Board of Directors Overview

Building a strong Board requires that prospective board members know from the outset what is expected of them. This document provides basic information about what Focus on Nature (FON) asks of its board members.
Term of office Two year terms. Elected at our Annual General Meeting, Directors may serve for three consecutive terms. After six years, a Director must leave the Board for one year before considering another term. Maximum service is capped at twelve years.
Time Requirements Board members are expected to spend 8 hours per month for board meetings, committee meetings, orientation sessions, and special events, including preparation time. We do most of our work in meetings. We cannot do a good job or meet deadlines without full participation from members.
Board Meetings The full Board meets at least 6 times per year, usually on the 2nd or 3rd  Tuesday of each month, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Seven days notice of such meetings will be sent electronically to each Director. Notice of meeting is not necessary if all Directors are present and no one objects to the holding of the meeting.
Committee Meetings Committees meet at the pleasure of committee members in order to accomplish certain tasks by established deadlines. Attendance is essential for the committees to do their work. (Fundraising, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing & Communications, Special Events )
Nominating Committee The Nominating Committee shall consist of the President, Past-president and one Board Member. The Board shall consist of not more than ten members. Optimal size: nine.
Fundraising Directors are expected to attend fundraising events such as our annual Garden Party. Some board members may make presentations to funders and donors.  Board members will be expected to be ambassadors for the organization and play a prominent role.
Other Time Requirements The Annual Meeting of the Corporation shall be held between January 1st and March 31st each year. The President of the Board shall chair the meeting.

Social Events: We normally have at least one or two social events per year where staff, friends of the organization and board members can interact.

Strategic Planning: We review and update our strategic plan each year. With our mission/vision/values statement in mind we develop new outcome measures and performance indicators. This will involve several meetings or perhaps a full day.

Board Composition • Board members and staff identify prospective board members. These are individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to values shared by FON.

• Members will be drawn from the community. An interest in education, photography, environmental issues, marketing, non-profit and /or business, curriculum planning and community development are relevant.

• Candidates receive this information package. If still interested, they are invited to attend a board meeting, orientation session, or other event.

• If the Board and prospective member wish to proceed, the candidate is interviewed by Nominating Committee.

• On recommendation of the Nominating Committee, the candidate’s name is placed on the slate for election by the Board at the next FON meeting. If the recruitment is to fill a vacancy on the Board, the candidate may be appointed by the Board to serve what remains of the term.

Approach to Governance Briefly stated, we believe that the Board’s role is to ensure that FON establishes and maintains the trust of the community by being clear in its mission, prudent and ethical in its activities, and accountable for its actions. Our meetings focus on planning, policy-making, and assessing our progress.
Our Mission and Vision Mission : We inspire young people to explore and connect with the natural world through photography.

Vision: We envision a world where our connections to nature create a healthy, flourishing planet. We see a critical role for the arts in fostering these connections.

What we do Connecting Kids to Nature through Photography.
We take children out in nature. We help children connect with their creativity.
We give children opportunities to explore and connect with nature in their own neighbourhoods.
We give them the tools to discover and interpret the world around them.
We encourage children to observe carefully, and to notice things they might normally pass by.
We inspire them to slow down and pay attention to the natural world around them, seeing its wonder and complexity.
We help children to see themselves as artists, many for the first time in their lives, and we celebrate their creativity.
We use photography to encourage them to appreciate nature. If they appreciate its beauty and wonder, they’re more likely to look after it.
Directors’ Code of Behaviour Our board members sign this Code of Behaviour:
As a Board member of FON, I will
• be committed to the mission of FON.
• act in a manner consistent with the mission and values of FON.
• focus my efforts on the mission of FON and not on my personal goals.
• accept responsibility and share power in order to work as a productive, cooperating member of the Board of Directors.
• avoid conflicts of interest between my position as a board member and my personal and professional life.
• support in a positive manner all actions taken by the Board of Directors even when I am in a minority position on such actions.
• never exercise authority as a board member except when acting in a meeting with the full board or as I am delegated by the board.
• keep confidential matters confidential.
• be accountable to the membership and the community, for competent, conscientious and effective accomplishment of the obligations of the Board.
• ensure that discrimination is never practiced at FON.
• act in a manner consistent with this Code of Ethics despite personal opinions, values or differences.
• attend meetings consistently, prepare for meetings, participate fully, and otherwise fulfil my fiduciary obligations to FON.
Activities Regular Board Meetings
2nd or 3rd Tuesday each month; usually 10 meeting per year

Committee Meetings:
these committees meet on an “as needed” basis
• Fundraising
• Programming
• Human Resources
• Strategic Planning
• Marketing
• Exhibits
• Garden Party

Annual General Meeting
Before end of March

FON Garden Party 
Second Sunday afternoon  in June

School Workshops
Full-day workshops at schools in Guelph, Wellington County, Halton and Waterloo Regions

Day Camps
March Break week plus multiple weeks of summer camp in Guelph and Waterloo.

 

Note that as of Nov. 2019 we are operating in four regions: Hamilton, Halton, Waterloo and Guelph-Wellington, reaching over 6,500 students each year with three Regional Program Managers and one Executive Director, who are all full time employees.

We expect that the FON Program will continue to expand its reach to more schools in Ontario and beyond.

We are currently in our 1st year of a 2-year Trillium (OTF) grant for the Hamilton Region.

Status and Media Links FON website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Focus on Nature is an Ontario Non-profit Corporation. We are a registered Charity with the CRA:
#845562578RR0001.
We hold $2,000,000 Liability Insurance with The Co-operators General Insurance Company.
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