Board Member Requirements and Job Description
What does it take to be a board member?
Board Member Requirements:
Board members meet once a month by conference call by dialing a particular number. No special equipment needed. When the meetings are held is periodically adjusted with an eye on keeping the time and day as convenient as possible to all board members. Board members live across the country so it will cross timelines which can affect times when people are available. Meetings are fairly informal, but do follow normal meeting procedures (motion, second, etc.), but if you are unfamiliar with this system it is fairly simple to pick up. We keep it to the basics. Meetings are scheduled for one hour and normally we hold to that, but occasionally we run long. Members are expected to either attend meetings or to send notice to the board you won't be there. As conference approaches meetings may be more frequent as necessary.
Agendas are sent out before the meetings and notes are published after the meetings. Both come to board members via e-mail.
Board members also frequently have discussions and sometimes decide issues by e-mail. Access to and the ability to use e-mail is a must. Checking e-mail regularly is important as sometimes there are questions that need response. Board members are connected by an e-mail group and sometimes there are flurries of messages that can be overwhelming to someone who normally doesn't get much e-mail.
Most board members have taken on additional duties, and while voluntary, new members need to be open to taking on these roles. There are board positions (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Communication Chair, Conference Chair, Member Chair, Merchandise Chair). There are also auxiliary positions (Nominating Committee, Historian, writing for the blog). Finally, as the conference gears up board members either head a committee or work on one. Much of the planning work this time officially moved off the board as board members to the conference committees, even though most of the same people were involved. If you are on one of these committees you will need to join a separate conference planning e-mail group (which also can have flurries of e-mails) and to attend conference call meetings. These start about a year out from the conference starting out one every couple of months, turning monthly at about the 6 months to go mark, and weekly around the 2 months to go mark. These are separate and in addition to board meetings.
In addition there are various upkeep duties that should be split among board members, but don't have to be done by everyone if you don't feel comfortable doing it.
These duties include:
-Checking for and approving comments on the blog
-Checking for and answering messages, also public comments on Facebook page
-Writing blog posts
-Taking and sharing photos of any Laura event you might attend
What we're looking for in a good board member:
-First and foremost we want responsible people who believe in promoting and preserving Laura Ingalls Wilder's Legacy and the importance of getting things right.
-Second, right now we could use people who know or are willing to learn about things like the behind the scenes structures of the blog (the computer part), financials, and marketing.
-Third we need people who are willing to include others and ask for help.
-Lastly, as we have achieved our 501c3 nonprofit status in 2016, board members must be responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by the rules in the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.