Board of Directors
Board applicants are invited to use this form to apply.
Call to Serve
The Foundation for Intentional Community (FIC)’s mission is to uplift, connect, and empower all those venturing to join, grow, and learn from intentional communities. As a Board member you will join us in fulfilling our mission.
Intentional communities hold an important place in the global movement towards just, resilient, and cooperative world. Serving on the Board means stewarding an organization that sees the structures and wisdom of community as both a means and an end to meeting the needs of people and planet.
The Board holds bottom line responsibility for the organization regarding decision-making, financial planning and management, and the overall health and well-being of the organization.
The Board is responsible for setting the direction for the organization, while the staff is responsible for implementation. The Board is responsible for hiring and firing 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
Board members should:
- Attend and participate in monthly Zoom meetings, as well as at least one and ideally both of the live org meetings 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.
- Serve on committees, take on tasks, and assist 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
- Support FIC’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.
Board Members ideally contribute 6-8 hours per month, including Zoom meetings.
Board member Characteristics
Board members should:
- Be an FIC member or a member of a community that is a member;
- Have a strong background in intentional community;
- Be skilled in communicating, problem solving and creative thinking (esp. strategic and big picture thinking), and conflict resolution (FIC can provide reasonable training in 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 as needed.
- Individuals with diverse backgrounds and/or skill sets are encouraged to join!
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.
Note: In-person organizational meetings are on pause due to Covid-19. We meet for extended virtual meetings instead.
Organizational meetings are held twice a year, for 3 to 4 days, plus travel time, at different communities across the continent. Board members are required to attend at least one set of org meetings per year. Video conferencing is encouraged any time a Board member cannot attend the org meetings in person; in some cases this may satisfy this requirement.
Org meetings are 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 the FIC, and the org meetings are important times for developing this.
Monthly Zoom Meetings
Zoom meetings are held monthly for approximately one and a half hours. Board members are expected to participate if their schedule permits. Members of the Oversight Committee, which has decision-making power on behalf of the Board when the full Board is not in session, are expected to participate.
Board members are expected to be on the Board@ic.org and Circle@ic.org (Board+Staff) 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
We have officers that serve in their position primarily for legal compliance purposes, such as the President signing papers when a Board President signature is needed.
Board officers do not have additional power based on holding these positions. However, there are particular tasks that are required of the Board itself, and Board members are expected to share in fulfilling those tasks. One currently assigned task is Agenda Planning.
Current (2022) committees are: Ministry, Nominating Committee, Kozeny Award, and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion).
Costs and Subsidies
The FIC does not, as a rule, pay for the travel costs or room and Board associated with Org meetings. Limited subsidies may be available, depending on available finances.
If you are interested in joining the FIC Board, please use this form to apply. For questions, contact the Nominating Committee at:
Marty – Marty@ic.org
Harvey – Harvey@ic.org
Neil – Neil@ic.org