Dear Schoolhouse of Wonder Families,
Kind-hearted children become open-minded adults. I believe that sentiment with my whole being. That is why I am so passionate about the mission of Schoolhouse of Wonder. Through our magical outdoor immersion, we help young people discover their own hearts and develop into open-minded adults. I have a special invitation for all open-minded adults to join Schoolhouse of Wonder’s board.
The board members of Schoolhouse of Wonder are the ultimate stewards of the institution and the organization is profoundly grateful to those who serve. We are a diverse collection of professionals who seek to nurture young people through outdoor immersion and kindness-driven leadership camp programs. We are united by our desire to see our community reflect the same high value for curiosity, compassion, and nature. There is no single set of criteria for board membership. The members join the Board with different amounts of available time, different financial circumstances, and different sets of skills.
This statement of responsibilities and expectations is intended to inform prospective and current Board Members of what is expected as a Member of the Board.
1. KNOW AND EMBRACE THE MISSION, VALUES, AND GOALS
• A significant portion of every Board meeting consists of education about Schoolhouse of Wonder. Board Members must make themselves broadly knowledgeable about all aspects of camp structure and operations.
• Get to know fellow Board Members. It is an extraordinary group of people and one of the best sources of insight and information about Schoolhouse of Wonder, its personnel, and the issues it confronts.
• Membership on the Board requires that each member know and embrace the organization’s mission, values, and goals as articulated in the mission statement, diversity statement, and the staff handbook.
2. SERVE THE ORGANIZATION AS A WHOLE
• It is not appropriate to use Board service to advance any personal or political cause. Board Members who are Schoolhouse of Wonder parents and/or graduates must particularly attend to keeping their personal experiences “at bay” while considering issues related to the camp.
• Board Members are expected to be familiar with the Schoolhouse of Wonder’s policies and rules, including its conflict-of-interest policies, and to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts.
3. WORK AS A COLLEAGUE WITH THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND RECOGNIZE THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S LEADERSHIP ROLE
• Board Members should recognize that they are responsible to the Board as a whole and not to individual members.
• In Board activities and discussion, Board Members should bear in mind the difference between oversight and management – that is, between the roles of the Board and of the Administration.
• Requests for specific data or information should be directed first to the Executive Director, Board President, and committee chair to avoid unduly asking staff members for special requests.
4. PREPARE FOR, ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE IN ALL BOARD MEETINGS
• An essential component of effective Board governance is the trust and respect all Board Members show toward one another. Board Members should act with independence of judgment and foster a healthy and open exchange of ideas with respect for divergent opinions. However, once a decision is reached, board members are expected to speak with one voice.
• Board Members must maintain the confidentiality of the Board’s executive sessions and of all confidential information. The Board Chair is available to provide guidance as necessary.
• Attendance at Board meetings is required. Board Members should attend all meetings of Board committees as assigned and any Schoolhouse of Wonder related activities when asked.
5. BE PREPARED TO SERVE IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS AND UNDERTAKE SPECIAL ASSIGNMENTS, INCLUDING:
• Serving as a public advocate and ambassador for Schoolhouse of Wonder – someone who advocates the Organization’s interests but speaks for the Board or the organization only when asked to do so by the Board Chair, or the Executive Director
• Counseling the Executive Director as appropriate, providing support and guidance through challenging or difficult circumstances.
6. SUPPORT THE SCHOOLHOUSE OF WONDER’S DEVELOPMENT BY:
• Contributing to Schoolhouse of Wonder’s annual fundraising, as well as to special campaigns or special projects, in an amount that is personally meaningful for each Board Member.
• Assisting the development staff by helping to identify potential donors and facilitating prospect cultivation where possible.
• Participating generally in fundraising activities and implementing fundraising strategies under the guidance of the development staff.
• Helping to identify potential leaders for key volunteer roles, including prospective future board members.
If you are so called, consider becoming a member of our board. In the coming months, we aspire to reimagine how we can become a more sustainable, mission-centered, and viable organization that serves more children across more diverse populations. We would be delighted to have your participation. Reach out to me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Mosca, Interim Board Chair
Schoolhouse of Wonder