Resources for Independence Central Valley
Statement of Responsibilities
Of the RICV Board of Directors
Resources for Independence Central Valley’s (RICV) mission is to empower independence. RICV is a private, consumer-driven, nonprofit organization that offers advocacy and services to support individuals with disabilities in the Central Valley. Additionally, RICV is unique in that it is the only Independent Living Center providing services in Fresno, Madera, Merced, Kings, and Tulare Counties. As the only agency in the area providing comprehensive services to people with disabilities, RICV works to eliminate attitudinal, physical, and communication barriers for persons with various disabilities to facilitate independence and full integration in the community. In accordance with federal requirements and to insure consumer control of the organization, a minimum of 51 percent of the Board of Directors and staff must be individuals who identify as having a significant disability.
Becoming a Member of the Board
According to the bylaws of Resources for Independence Central Valley, the Board of Directors shall consist of not fewer than seven or no more than 18 members. Additional criteria for selection to the Board of Directors include:
- The quality of being representative of the constituencies in which the organization has an interest;
- Commitment to further the organization’s mission;
- Demonstrated interest in the organization’s work, including establishment of working relationships with Board members, staff, other volunteers and most often achieved through active committee membership;
- Demonstrated familiarity with the organization’ work;
- Demonstrated personal financial investment in the organization;
- Ability and willingness to fulfill the functions of a Director, including the areas of fundraising, program oversight, and fiscal management; and
- Possession of skills and expertise of importance to the Board in fulfilling its duties to the organization.
Board members are chosen for their talents, expertise, judgment, and commitment. It is hoped that Board members will find satisfaction in knowing that they are vital and valued participants in efforts to transform the lives of people with disabilities in the Central Valley.
Expectations of the Board
Collectively, the Board of Directors shares the following set of responsibilities:
- Recruiting and hiring the Executive Director; reviewing performance and effectiveness on an annual basis;
- Defining and revising as needed, the organization’s mission, vision statement, and purpose;
- Ensuring access to adequate resources and ensuring responsible management of resources. Board members are legally responsible for the financial position of the organization;
- Ensuring that effective long-term and annual organizational planning and budgeting is done and implemented; assisting in defining and monitoring same;
- Integrating the long-range plan into the processes of the Board and the committees;
- Presenting the organization to the general public, maintaining accountability to donors while promoting a positive image in support of the organization’s mission;
- Overseeing the organization’s legal and ethical integrity;
- Assisting in recruitment and the orientation of new Board members;
- Assessing the Board’s performance against its duties and self-set goals; and
- Assisting in the annual Board Member nomination and orientation processes.
Individual Board Member Responsibilities
- Participating regularly and actively in Board and committee meetings, preparing for these meetings by reading agendas and supporting materials and contributing to the Board’s efforts to make sound decisions about the management of the organization;
- Attending all designated special board functions;
- Serving actively on at least one committee;
- Maintain familiarity with all major aspects of the organization’s work and internal management – keep current and well informed about the programmatic work of the organization;
- Attend organization-related events throughout the year, as one of the key public faces of the organization;
- Support and engage in key aspects of fundraising and resource development;
- Support the organization financially. Within their capacity to do so, Board members are expected to make the organization one of their highest priorities for charitable investment;
- Recommend at least one potential candidate for Board membership to the Board Development Committee;
- In accordance with the organization’s Conflict of Interest policy, avoid any situation that could cause an apparent improper conflict of interest;
- Maintain an appropriate degree of confidentiality regarding Board and committee deliberations, preserve the confidentiality of executive sessions, and support official majority decisions of the Board even when in disagreement.
Board Meetings, Terms, and Structure
The Board of Directors generally meets each month and holds one Board retreat per year. Meeting dates are set and shared with members each September for the following October – September fiscal year. Attendance at scheduled meetings is of the utmost importance, and habitual absence from meetings may result in members being asked to give thought to their commitment to the Board and to consider resignation from the Board.
Members of the Board may serve two terms of three years each. Following completion of a second term, the member must leave the Board for one year in order to be considered for additional service. The Executive Committee of the Board, which is charged with attending to the duties of the Board between its meetings and in emergency situations as needed, is composed of the Board officers, including the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.