What you should know before becoming a board member

The Board of Directors is elected by, and accountable to the Vancouver Community Network Association members at either a Special or an Annual General Meeting.

The Board is legally responsible for the Vancouver CommunityNet, both financially and otherwise. Within this broad definition, general responsibilities include:

  • Determining policy

  • Drawing up short and long term plans, setting priorities

  • Providing general direction to staff

  • Budgetting and ensuring our financial sustainability

  • Organization of Annual General Meetings

  • Setting meeting times and agendas

  • Providing Chairperson and Secretary for meetings

  • Providing updated information to B.C. Registrar of Societies and Revenue Canada

  • Maintaining adequate records

Currently, Board postions are as follows:

  • President

  • Vice-President

  • Treasurer

  • Secretary

  • Members at Large

The Board is also accountable for many specific functions, although some of these may be delegated to committees:

  • Program development, approval and monitoring

  • Setting and carrying out of fundraising goals

  • Hiring and firing of personnel, monitoring performance

  • Setting wage and benefit levels

  • Maintenance and alteration of facilities

Most of the Board's regular activities stem from committee recommendations. Committees may include Board, staff and volunteer members. Current committees are: Fundraising, Community Content, Systems Design.

Board members can be appointed by the current Board as vacancies occur between A.G.M.s. These members stand for election at the next A.G.M. to continue as Board members.

A regular term lasts 1 year, but many directors serve consecutive terms. The Board meets monthly, usually on the third Tuesday evening of every every month. Occasionally, special meetings are called. Quorum is at least half the current members.

As a Board member you will be expected to:

  • Attend all meetings and take an active part in discussion

  • Attend any special meetings or planning sessions called

  • Familiarize yourself with the CommunityNet By-laws and policies

  • Have a strong sense of responsibility for the CommunityNet

  • Become an active member and chair of a committee or group

  • Take an active part in the work of the Board and committees outside of meeting times to ensure these bodies function effectively

Benefits:

  • A sense of taking responsibility for the CommunityNet as a whole

  • A lot of opportunities to learn new skills and develop current ones

  • Know that you're helping keep the Vancouver CommunityNet alive

  • A part in the future direction of the Vancouver CommunityNet

But, how much time will it all take?

Probably about 18 hours a month over and above your regular online time. The 4 – 6 hours a week includes attending meetings, completing delegated tasks and reading information to be discussed at meetings. Some specific responsibilities are attached to the work of Board members in particular situations:

Chairperson:

  • To post time, place and agenda of Board meeting well in advance.

  • To ensure correspondence and other information is duplicated and distributed appropriately, depending on importance.

  • To ensure that information is presented in an appropriate form for real consideration either before meeting or at it where unavoidable.

  • To plan meetings so that time is available for due consideration, discussion and decision making on Board matters.

  • To ensure that full and complete records of meetings are filed in the CommunityNet's minutes folder.

  • To ensure that the names and addresses of Board members, and copies of all minutes and other appropriate information are provided to the Provincial Registered office

Secretary:

  • To make official written record of Board meeting, including notes of those who are present or sent regrets, correspondence, motions and reports received and/or approved, time and place of next meeting.

  • To ensure that copies are distributed and posted within ten days.

Board members on committees:

  • To work closely with staff to establish agendas and post time and place for committee meetings and provide committee members with sufficient appropriate information to make reasoned decisions.

  • To ensure that a report, including all policy matters from committees, is brought to the attention of the Board each meeting.

  • To ensure that committees are fulfilling their purpose according to terms of reference.

  • To ensure Committee minutes are distributed to all Board and Committee members

Board members in meetings:

  • To read material provided by committees and staff, be prepared to discuss information at Board meetings and take an active part in decision making process where appropriate.