Regional Board Member Position Description and Suggestions to Candidates
Responsibilities of All National Audubon Board Members:
- Selecting and being responsible for the Chief Executive Officer.
- Establishing Audubon’s Mission and defining its purpose.
- Setting major policies and priorities.
- Overseeing finances and approving the Budget.
- Participating in fundraising.
Additional Responsibilities of Regional Board Members:
- Representing their individual regions to the NAS Board and Staff.
- Conveying to the Board the viewpoints of chapters and councils.
- Representing the grassroots in Board discussions.
- Representing the Board to members, chapters and councils in their regions.
- Attending, and being prepared for, all Board meetings and conventions.
- Attending council meetings and communicating with chapters in their regions to explain Board policies, positions and actions.
The nine individuals elected to be Regional Board Members define their own roles as they respond to the different expectations of the Audubon members in their regions but, as Board Members, they all have a commitment to the Mission of the National Audubon Society.
All members of the National Audubon Board assist in the Society’s fundraising program by helping to identify prospective donors and by participating in fundraising programs such as the annual Birdathon. Board members are also encouraged to make a personal contribution commensurate with their abilities to do so.
Time Devoted to Board Responsibilities:
From an average of 4 hours to 24 hours per week.
It is the Board’s position that, while board members who are able to do so are asked to pay their own expenses, no one should be precluded from serving for financial reasons. Individual expenses of Regional Board members during one recent year ranged from $2000 to $8000. So that the best available chapter leaders will be encouraged to serve as Regional Board Members, some financial help, including the expense of attending Board meetings and some council meetings, is available. Requests for financial assistance are kept confidential. Several councils have also provided assistance for Regional Board Member visits. Non-reimbursed expenses are often tax-deductible.
Suggestions by Regional Board Members for Fulfilling their Responsibilities:
“Evaluate the time you have available… Be willing to spend the time it takes… Do your Board member homework, especially on the Budget… Be a consensus builder… Understand the structure and function of NAS… Get to know as many staff members as possible and learn which staff members to refer members to on various issues… Have good communications throughout your region… Having access to a personal computer, e-mail, a copier and a FAX machine is very helpful.”
Factors Influencing Decision to Run:
“Encouraged by others to run… Felt I could make a difference because of my experience… Had enough time available… My interest and involvement with Audubon… Felt I had something to offer… An opportunity to learn and to serve… Had my spouse’s support… Opportunity to represent my region to the Board and to interpret Board and management decisions to chapters.”
From Regional Board members running for a second term: “Enjoying being a Regional Board member… Felt my first term makes me a more useful Board Member.”
Campaign Methods and Suggestions:
“Write letter to all chapters and councils and to specific leaders… Visit chapters, attend council meetings, make phone calls… Help chapters understand the role of Board members… Make sure chapters understand the nomination process so they will follow through and vote… Go where members are, speak to as many people as possible... Get help… A campaign manager can be a great help – someone to make phone calls and speak for you… Have someone else (possibly your chapter president) write a letter of endorsement to all chapters… Ask others to call chapter leaders on your behalf.”
Drafted by the nine Regionally-Nominated Board Members on October 27, 1994.
Revised by the Regional Election Task Force in 1998.