The Farm & Wilderness Board meets four times a year – in a major northeast city in January (in D.C. 2020) and in Vermont in May, August (on the day before Fair), and October. According to the F&W and Ninevah By-Laws, the Board is “responsible for the investment, use, and expenditure of all funds and property of the corporation and for determining general policy of the corporation.” In plain English, that means we have to make sure that F&W and the Ninevah Foundations are financially healthy. We also make significant policy decisions, hire and supervise the Executive Director, and have committees that provide guidance on various aspects of the organizational operations, including Finance, Development (fundraising and community engagement), Conservation, Inclusivity and Equity, Risk, and Nominations (selecting new Board members). Following the process of Quaker meeting for business, the Board makes decisions by arriving at a sense of the meeting.

The Board welcomes input from community members, and to that end, shares our Board meeting agendas. The following topics will be on the agenda for the January meeting, the traveling meeting this year in D.C.

  • Leadership team Fourth Quarter Report: At every meeting, the F&W and Ninevah Boards review the activities and events of the last quarter. At this meeting, focus will be on the budget process (we welcome our new CFO, see article), camp enrollment and marketing, development plans and Ninevah’s stewardship plan and upcoming work in 2020.
  • Finance: In January, the Board reviews the 2019 financial statements year to date and discussed the DRAFT 2020 budget, including projections on enrollment for 2020. This will be approved once all details are finalized.
  • Strategic Planning: see a separate update in the e-Interim about our progress, next steps as we take our draft four goal areas and supporting SMART goals, then determine resources, timelines and accountability for each goal towards outcomes. This will not be ‘approved’ at this meeting, yet it may see some feedback.
  • Quakerism: As a Quaker Foundation, the Board gets professional development on what it means to govern using Quaker process such as Sense of the Meeting and Unity (instead of Consensus, as some Quaker organizations may). We are fortunate to have Art Larrabee, a much respected speaker and trainer to guide the trustees and staff leadership team in this work.
  • Updates will be shared on the Executive Director search, which is well underway, and the work staff is doing to look at work culture and ways to make F&W and even better place to work year-round.
  • Friends Lodge, a community space with offices for year-round and space for seasonal staff, archives and more, has been successfully fundraised to meet its budgeted goal. Now the board will bring forth a decision minute to begin the building process in the fall 2020.

If you have comments on any of these topics that you would like shared with the Board, please send them to Becca Steinitz, Clerk of the Board, at rsteinitz@gmail.com BEFORE JANUARY 25.

In peace,

Rebecca

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Over the weekend of January 25-26, 2020, the F&W and Ninevah Foundation Boards met in Washington, DC. Both Board members and the Leadership Team benefited greatly from a workshop led by Arthur Larrabee on “Decision-Making in a Quaker Organization”. Several of us attended this workshop three years ago and the entire Board has found it very useful in understanding concepts such as unity and sense of the meeting. Other agenda items included the 2020 budget, marketing and enrollment, Friends’ Lodge, progress on establishing a Youth Advisory Council to the Board, a report on our Strategic Planning efforts, and an update on the search for our next Executive Director. Feel free to direct any questions to Becca Steinitz, Clerk of the Board at becca@farmandwilderness.org

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