Board of Directors Job Description and FAQ

 
 

We are looking for new board members!

Are you interested in joining our Board of Directors? Express your interest here.

Interest forms that are received by Monday, September 30 will be considered for election in 2019. If it's after September 30th, 2019, you can still express interest, but your form will be saved for 2020 consideration.

Amended on May 27, 2019 (originally adopted May 21, 2014)

 About Common Good City Farm

Common Good City Farm’s (CGCF) mission is to create a vibrant, informed, and well-nourished community through urban farming. We actively engage with all members of our diverse community and create opportunities for connections on our farm, while emphasizing intensive vegetable production and modeling best practices in sustainable urban agriculture.

Board of Directors Role

The Common Good City Farm Board of Directors supports the work of the Farm and provides leadership and strategic governance.  While day-to-day operations are led by the Farm’s Executive Director, the board’s role as the governing body of the organization is to provide direction and management of the affairs of the organization. 

Board Member Responsibilities

The board provides fiduciary oversight, ensures mission integrity, and hires, evaluates, and supports the Executive Director.

Leadership, governance and oversight:

  • Serves as a trusted advisor to the Executive Director as they develop and implement Common Good City Farm’s strategic plan;

  • Reviews outcomes and metrics created by the organization for evaluating its impact;

  • Approves the organization’s annual budget, audit reports and material business decisions based on the board’s legal and fiduciary responsibilities;

  • Assist in raising adequate resources for the activities of the organization;

  • Reviews agendas and supporting materials prior to board and committee meetings;

  • Responds to correspondence from the organization’s staff in a timely manner;

  • Contributes to the annual performance evaluation of the Executive Director as requested;

  • Assists the Governance and Nominations Committee, the Board Chair and the Executive Director in identifying and recruiting other board members;

  • Partners with the Executive Director and other board members to ensure that board resolutions are carried out;

  • Serves on at least one committee and takes on special assignments when asked and available;

  • Nominate at least one professional for the board as part of the regular nominating process, based on the criteria of the Nominations and Governance Committee;

  • Represents the organization to external stakeholders, including volunteers, funders, local government and community partners, acting as ambassadors for the organization; and

  • Helps ensure the organization upholds its commitment to build a diverse board and staff.

Board members should not:

  • Engage in the day-to-day operation of the organization

  • Direct, evaluate, or hire staff other than the Executive Director

  • Make detailed programmatic decisions more appropriately left to staff

  • Make any commitment of CGCF staff or financial resources except with the prior authorization of the full board and the Executive Director

Fundraising:

Common Good City Farm Board of Directors will consider the organization a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts that reflect that priority.  So that the Farm can credibly solicit contributions from foundations, organizations, and individuals, all board members are expected to: 

  • Make an annual contribution commensurate with their capacity;

  • Introduce at least one new potential donor each year; and

  • Participate in development/fundraising efforts of the organization including the drafting and sending of donor acknowledgments, engaging in peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, etc.

Board Terms and Participation

Common Good City Farm Board of Directors serve a three-year term and are eligible for re-appointment for one additional term.  After their second term, they must step down for one year before being considered for re-appointment to the board. They should familiarize themselves with the provisions of the organization's charter, bylaws, and policies, and ensure that they are being followed.

Board meetings are held quarterly, and committee meetings are held throughout the year. Board members should schedule enough time in advance to review meeting agendas and supporting materials to assure active, informed participation – supporting materials can often be substantial, consistent with the fiduciary and governing responsibilities of a governing board. To remain in good standing, board members must attend at least three of the board meetings and at least one CGCF event each year.

Desired Skills and Expertise

Participation on the Board of Directors is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual who is passionate about Common Good City’s Farm’s mission and who has a track record of board/organizational leadership and/or extensive nonprofit volunteer experience.   Board member candidates should have achieved leadership status in business, government, philanthropy, or the non-profit sector.  These accomplishments will allow him/her to attract other well-qualified, high-performing board members.

We are currently recruiting for diverse leaders with expertise in the following area:

  • Extensive professional experience with significant executive leadership accomplishments in business, government, philanthropy, hospitality (food service), food policy, non-profit, environmental, or agricultural sectors.  Additionally, former program participants, active members of the community and/or local civic associations will also be considered;

  • A commitment to and understanding of CGCF’s constituencies and volunteers;

  • Diplomatic skills and an affinity for cultivating relationships and persuading, convening, facilitating, and building consensus among diverse individuals;

  • Integrity, credibility, as well as a passion for and commitment to improving the lives of CGCF’s community;

  • Proven ability to raise funds; and

  • Ability and willingness to volunteer for board-related tasks, including committee assignments. 

FAQ

What does a BoD Do?

  • The Common Good City Farm Board of Directors supports the work of the Farm and provides leadership and strategic governance. While day-to-day operations are led by the Farm’s Executive Director, the board’s role as the governing body of the organization is to provide direction and management of the affairs of the organization. Board Members are not paid employees.

How many meetings are there per year?

  • We have one board meeting per quarter, for 4 each year. Each board member is also asked to serve on a committee. Committees meet on their own schedules during off months, and can be held remotely.

What kind of time commitment is it?

  • Most board members spend about 5-10 hours month working on board related duties. When you join the board you agree that you can spend at least 5 hours per month in attendance to board and committee meetings, plus farm activities.

What kind of skills are you looking for?

  • We are looking for people with skills in communications, fundraising, finances, governance, management, agriculture, education, etc. You don't have to be a professional, but we'd like to hear about your experiences and how you think you would contribute to the organization.

Do you need to make a donation in order to be a board member?

  • Many organizations require board members to make a financial contribution as part of their membership. We recognize that people contribute to our organization in many ways, and do not have a minimum required donation. We ask our board members to:

  • Make an annual contribution (financial or otherwise) commensurate with their capacity;

  • Introduce at least one new potential donor each year; and

  • Participate in development/fundraising efforts of the organization including the drafting and sending of donor acknowledgments, engaging in peer-to-peer fundraising campaign (such as a "Donate your birthday" campaign), etc.

For additional information, please contact Sam Wetzel at sam@commongoodcityfarm.org.