Volunteering to serve on the Oakville & Milton Humane Society Board of Directors: Is it for me?
What is the Board of Directors?
The Board of directors is the governance body of the Oakville & Milton Humane Society. On behalf of the community, and representing the members of the OHS, the board provides the strategic direction, resources, and high-level oversight for the organization to be successful in achieving its mission and goals.
Who serves on the OMHS Board?
Board members come from all walks of life. They share a commitment to the OMHS and the animals in our care and have skills that are required by the Board.
Candidates are sought with Board and/or volunteer experience at charitable/not-for-profit organizations; and expertise in: Governance; Finance; Legal; Vision setting; Management/Strategic Planning; Communications/Marketing/Public relations; Philanthropy and Lobbying; Human Resources; and/or, working with municipal governments.
Other characteristics include:
- By law, Board members must be at least eighteen years of age.
- Formal education is not a requirement for all Board positions, though it is desirable to have certain professionals on the Board to ensure an appropriate mix of perspectives at the table. Many candidates may possess a combination of work and personal experience that provides them with the necessary knowledge and understanding of the financial, administrative, ethical and policy issues that may be put to the Board.
- Candidates should possess an interest in animal welfare and should understand the need to demonstrate a public image that is in keeping with the philosophies and goals of the OMHS.
- It is desirable to have Board members who are willing and have confidence to challenge proposed policies, activities, etc. of the organization. However the ability to challenge must be tempered with recognition of the need to work in a cooperative and collegial manner and demonstrate a style that values consensus and unity.
- All Board members are expected to make a significant personal financial commitment to the OMHS.
What is expected of me as a Board member?
The Board of Directors usually meets once per month, in the evening, for about two hours. Reports, background materials, and other information are sent to Board members several days before the meeting, and Board members are expected to have read the materials and have their questions and comments prepared.
The main responsibilities of the OMHS Boards, like all Boards, are:
1. Determine the OMHS mission and purpose;
2. Select the Executive Director when necessary;
3. Provide financial oversight;
4. Ensure adequate funding;
5. Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability;
6. Ensure effective organizational planning;
7. Recruit and orient new Board members and assess Board performance;
8. Enhance the organization’s public standing;
9. Determine, monitor, and strengthen the organization’s programs and services;
10. Support the Executive Director and assess his or her performance.
Since discussions may involve confidential or sensitive issues, Board members are asked to sign a Confidentiality Agreement and an Agreement to adhere to the OMHS Ethics Policy.
Board members are expected to attend most, if not all, major OMHS events.
In addition to the monthly meeting and periodic events, Board members are expected to serve on at least one committee that meets once a month and where there are usually assigned specific tasks to be completed individually or working in collaboration with other committee members.
How do I become an OMHS Board Member?
As Board vacancies occur, The Board Nominating Committee will search out applicants through a variety of means;
1. You will be asked to complete an application form and to provide your profile
2. If selected for an interview, the Chair of the Nominations Committee will arrange your interview with that Committee;
3. If selected, the Nominations Committee will present you as a part of the slate for the Board at the OMHS Annual General Meeting in June *
4. Before the first full Board meeting, you will be asked to participate in an orientation to the OMHS and your responsibilities as a Board member, along with other new Board members.
* You may not have to wait until June. From time to time, Board members resign before their term is up. In this case, the Board may replace the member mid-term.
What’s in it for me?
There are many rewards from serving on the Board of Directors:
1. Sharing with a team in the accomplishment of doing something important for the OMHS and Oakville & Milton’s animals;
2. Using your skills in new ways and addressing very interesting issues;
3. Learning more about the Oakville & Milton Humane Society Humane Society and how it operates;
4. Meeting people who share your interests;
5. Developing new skills;
6. Developing your volunteer knowledge and skills – in the future, you may want to help other charities, too;
7. Being associated with an organization that has been helping your community
If you would like more information about what is entailed in being a member of the Board, please contact:
Oakville & Milton Humane Society
905- 845-1551 ext. 24
You can also contact the OMHS Manager of Volunteers to learn more about other volunteer opportunities:
Manager of Volunteers
Oakville & Milton Humane Society
905-845-1551 Ext. 14
Oakville & Milton Humane Society Board of Directors – Current Board Members
Ex-officio Board Directors
Frances Walker, DVM, Society Veterinarian
Diana Aikin, Director Emeritus