Revised August 2, 2011
- The purpose of this document is to give an honest accounting of what we hope to expect from Directors of Ontario Sailing and what they should expect from the President and staff.
- Most Board contact with staff is through the Executive Director, Glenn Lethbridge. Glenn can reached at 1-888-672-7245 ext. 224 or via email. Once Directors are involved on committees they will start to work with other staff directly.
- Complete contact information for staff and Directors will be distributed to all Directors. We hope that all Directors will permit Ontario Sailing to post one piece of contact information on our website, normally an e-mail address. Most business, communications and distribution of documentation is handled through e-mail.
- Under our constitution, most of the accountability rests with the members of the Executive Committee and the positions of President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer. These four-five positions are voted on by the membership at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), traditionally held the last Sunday of the Boat Show at the National Trade Centre in January. Other Directors are presented to the Membership for information, but ultimately the Executive approves the Directors.
- A copy should be sent to all Directors as part of an orientation package and are available at anytime upon request to the Executive Director or the Secretary.
- We are very proud of our nomination process. The Board approves the Nominating Committee and the Board identifies its weaknesses and needs for the future years. The members of the Nominating Committee (along with all Directors and staff) are asked to keep their eyes open throughout the year for potential Directors. Ideally we recruit new volunteers onto committees first to test their interest, to build commitment and to mutually determine if there is a good fit. However we still draw new Directors from our Membership as well as from our Committees. We ask volunteers to think about serving three one-year terms.
- Every term is for one year. Normally the President serves two one-year terms. This in turn means that Vice-Presidents serve a similar time frame. Each year Directors are asked their interest in returning for another year, resigning or moving up the ranks to Executive. We like to have a good succession plan and always have two members of the Executive willing to move forward to the position of President when asked. Often volunteers serve on the Executive with no intention of moving to President and that is understood and respected.
- As the current Executive Director writes this, I must say I am blessed with a terrific group of volunteers and surrounded by a great staff team. Our Board is positive and thinks big picture. There is no problem disagreeing, arguing and being passionate about issues at the Board (or Executive) table. Board members respect each other’s opinions and give each other the time to make their point (normally once). As it has happened recently most decisions are unanimous or with a clear majority voting in favour or against a motion. However after the vote is taken it is respected as a vote of the whole Board and Directors are expected to leave a meeting united. You are expected to speak well of the Association at all times. If you have concerns you are encouraged to voice them internally where they can be resolved.
- Association carries Directors and Officers liability insurance. Coverage is of $2M each claim and $5M each policy period.
- Attendance at all Board meetings, either in person or by phone, potentially up to 12 meetings per year.
- Being involved in Committee work, including our Fundraising
- Actively pursue sponsors for the Annual Fundraising Gala
- Attendance at our Annual Fundraising Gala
- Representing Ontario Sailing at regattas and clubs
- You have been recruited to the BoD because of your experience and talents. It is our hope that you will give a similar amount of time to at least one committee. Most committees meet 4-8 times per year and we try to concentrate these meetings between September and April, as most Directors are very involved in sailing from May to August.
Supporting Ontario Sailing Financially
- Ontario Sailing is very aggressive in seeking Corporate Sponsors, Partners and Private donors. Our budget counts on approximately 17% of revenue from these sources. Essential to asking other people to support our organization is to state clearly that the support starts from within. It is important to note that as a Director, you will be asked to support our annual campaign. This campaign starts off with the President, Executive Director and Chair of the Fundraising Committee making their pledges first. A letter then goes out to the balance of the Executive asking them to make their pledge. I think the donations recently from the Executive was in the $300-$500 range. The third phase of our campaign is to ask for support from the BoD. It is important that we can say 100% of our staff and Board support the organization finically. How much you ask? My answer is “We once had a single parent on our BoD and she donated $25 and I was ecstatically pleased”. We ask Directors to give to their ability and we budget an average of $250 per Director. As stated above we also ask Directors to support Celebration of Sailing Gala and the Annual Training Workshop.
- Directors traveling from distances such as Kingston, Brockville, Ottawa, London and Sarnia will have expenses that can be covered (expense claim form available). We appreciate it when most Directors in the Whitby to Hamilton corridor do not normally submit expenses but we respect every Director’s circumstances and we appreciate your donations of time and talents. Ontario Sailing also likes to have good representation at the Sail Canada Annual Planning Conference (APC) and depending on the venue and each Director’s committee involvement, Ontario Sailing is fairly generous in trying to ensure that Directors are not out-of-pocket. Where overnight accommodation is required, we cover 50% of shared room costs and try to pair up people. Odd gender out will be covered for 100%. This has worked out fairly well.
- I believe in being open and upfront with volunteers. I feel like I’ve just laid on all the ‘heavy stuff.’ I do want to emphasize that Ontario Sailing is a positive environment due to the strength and attitude of our volunteers. There exists a high degree of respect for our volunteers by our staff and that respect is honoured mutually by volunteers of the staff. I hope you will agree to serve on our Board of Directors or Executive and that you will find it a meaningful experience.
- At Ontario Sailing we have a policy amongst staff & volunteers not to argue via e-mail or get into a chain of arguing back and forth. These seem to grow and draw other people in. If you have a disagreement with someone – please pick up the phone and discuss your differences.
Orientation – A Work in Progress
- As you become involved and if you every find yourself saving “I wish I knew this before agreeing to volunteer”, please let me know so we can add it to this document.
- At any time please free to contact Glenn Lethbridge at 1-888-672-7245 ext. 224 or via email.