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JOIN Our
BOARD.

 

BSI BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Role Description

Board applicants are invited to use this form to apply.

 

CALL TO SERVE

Black Sustainability Inc.’s mission is to connect, teach and equip those in sustainability fields to resources and development opportunities across the African diaspora; becoming a trusted resource of experts and contractors on sustainable development.

Serving on the BSI Board means stewarding our organization that sees the structures and wisdom of community as both a means and an end to meeting the needs of people and planet. Our Board functions in two distinct ways:

Stationary Board Members serve in a traditional board member role; developing and supporting fundraising efforts; assessing the overall direction and strategy of the organization. Active Board Members serve as a working board; assisting with program/project development.

 

Selection Process

Learn More & Meet Our Team → Attend an Interest Meeting on April 9 

Submit An Application 

Interview Virtually

The Basics

The Board holds responsibility for the organization regarding decision-making, financial planning and management, and the overall health and well-being of Black Sustainability, Inc. 

The Board is responsible for setting the direction for the organization, while the staff is responsible for implementation. The Board is also responsible for hiring and releasing the staff on the Executive Team.

Legally, nonprofit Boards have three responsibilities:

  • Take care of the nonprofit by ensuring prudent use of all assets, including financial assets, facilities, people, and good will; and provide oversight for all activities that advance the nonprofit’s effectiveness and sustainability. (Legally: “Duty of due care”)

  • Make decisions in the best interest of the nonprofit corporation; not in his or her own self-interest. (Legally: “Duty of loyalty”)

  • Ensure that the nonprofit obeys applicable laws and acts in accordance with ethical practices; that the nonprofit adheres to its stated corporate purposes, and that its activities advance its mission. (Legally: “Duty of obedience”)

In particular, these require that the Board:

  • Review regular (monthly) financial reports and approve budget changes at semi-annual Organizational (org) meetings if needed. 

  • Approve contracts and other legal agreements with significant resource implications for the organization (over 5% of budget, major time commitments, etc.)

  • Create and approve strategic plans, long-term goals and annual goals.

 

RIGHTS OF BOARD MEMBERS

  • Receive appropriate orientation and training

  • Access to financial and staff reports, and reasonable answers to inquiries into the operations of the organization

  • Receive materials for review and agendas in a timely fashion from the Agenda Planner and others who bring agenda items to the Board

 

PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS 

All Board Members should: 

  • Attend and participate in quarterly Zoom meetings to report the status of financial, legal and overarching organizational and bringing in funds to support the organization.

  • Attend at least one grounding session per year (if/when they take place)

  • Respond to necessary emails, including reviewing minutes and reports

  • Stay in communication with staff and other Board members as needed to fulfill Board responsibilities. Note: this does not extend to interfering with daily work of the staff.

Stationary Board members should:

  • Support BSI’s financial health through participating in income generation, including such activities as:

    • seeking out donor connections and passing them on to the appropriate staff;

    • doing major donor asks (with support from staff as needed); 

    • thanking major donors;

    • meeting with foundations in their area;

    • participating in fundraising events in their area, e.g., house parties or dinner parties;

    • making requests through social media;

    • sharing fundraising letters with their network, and blogging with asks;

    • supporting current crowdfunding or other campaigns;

    • training, coaching each other, and practicing for asks;

    • encouraging communities to become members or to renew membership;

    • helping generate ideas and implement plans for vibrant revenue streams;

    • serving on the Finance Committee.

Active Board members should:

  • Support committees in monthly meetings by taking on tasks, and assisting with projects, as they are available

  • Pro-actively think about the well-being, networking needs and healthy growth of the organization and offer creative input at appropriate times

 

Estimated Time

Board Members ideally contribute 6-8 hours per month, including Zoom meetings. 

BOARD MEMBER CHARACTERISTICS

Board members should:

  • Be a BSI member;

  • Have a strong background in at least ONE of the ten Industry Houses;

  • Be skilled in communicating, problem solving and creative thinking (esp. strategic and big picture thinking), and conflict resolution (BSI provides training for this);

  • Be responsible, have the ability to follow through on commitments, and be willing and able to be held accountable;

  • Be willing and able to place the good of the organization ahead of their other interests and agendas (see the Conflict of Interest Policy for what is meant) and personal preferences;

  • Have the time, energy, and resources to meet the minimum participation requirements;

  • Be willing to participate in fundraising and organizational promotion

 

SELECTION AND TERMS

The existing Board selects new members and renews current members with expiring terms from a list of candidates presented to it by the Nominating Committee. Members serve for staggered 3 year terms, with the ability to rejoin the board for up to four terms if approved by the existing board and Leadership Committee. 

 

GROUNDING SESSIONS

Note: In-person Grounding Sessions are on pause due to Covid-19. We will meet virtually instead. 

Grounding Sessions are held for all BSI team members (board of directors, advisory board, staff, volunteers) two times a year, for 3 to 4 days, not including travel time, in different communities across the globe. Board members are required to attend at least one set of in person org meetings per year. Video conferencing is encouraged any time a Board member cannot attend the org meetings in person. 

Grounding Sessions serve as strategic planning retreats where the Board meets to make important decisions about the direction of the organization, its priorities, its finances, as well as other central aspects of its staff and administration. They also include time for working sessions as well as socializing. 

Strong, positive relationships are key to maintaining the cooperative culture of BSI and org meetings are important times for developing this.

 

MONTHLY ZOOM MEETINGS

Zoom meetings are held AND recorded monthly every 3rd Wednesday at 6:00pmEST, for approximately one and a half hours. Board members are expected to participate. Members of the Leadership Committee have decision-making power on behalf of the Board when the full Board is not in session.

 

EMAIL

Board members are expected to be on the board@blacksustainability.org email list. Email traffic can vary greatly depending on the issues and activities at play. Board members are encouraged to participate in email discussions and decision-making, but are not required to except for specific instances when information or approval is required of all Board members.

 

OFFICERS, COMMITTEES, TASKS, AND PROJECTS

As we grow, many of us operate in multiple positions. Currently, we have officers that serve in their position primarily for legal compliance purposes, such as the Executive Director signing papers when a Board President signature is needed. 

Board officers serving in this capacity do not have additional authority based on holding these positions. However, there are particular tasks that are required of active Board members and are expected to share in fulfilling those tasks. 

Current (2022) committees are: Leadership, Ethics/Cyber Security, Fundraising, Language/Translation, Partnership, R&D, Impact Fund, Membership, Education, Summit, Industry House. 

 

COSTS AND SUBSIDIES

The BSI does not currently cover travel costs or room and board associated with organization meetings.

 

CONTACT

If you are interested in joining the BSI Board, please use this form to APPLY. For questions, contact the Nominating Committee at info@blacksustainability.org SUBJECT: BSI Board

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