Board of Directors Information Package
BOARD OF DIRECTORS – OVERVIEW
The Board of Women In Crisis (Algoma) Inc. is a policy Board and is responsible for the hiring of the Shelter Directors. They, in turn, are accountable to the Board and responsible for the day to day management, supervision and administration of the agency, including all aspects of human resources. The agency is led and managed through a partnership between the Board President, representing the membership, and the Shelter Directors.
The Board is composed of eleven (11), members, who are chosen to represent a diversity of backgrounds representative of the community, and who have in common a desire to serve women who have been abused in any way. The Board Executive is composed of 4-5 members and assists the President in planning and decision making. There are seven (7) other committees including Finance, French Language Services, Strategic Planning, Membership/Nominating, Human Resources, Board Manual/By Law, and Property. These are working committees and all members serve on at least one committee.
Areas of Board responsibility include planning for the future and establishing a vision and purpose for the agency. The Board is responsible for overseeing the structure and administration of the agency and ensuring that legal obligations are met. The Board must ensure that there are adequate resources for present and future needs. The Board is the legal employer of agency staff who are managed by the Shelter Directors. The Board must endeavor to respond to changing needs in the community, and to bring on new members who will continue to provide a good balance for decision making.
Decision making at Board Meetings is accomplished by a combination of consensus building and voting on motions. Whenever possible, a member of the staff attends the Board Meeting in order to educate the Board on specific programs. Regular Board Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of the month. All Board members are expected to attend all regular meetings and one (1) Annual Meeting. Occasionally, special meetings are called to deal with circumstances that arise. Committee meetings are initiated by the Chair of the respective committee. The Board meets from September to June of each year with a break in July and August. An Annual Meeting takes place in June of each year where new members are voted in and business such as annual reports and By-Law amendments takes place. Members serve for a maximum of two (2), three (3) year terms from By-Law, with a provision for a seventh year for a President whose term may be extended by one year to support the Board as Past President.
Women In Crisis (Algoma) Inc. is funded mainly through a service contract with the Ministry of Community and Social Services. One position is funded through the Ministry of Health. Other funding comes from the Ministry of the Attorney General, United Way, donations, grants and occasional fundraising in the community. The agency accommodates up to twenty-four (24) women and children who are victims of abuse. The staff of approximately thirty (30) provides service to these residents as well as offering outreach in the form of counselling, advocacy and community education. Crisis response is available 24-hours a day in person and by telephone.
BOARD MEMBER POSITION DESCRIPTION
Every Director shall:
- be at least eighteen (18) years of age
- be a member in good standing of Women in Crisis (Algoma) Inc., having paid membership dues of five dollars on an annual basis, thirty (30) days before the annual meeting
- consent to and satisfy a criminal records background check
- sign and adhere to a confidentiality and conflict of interest agreement
AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY:
The Board of Directors is the legal authority for Women in Crisis (Algoma) Inc. As a member of the Board, a Director acts in a position of trust for the community and is responsible for the effective governance of the organization. In carrying out governance responsibilities, each Director shall act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the organization.
Requirements of Board membership include:
- Commitment to the work of the organization – must know the vision, mission and mandate of the corporation
- Understanding and support of the Feminist Perspective
- Willingness to serve on at least one (1) committee
- Attendance at monthly meetings
- Attendance at the Annual General Meeting in June
- Attendance at any other general meetings called
- Support of and participation in any fundraising events
- One (1) Board member to be francophone
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Attend and participate at Board meetings on a regular basis
- There is an expectation that Board members will attend the annual meeting in June
- Be aware of and adhere to the By-Laws of the corporation
- Come to meetings fully prepared and informed about materials distributed before the meeting
- Always be prepared to act in the best interests of the total organization, not just for a special interest or geographical segment
- Be an ambassador for the organization and its mission
- Support efforts to enhance the Board’s effectiveness by participating in training and other planned events
- Participate in the work of committees, task forces, or ad-hoc committees as agreed
- Be responsible for overseeing all policies governing the organization, through the Human Resources Committee
- Participate in the development of and monitor the implementation of the Strategic Plan of Women In Crisis (Algoma) Inc. in collaboration with Shelter Directors and staff
- Review and monitor financial and Shelter Directors’ reports on a monthly basis
- Oversee the financial matters of the organization, through the Finance Committee
- Authorize the hiring of an auditor for the annual financial report
- Approve the annual budget of the organization
- Ensure that the organization is in compliance with all applicable legislation; including but not limited to, employment standards legislation, human rights code, freedom of information legislation, and health and safety standards
- Approve the hiring and release of the Shelter Director(s), based on the recommendation of the Executive Committee
- Monitor the performance of the Shelter Director(s)
- Approve, where appropriate, policy and other recommendations from the Executive Committee, other standing committees, or the Shelter Directors
- Monitor all policies and protocol that govern the Board of Directors
- Review the by-laws annually and recommend any by-law changes to the membership, via the Board Manual/By-Law Committee
- Avoid situations of conflict-of-interest or personal gain
TERM OF OFFICE:
Directors may hold office for a three (3) year term which can be renewed for a further three (3) year term. No director can serve more than two (2) consecutive terms unless an extension is required to serve out a term of office (as in the position of President), or for Board support (as in the position of Past President). After one (1) year a former director is entitled to stand for election to the Board again.
- Monthly meetings (September to May)
- Annual General Meeting in June
- Committee meetings as decided by the work and members of each committee
RESPONSIBILITIES OF BOARD MEMBERS
- Keep all Board discussions strictly confidential.
- Understand the agency’s Mission and Mandate, be aware of issues affecting it, and keep up-to-date on trends in the community that might affect the organization.
- Know the Board’s legal obligations, and ensure that the agency’s legal affairs are in order.
- Understand and, if necessary, query all financial and budget matters.
- Bring your own training, skills and experience to Board discussions.
Board Meeting Expectations:
- Attend all meetings and notify the Chair if you cannot attend.
- Prepare for meetings by reading minutes and preparatory material.
- Participate actively in meetings by asking questions to clarify issues, expressing your views, listening to and considering the views of others, changing your opinion if the situation warrants, and by making decisions.
- Complete any tasks or assignments you accept at meetings or from the Chair on behalf of the Board.
- Abide by and support the decisions of the Board. In instances where you strongly oppose decisions of the Board, you may wish to formally register your opposition, but your obligation to support the decision outside the meeting remains the same.
- Participate on one or more committees and possibly Chair one.
- Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in committee meetings.
- Work on assigned tasks between meetings.
- Assist with occasional fundraising.
- Meet with other agencies, funders or legislators as requested by the Chair.
- Other tasks that may be requested by the Chair.
Thank you for your interest.