Board of Directors is made up of volunteers who bring a wealth of personal, professional, and lived experiences, and serve as the decision-making body of FOCAS. The Board is composed of a diverse group of women and men who are passionate about working with and alongside racialized immigrant populations who face adversity due to social, political, and economic injustices. With more than three decades of collective experience in community services and as volunteers with minoritized communities, they have worked as Founders, Presidents, Chairs and Co-Chairs, Advisors, Peer Educators and Mentors, Grassroots Organizers, and Activists’.
The Board members have maintained an unwavering commitment to a diverse set of causes including health and well-being; education of children and youth; women empowerment and advocacy; art and entertainment; relief of poverty; sponsorship and refugee resettlement etc. Given their extensive experiences and long-standing commitments to community building, FOCAS could not be in the position we are today without the tireless dedication of our Board of Directors.
FOCAS BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Principal Responsibilities of FOCAS Board and Its Members
The highest administrative structure of FOCAS is the Policy Governing Board. The Policy Governing Board governs the organization by making policy. This policy determines the long-term direction of FOCAS. The Board hires a senior staff person such as an executive director to implement the board’s policies and to manage the day to day business of the organization. The executive director is accountable to the board. Front-line staff and service volunteers are accountable to the executive director. The staff members and volunteers implement programs ad services.
As such, the Board’s main task is to oversee the operations of the organization through acting as fiduciaries. In other words, the Board is legally, financially, and morally responsible for the organization.
Mission and Purpose
A Board of directors as a whole is responsible for defining the vision and mission of FOCAS. This is usually done so in a form of the vision and mission statement. The statement must include: The purpose of the FOCAS; The core values of the FOCAS and What the FOCAS seeks to accomplish
The Board of directors is responsible for reviewing them regularly to assess whether any of them are necessary. One way in assessing whether this is necessary is to look at programs, activities, and/or fundraisers of the FOCAS to make sure the organization has no drifted from its purpose.
As a Board member, you are individually responsible for:
Knowing and understanding the organization’s purpose and mission statement.
Being able to explain what the FOCAS does and what population it targets.
Being able to provide people with general information about the FOCAS’ programs and activities.
Explain your personal reasons for being part of the Board.
Hire and Work with the Chief Executive:
The responsibility that the Board has of choosing and hiring a chief executive director is significant because he/she is essentially handling and managing the entire organization. Before selecting an executive director, the Board of directors must wholly review the mission and purpose of the organization and then agree on what their expectations are. They must agree on what kind of person they are looking for and what kind of person would in talking to and interviewing candidates the Board must:
Be clear about the job description and what the job essentials are.
List both general and specific responsibilities.
Look for desirable personal attributes, strong communication skills, and efficient management and organizational characteristics.
Be honest about any problems the FOCAS is currently experiencing.
Lastly, the Board is responsible for understanding what their tasks are and how they are different from those of the executive director. For example, they must know their primary responsibility is overseeing of the FOCAS, while the chief executive is responsible for management and hiring all other staff. However, just as the chief executive is expected to support the other Board, they must also work well with and support the chief executive in his/her decisions.
As a Board member, you are individually accountable to the Board chairman and can consult with him and support him. Work collectively with a Board to appropriately evaluate the work of the executive director. Advise the chief executive about the advantages of the partnership if you are knowledgeable about and or part of another organization.
OUR Financial Oversight
The Board members as a whole are responsible for the careful and prudent over sight of the organization’s finance. In order to meet this responsibility, the Board should determine what the financial policies are. Most importantly, the Board should help develop and approve the annual budget. This is a significant responsibility because approving the budget has a significant impact on all other priorities within the organization.
In overseeing the budget, the Board should receive financial and accounting balance sheets and reports. Lastly, the Board should be insistent upon an annual audit. However, the Board members should not perform the audit, but should regularly meet an independent auditor who should be assessing the financial situation.
As a Board member, you are individually responsible for: Maintain confidentiality of the Board’s meetings and financial related issues. Never accept/offer bribes or favors with anyone who may do business with FOCAS. Be cautious and careful with any controlling and transferring funds. Make sure you are understanding is up to date about FOCAS with financial statements and Situations. Fulfil your responsibilities and roles as a fiduciary. Provide Adequate Resources Providing resources for FOCAS partly relies on individual Board members and their ability to attract and influence large donors. However, there are some responsibilities of the Board that need to occur first. The Board of directors is responsible for:
Ensuring that the FOCAS has enough human and financial resources to serve its mission and purpose. Working with the chief executive who is often the chief fundraiser, in settling fundraising goals. Formulating a fundraising strategy and approving a case statement that explains why the FOCAS needs money and what it will be used for. Working together as a group to monitor, oversee, and guide fundraising activities. As a Board member, you are individually expected to:
- Giving an annual contribution based on personal means. Participating actively in fundraising (i.e. writing letters, soliciting, planning events).
- Sharing with the community successful fundraising strategies and fundraising needs.
- Planning lunches/events to provide financial contacts for the FOCAS.
- Sharing enthusiasm and commitment to/about the organization’s fundraising activities.
- Using businesspeople and other prominent contacts in the community to provide financial resources to the FOCAS.
Communicate with the Community
The Board of directors is responsible for acting as a voice of the FOCAS. They are responsible for articulating the goals, mission, and purpose of the organization in order to promote it and help the community understand what they do. They must ensure that they collectively listen to the needs of the community and make any necessary changes that will enable them to serve the community to the highest potential. Board members ( in collaboration with chief Executive Director) are also responsible for making sure the FOCAS can support outreach to the community through a significant and successful public relations strategy. Along with this, they should help in developing strategies for community outreach.
As Board Member, You are individually expected to:
Suggest right nominee to the Board among the person you may know in the community.
Conveying to the community enthusiasm about the FOCAS speaking to the community, friends and other personal contacts about FOCAS Promote FOCAS publicity for at any events or galas.