Kenton Meals on Wheels (KTMOW) Board Member Job Description
Duty of Care: Exercise reasonable care in decision-making as a steward of KTMOW
Duty of Loyalty: Give undivided allegiance when making decisions on behalf of KTMOW. Never use information obtained for personal gain.
Duty of Obedience: Faithful to KTMOW’s mission, vision and values. Operate according to the organizations governing bylaws.
The board is obligated by our By-Laws to meet at least six times during the year. When full board meetings occur, they will be on the second Monday of the month, typically 6-7:30pm. The actual meeting frequency is adjusted based on what needs to be discussed. In the recent past, the full board has met about ten times/year. Board members are expected to attend meetings as scheduled. If unable to attend, notification to the secretary is required prior to the meeting and the status will be recorded as excused. According to the By-Laws, board members with three consecutive missed meetings without reasonable cause will be asked to resign.
The standard term for a board member is three years. Board members can serve two terms consecutively, after which there must be at least a one-year gap before rejoining the board. This requirement is intended to prevent any single board member from having too much influence on the composition and direction of the board. Although there is no requirement to do so, nearly every board member in the recent past has served two terms. Near the end of the first term, the board member is contacted by someone from Board Development (see subcommittee description below) to inquire about the board member’s interest in serving a second term. If that answer is “yes”, a vote is held among the other board members to approve a second term.
In addition to attendance at the full board meetings, board members are expected to join one of the subcommittees. The subcommittee choice will be based on a balance of the board member’s interests and abilities and the staffing needs of the subcommittees. As shown below, there are three standing subcommittees. As of this writing, there are five board members on each subcommittee. These subcommittees have their own meetings, typically occurring 6-8 times/year.
- Board Development: Recruitment of new board members; maintenance and tracking of accurate information regarding board member demographic information and length of board member terms; preparation of slate of officers; provide online and in-person resources for training, distribution of annual surveys of current and transitioning board members for improvement opportunities; guidance on by-law interpretation; tracking and collection of completed annual ethics disclosures.
- Sustainable Funds: KTMOW staff is primarily responsible for the planning and execution of existing formal fundraising events* (e.g. annual golf tournament, meat raffle, etc.), development of new opportunities for increasing income (e.g. legacy gifts, corporate sponsorships), and collaborates with the KTMOW board to review overall budget goals and performance, setting guidelines for communication documents and recruiting for staffing and support of events to the best of each board member’s ability.
- Finance, Personnel & Investment (usually referred to simply as “Finance”): The proposed annual budget is developed by the KTMOW staff. This subcommittee reviews and edits the proposed budget as needed. Once approved among the subcommittee members, the budget is then submitted to the full Board for review and final approval. This subcommittee is also responsible for tracking costs and expenses vs. plan and notifying the full Board when significant changes vs. the plan are experienced or anticipated. Other responsibilities of this subcommittee include: supporting the completion and review of the annual independent financial audit; recommending adjustments to KTMOW cash reserves; managing absolved debts (primarily an unpaid account balance after a client passes away); assisting the KTMOW staff with planned giving efforts; conducting the Executive Director performance review; updating the Executive Director and Asst. Executive Director Employment Contracts; recommending compensation for the Executive Director and Asst. Executive Director (approval occurs at the full Board level as part of the annual budget review).
*All board members should strive to support fundraising events to the extent possible for their schedule and other commitments. Examples of this support include tasks such as staffing check-in tables during a golf tournament or selling tickets to an event such as a meat raffle.
As part of the effort to make our “live” meeting time for the full board more efficient or when there’s a need to address an issue before the next board meeting, there are occasions when board business will be conducted over email. While there are exceptions, a response time within one week is normally requested. Board members need to respond to these requests in a timely manner.
Starting in 2021, incoming board members will be expected to complete a six-part online Certificate of Nonprofit Board Education or produce documentation of similar training (e.g., through United Way, etc.) within six months of the start of their term. In addition, board members are also encouraged, but not required, to volunteer in the KTMOW kitchen and/or one of the delivery teams. This can be done as an individual event or as part of a work-related activity such as a United Way “Day of Caring”. Whether a “one time” event or ongoing, the experience of seeing the inner workings of KTMOW and personally experiencing the impact we have on our clients is powerful and lasting.
The nature of the work on the KTMOW board is such that every board member’s perspective is needed to help make informed, appropriate decisions based on the available information. At a fundamental level, part of the “talent” expected of each board member is sharing their life experience as it relates to whatever decision or direction is being discussed by the board. Beyond this, there are certain skills sets that we strive to maintain among board members such as financial acumen, experience with elder care issues, and legal knowledge. These skill sets are maintained through targeted recruiting of new board members as experienced board members complete their term(s).
In addition to the above, there is an ongoing need for a group of board members to serve in various leadership roles for the KTMOW Board. The formal leadership roles include the following:
- President or Vice President: Organize and drive the work of the KTMOW board; lead the board meetings to include tracking of next steps; update and utilize the KTMOW strategic plan. Typically, the VP will be developed as the successor to the President.
- Treasurer: Monthly and annual tracking of income, costs, and cash position; keep board and Finance subcommittee informed of progress & issues; resolve monetary transaction classification issues; provide information to and follow up with external auditors as needed.
- Secretary: Accurately record discussions and decisions during board meetings; publish minutes for approval by full board.
- Chair and Vice-Chair of a subcommittee: Organize and drive the work of the subcommittee based on the KTMOW strategic plan. Typically, the vice-chair will be developed as the successor to the subcommittee chair.
Roles 1, 2 & 3 above go through a formal nomination and board approval process near the end of each calendar year. The subcommittee chair and vice-chair roles are typically filled through appointment by the president following discussion with the incumbent subcommittee leader and other board members as appropriate.
The subject of money tends to be sensitive subject, so it’s important for potential new and existing board members to understand this expectation: please give what you can, when you can, if you can to support KTMOW. There is no minimum donation requested or required of a KTMOW Board member. It’s important to note that we don’t keep metrics on which board member does what or when among these categories. We simply ask that you help to the best of your ability, availability, and current circumstances to meet the needs of the KTMOW board and organization.
You will likely be approached 2-3 per year about providing things like gift baskets or wine (typically valued at about $25) to be used as raffle prizes for different events. If your circumstances allow for you to donate, please do. If you can’t, don’t worry about it as we work with what is available.
Board members are expected to be ambassadors and “friend-raisers” for KTMOW at every opportunity, whether it is forwarding information about fundraisers through social media; posting or distributing fliers at work or in their neighborhoods/ service groups, etc.; speaking as requested about supporting KTMOW; writing letters to the editors of local newspapers about the value of KTMOW. Other “do it if you can” opportunities include making direct contributions triggered by the Spring Newsletter, the Annual Fund letter, buying tickets for fundraising events, designating KTMOW as a target charity for United Way contributions at work, and designating KTMOW as a target charity for purchases made through Amazon’s “Smile” program.
We also encourage Board members to pursue grants or donations from their employers if those programs are available, including the using of “matching funds” donations.
Desirable Personal Characteristics:
- Ability to listen, analyze, think clearly and creatively; work with individuals and in a group setting;
- Willingness to be prepared for and attend board meetings; ask questions, take responsibilities; follow through on assignments; open doors in the community; advocate for KTMOW’s mission
- Interest in developing certain skills that you may not possess
- cultivating and soliciting funds
- cultivating and recruiting board members and volunteers
- reading and understanding financial statements and programming
- Honest, sensitive and tolerant of differing views
- Community-building skills
- Personal integrity and sense of values
- Concern for KTMOW’s growth and development
If you are interested in joining the KTMOW board: