Board of Directors: Call for Nominations, 2022
Position: Director, Cycle Toronto Board of Directors
Start: Spring 2022
Term: 3 years
Commitment: Minimum 5 hours / month
Table of Contents:
- About Cycle Toronto
- What does the Board of Directors do?
- How many directors are we looking for?
- What skills and experience are we looking for?
- Am I eligible to be a director?
- What is the time commitment?
- How long will I be on the Board for?
- What is the process for joining the Board?
- Why does the Board recommend a “slate” of candidates?
- What if I am nervous about running in an election?
- What if I am interested in this work but don’t want to run for the Board?
Cycle Toronto is a charity that works to make Toronto a healthy, safe and vibrant cycling city for all. We are focused on advocacy, education and encouragement, as we work to shape policy and infrastructure, and build community to transform our city’s cycling culture. We engage a diversity of people in our work, pursuing evidence-based solutions that make cycling a viable option for all Torontonians.
Cycle Toronto is governed by an elected volunteer Board of Directors. The Board of Directors provides governance, leadership, fundraising, and financial oversight to our staff and operations. Directors sit on one or more committees, where most of the work happens. These committees are:
- Governance: advises the Board on strategic direction of the organization and on the operations of the Board itself
- Anti-Oppression: advises the organization on how to apply an anti-oppression lens to our work and how to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion within the organization (this is a temporary committee and this work would otherwise fall under Governance)
- Advocacy: supports, plans, develops strategy for, and assists in Cycle Toronto campaigns
- Finance: provides oversight, disclosure and transparency on financial matters; oversees the budgeting and audit processes
- Fundraising: provides leadership in developing fundraising strategy and implementing the fundraising plan
- Human Resources: advises and supports the staff with respect to human resources issues as they arise; develops human resources policies and practices regarding staffing, compensation, professional development, and succession planning
- IT: provides guidance to staff on all IT-related decisions, including our websites and systems
Please note that the primary role of the Board is not “advocacy.” Members who are mostly interested in that (critical) aspect of Cycle Toronto’s mission should consider joining the organization’s Advocacy Committee as a non-director member. Please contact our current Advocacy Co-Chair, Adrian Currie, for more information about their separate application process.
Five. We hope that two of those spots will go to existing directors who are seeking re-election and that we will add two new directors.
We are in need of individuals with qualifications, skills, and experience in the following areas (priority areas in bold):
- IT management
- Finance / Accounting
- Strategic planning
- Human resources
- Coordinating or managing a group or organization
- Experience on a non-profit board of directors
- Equity and anti-oppression
- Risk management
- Communications and marketing
- Community affiliation/access
Members without these particular skills and experiences but a passion for our mission are also encouraged to apply and have made vital contributions to our Board in the past.
Cycle Toronto is committed to recruiting, nominating, and supporting candidates for the Board that reflect the diversity of our membership and Toronto at large. Cycle Toronto encourages applications in particular from people who live outside of downtown, individuals from racialized groups, Indigenous people, women, people with disabilities, people of diverse faiths, people of diverse social classes, people with diverse gender identities, and people with diverse sexual orientations.
In addition to all of the above, we look for candidates who understand the role of a non-profit board of directors, are knowledgeable about Cycle Toronto, and are committed to promoting equity and anti-oppression in our work.
To be eligible for a seat on the Board of Directors, an individual must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Not have a bankruptcy that is undischarged
- Be (or become before the AGM) a member of Cycle Toronto in good standing*
- Have at least one nomination from a Cycle Toronto member, which may be a self-nomination.
* Cycle Toronto also offers a discounted membership option for anyone who is low-income, a student, or a senior. No proof is required to utilize this rate. Additionally, if cost—including the cost of a discounted membership—is a barrier, a bartered membership that exchanges volunteer time for your contributions is also an option.
Serving as a Director is a serious commitment. We require a minimum of 5 hours per month but many directors choose to spend more time based on their availability and interests. Here are some specific requirements for board members:
- Attend and participate in regular Board meetings (5 per year) (2.5 hours);
- Actively participate in 1-2 Board committees, with meetings for each committee every one or two months (1-2 hours);
- In years 2 and 3, each director should offer to serve as either (i) an Executive member (President, Chair, Secretary, Treasurer of the Board) or (ii) Chair of one committee;
- Assist in Board and committee work between meetings, including preparing meeting agendas and background documents/research and responding to emails in a timely way;
- Stay informed about the organization and attend at least one Cycle Toronto program event per year (e.g. Ride for Safe Streets, Advocacy Forum, Coldest Day of the Year Ride)
Cycle Toronto’s Board is a “working Board” rather than a “governance Board.” Therefore directors, more than in other organizations, are expected to be engaged, to support staff, and to assist in Board projects. Directors do more than sit in meetings: they need to be responsive to email correspondence from peers and take leadership and initiative in Board administration. At the same time, the role of a Director is not to assign specific projects to staff or insist on initiatives outside of the operational plan.
Ideally, each Director will complete their full three (3) year term, to help ensure continuity, as ⅓ of the Board turns over each year. If you are enjoying yourself, standing for a second term as an experienced Director is strongly encouraged.
- Complete our online Nomination Form by March 3, 2022. Please note, a resume/CV or summary of experience will be required, but will not be shared with anyone outside the Board and Governance committee.
- Those interested in being considered for the Board-recommended group of candidates (the “slate”) may be selected for an interview with the Board based on their nomination form;
- The Board advises all candidates of the recommended slate and each candidate then chooses whether to proceed to the election;
- Directors are elected by the membership at our Annual General Meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
The Board of Directors serves a crucial role in the work that Cycle Toronto does. Every year as directors turn over, we are left with gaps in skills and experience that must be filled. The existing Board is in a unique position to assess what skills and experience are required for this work, what gaps exist, and which candidates might best fill those gaps.
As we have done for the past two years, the Board will interview candidates and recommend to our membership a slate of candidates for election. This is the process taken by most established non-profits and one that we believe strikes a balance between democratic openness and building an effective board.
Regardless of which candidates the Board endorses, all candidates are welcome to run in the election and the directors are ultimately elected by the membership at the AGM.
We hear you! We all went through it and know that it can be stressful for some of us.
First, deciding to nominate yourself is only the first step. Once you understand the role better, and the election process better, you can make a final decision about whether to run. So don’t let this be a reason not to fill out the nomination form!
Second, we are happy to offer support and guidance throughout the process. We can walk you through each step and give advice based on our experience. Just let us know!
If you are interested in the work of the Board but are not interested in running for election, or are only interested in one committee, consider applying to join a committee as a non-director member. Please visit our website for more information about those opportunities.
If you are curious about other ways to volunteer with Cycle Toronto, please visit our volunteering webpage.
If you have any questions about the application process, or the Board itself, please contact us. We thank you for your interest and support!