Why Does IAYO need a Board?
IAYO is a company limited by guarantee without a share capital and a registered charity. This means that the company exists to serve a purpose other than the creation of profit. To this end, IAYO can not distribute profits and all assets of the company must be committed to the (stated) aims of the company. At the very least, the work of staff must be overseen by a board of directors to make sure that the aims of the company are followed and that legal requirements are observed. However, that is only a basic function. The board also exists to decide the future strategy of IAYO, govern it transparently and to make sure that it operates in the best interests of member orchestras and other stakeholders – the people involved in youth orchestras both young and old, The Arts Council and other funding agencies and other organisations involved in developing music, the arts and services for youth in Ireland.
Why Should I join the Board of IAYO?
There are different reasons to join a board of a non-profit organisation. Some of those are outlined below, courtesy of Boardmatch Ireland. The benefits to IAYO of participating as a board member are ultimately an increased amount and quality of participation from young people in ensemble music making in Ireland and all the extra benefits that that brings.
At its root, board membership should be of mutual benefit to the board member and the company and the board member should feel that they gain benefit as well as giving benefit to the company and to the people and communities who are the beneficiaries of IAYO’s work.
Personal Satisfaction: Volunteering as a board member on a not-for-profit organisation is an immensely satisfying experience both personally and professionally. On a personal level, volunteering on a not-for-profit board provides you with the opportunity to contribute to a cause that you believe in and feel passionate about. Moreover, you will be volunteering your time to a sector that is dedicated to social good and this in itself is a hugely rewarding experience.
Professional development: The not-for-profit boardroom provides a forum for significant professional development. In this new environment, you will find yourself thinking and working differently thus acquiring skills that often would not come into play in the workplace. Your ability to work as part of a team will undoubtedly improve and you will also gain useful skills in areas such as problem solving, risk management as well as exposure to the financial workings of the organisation. Furthermore, if it is your first time as a board member, the experience will give you a valuable insight into the organisational dynamics of an organisation and will serve you well if you are to join a board again in the future. Finally, being on the board of a not for profit organisation serves as a nice feather in your cap and will stand to you in future employment opportunities.
Enhancing your own personal networks: Volunteering as a board member is also a great way to enhance your own personal networks. Fostering relationships with your fellow peers will likely lead to new contacts being gained. Of course it goes without saying that this should not be the only reason for joining the board. The development of your own personal networks is rather an additional perk of the job.
Sharing Knowledge: Not for profit boards aim for diversity because the more diverse a board is, the less likely it is that the dreaded ‘group-think’ will hold. In this sense, you will benefit from interacting with fellow peers that hail from a variety of backgrounds both professionally and socially. With each board member bringing a different skill set and perspective to the table, the opportunities for knowledge sharing are plentiful on a not-for-profit board.
Contributing to better governance: Making the decision to become a board member of a not-for-profit organisation should not be made lightly. As a member of the governing body, the responsibility bestowed upon you is indeed significant. Whilst this should not be underplayed, it also highlights the importance of your contribution. By bringing much needed skills that are often sadly lacking on not-for-profit boards, you are enhancing the governing capacity of the board and by extension, the performance of the organisation as a whole.
What are the Commitments to being an IAYO Board Member?
- A commitment to work for IAYO on behalf of youth orchestras and young musicians
- Attendance at the Annual General Meeting where possible
- Attendance at bi-monthly meetings of the board from September to June. These are generally held on Sunday mornings in Portlaoise at present. An allowance is payable for mileage and tolls.
- A willingness to serve on at least one committee and actively participate
- Prepare for and participate in the deliberations and discussions of the board (including reading Director’s reports, minutes and other reports)
- Be aware of and abstain from any conflict of interest
- A time commitment of approximately five hours per month (including board preparation, meeting and committee meeting time)
What are the Legal Responsibilities and Liabilities of Board Members?
- Directors must exercise their powers in good faith and in the interests of the company as a whole. Directors must not abuse their powers. They must exercise their powers in what they honestly believe to be the interests of the company as a whole or the members as a whole rather than in the interests of a particular member or members.
- Directors are obliged to carry out their functions with due care, skill and diligence. A director is liable for any loss resulting from their negligent behaviour. However, a director need not exhibit in the performance of his or her duties a greater degree of skill than may reasonably be expected from a person of his or her knowledge and experience.
- In the case of the company being wound up, directors suffer no financial penalty as long as they have been acting in good faith.
- As there is the possibility of ‘grey areas’ in the interpretation of the above clauses, IAYO holds, and renews annually, Directors’ and Officers’ Insurance to protect directors against any claims that might arise against them. In addition IAYO seeks professional legal advice when required.
- Directors may not profit from their directorship of IAYO although they are entitled to receive reasonable expenses and can be compensated for certain facilities provided to the company. Directors are not allowed to be employed by the company or to provide services for payment other than those specifically listed.
- Govern the organisation by predefined policies and objectives and in a transparent manner
- Ensure that the company is legally compliant and is run in accordance with its own rules and objectives
- Determine the Organisation’s Mission and Purpose in conjunction with the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”)
- Provide strategic leadership
- Provide continuity for the organisation
- Acquire sufficient resources for the organisation
- Monitor and review the performance of the company against its strategic plan and financial objectives
- Account to Ensure the organisation remains accountable to its members and other stakeholders
- Select and appoint a CEO
- Support the CEO and Review His or Her Performance
- Ensure Effective Organisational Planning and management of resources
- Enhance the Organisation’s Public Image
- Assess the Board’s own performance at least on an annual basis and
- Ensure its own continuity, succession and training needs are met?
If you are interested please contact IAYO.