The Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless welcomes Board members from all regions of the county and all aspects of the community.  We’re particularly interested in people with a background in housing, finance, construction, human services, law, business, religious congregations or community organizations.  Board members are elected at the Annual Meeting, the second Monday in September of each year.  This year the Annual Meeting is at 9am on Monday September 10th, from 9:30 to 10:00am, followed by the September General Meeting from 10:00am to 11:30 am, at the First United Methodist Church, 1551 Montgomery in Santa Rosa, in the McMullin Room.   The Board itself may also vote to fill vacancies during the year.

If you are interested in standing for election to the Board, please send a one paragraph biographical statement and the reason for your interest in serving on the Board to the Task Force at sctfhmls@pacbell.net.  If you would like to be on the ballot for the September 10, 2012 election, please send your statement as soon as possible, preferably by August 9th, but no later than August 27th.  Nominations are also accepted from the floor on the day of the election.  We recommend attending at least one Board meeting before standing for Election.  Any paid or official complimentary member may vote in the election.  People may join the Task Force any time up to and including the morning of the election in order to be eligible to vote.

Board terms are three years, and terms are staggered.  The primary requirement is a commitment to the Mission and collaborative approach of the organization.  Members are expected to contribute three to ten hours per month including attending a Board meeting and participating in a committee and/or project.  The Board created the following outline of Board Member roles and expectations.

Roles and Responsibilities of Board Members

Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless

As a member of the Board of the Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless, a tax-exempt nonprofit membership-based organization, you have several roles.

I.  The Board has the legal, fiduciary, and moral responsibility for the direction and sustenance of the organization, to conduct all corporate affairs and exercise all corporate powers in pursuit of its mission.  Management may be delegated to other persons or committees, but the ultimate responsibility and direction remains with the Board.  This includes:

A.    Assuring that the corporation acts in accordance with all laws and regulations governing non-profit agencies, including paying necessary taxes and fees, filing required reports, and complying with rules regarding advocacy and corporate requirements that preserve the non-profit and tax exempt status of the organization.

B.    Assuring that appropriate or required corporate policies are developed and followed.  These include Conflict of Interest, Records Retention, Personnel, and others.

C.    Managing the financial affairs of the organization, reviewing and approving annual budgets as well as monthly financial statements, assuring the stability of the organization.

II.  The Board sets the overall direction of the agency in pursuit of its corporate mission, and in line with current community needs.  It plans, oversees implementation of, and evaluates outcomes for both short and long-term organizational goals and objectives, and assures that the organization’s administrative systems are adequate and appropriate.

III.  The Board maintains the financial health of the organization by assuring that it has the revenue to accomplish planned program goals.  That means:

A.    Planning for a revenue base that is diversified and stable.

B.    Assisting, supporting, and approving development of appropriate grant proposals   by staff.

C.    Assisting in marketing the organization’s programs and services.

D.   Fundraising, which includes the annual October in Paradise fundraiser and other events and activities

E.    Building strong relationships with donors and potential donors.

F.    Contributing personally to the organization.  At minimum, every Board member must be a paid or official complimentary member of the Task Force.

G.   Managing the assets of the organization.

IV. Board members act as the interface for the organization with the community.

A.    As a volunteer Board member, you bring community representation to the organization.  You may have been selected because you represent a particular segment of the community through your occupation, geographic location, ethnic group, etc. Thus you bring particular knowledge, skills or viewpoints to the organization by your active participation on the Board.

B.    At the same time, you are a key part of the organization and hence become a representative of the Task Force in the community.  While only the Chair or their designee(s) may make public policy statements to the media on behalf of the organization, it is important for you to be an advocate for the Task Force to funding sources, government bodies, and other groups where you have influence. This may include serving as an official liaison to a related group. Organizations reach into the community through their Board members.

V.  The Task Force Board is a working Board.  Each member is expected to attend Board and committee meetings and special events, serve on at least one committee, such as Advocacy or Fundraising, and/or participate directly in an activity or program of the organization such as Winter Warmth orVoicemail..  All Board Members participate in our major Annual Fundraiser.

VI. The Board hires or contracts with and evaluates the work of the Executive Officer.  It authorizes any additional staff positions.  The Executive Officer hires for these positions and oversees staff.

VII.  Board members must use “due diligence” in executing their responsibilities. It is your responsibility to read financial statements and organization information, and question any figures or policies you do not understand. Your legal liability is limited provided that you perform your duties with care and act in good faith.  You must be able to show that you acted prudently and in the best interest of the organization by:1.)  Attending meetings. (The Board may choose to remove a member who misses three meetings unexcused). 2.) Making reasonable inquiry when relying on the information and data supplied by staff, other directors, or professional advisors (e.g. attorneys, CPAs, consultants); 3.) Asking questions about anything you did not understand; and 4.) Having the minutes record your “no” vote on any motions with which you disagree or which you feel could lead to trouble.

VIII.  Board members should be prepared to offer three to ten or more hours per month, including attending Board and Committee meetings, reviewing agendas, minutes, reports and materials, and participating in special events or projects.