convey unavoidable absences to the Board Chairperson in a timely manner (preferably one week in advance).
- Participate in all quarterly board meetings, which are intended to last approximately 2 hours.
- Participate in at least one committee, meeting one or two hours on average per quarter in between full board meetings. Committees may convene more frequently if needs emerge.
- Be available to review and respond to materials under development, such as issue framing, reports on information gathered, or emerging recommendations as needed.
- Apart from meetings, members will spend less than an hour weekly reviewing documents on average, although there will be some short periods of time requiring several hours of activity.
- The total time commitment on average is approximately five hours per month.
Desired Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
Please note that this list is intended to provide a comprehensive array of knowledge and skills that are important to achieving the Board’s goals. No one member is expected to bring all of these attributes.
- Reputation as a credible and respected leader in their area.
- Ability to work as a supportive team member with fellow board members and to work in close cooperation with staff.
- Lived experience with food insecurity, poverty, public nutrition programs, and/or other public benefit programs.
- Knowledge of and familiarity with local funders from private foundation, corporate foundation, and community foundation sectors to help secure and maintain local funders.
- Knowledge of public sector funding sources and application processes to assist with long-term funding.
- Major donor solicitation and cultivation skills to increase diversity of funding base.
- Ability to develop events for supporter acknowledgment, and fundraising needs.
- Executive director-level skills and experience in managing/operating a nonprofit.
- Management skills (human resources management, fiscal management, legal expertise) to provide oversight of the organization.
- Strategic planning skills to direct goals and agendas of the organization.
Program and Evaluation:
- Knowledge of policies and programs for legislative, administrative, and research agenda development.
- Knowledge of evaluation methods and measurement tools to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization and its programs.
- Planning skills to participate in and evaluate the annual agendas.
Marketing and Communications
- Knowledge of public relations and marketing strategies to advise on the creation of outreach materials and increase visibility.
- Writing skills to create and evaluate marketing pieces, reports, and newsletters.
- Knowledge and experience in computer technology tools applicable to expanding organizational capacity.
Nonprofit Sector Networking and Outreach
- Knowledge of and familiarity with the service and advocacy needs of partner organizations.
- Knowledge of management service organizations as sources of partnership support.
- Knowledge of university and other research sources for support.