Why run for the board?
Are you excited about the cooperative movement and eager to participate in the world of cooperatives beyond your home cooperative?
Do you have experience with board governance, grassroots fundraising, meeting facilitation, co-op management, or committee leadership?
Do you want to be part of a bi-national organization that develops new cooperatives, manages common equity houses, and reaches thousands of cooperators in the U.S. and Canada with cooperative education?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider running for the NASCO Board of Directors!
Each year, we host an annual election for the NASCO Board of Directors at-large positions. Elections are conducted for four of its 12 three-year seats. These directors will begin their terms at the Spring 2022 board meeting. The NASCO Board of Directors has primary responsibility for steering the organization’s directions and setting policies while acting as trustee of the organization. As such, board members do not represent individual co-ops but work toward the common needs of NASCO and member cooperatives. By nominating a candidate for the board your co-op helps to set the direction of the larger NASCO community–we need a strong board to keep NASCO responsive to the needs of the cooperative movement.
NASCO Active Members, Associate Members, and Individual Members have the opportunity to nominate people to fill the open seats on the Board of Directors.
The following is the process for nominating someone to run for the NASCO Board:
- Select a candidate and nominate them formally through a vote by your board or membership.
- You send a completed nomination form (linked below) to NASCO by November 21, 2021.
- The nominee sends a completed candidate statement to NASCO by November 21, 2021.
September 27, 2021 - Candidate nominations open
November 21, 2021 - Deadline for candidate statements and nomination forms to be signed and submitted
November 29, 2021 - January 6, 2022 - Online voting
January 11, 2022 - Candidates notified of acceptance
Late March - Orientation for all new board directors
- Board Member Position Description
- Candidate Statement Form
- Active Member Nomination Form
- Associate Member Nomination Form
- Individual Member Nomination Form
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our board of directors is composed of NASCO members, NASCO alumni, members of non-member housing and worker cooperatives, and people no longer living in cooperatives but who remain active in the cooperative movement. NASCO’s Board consists of:
- 12 individuals elected for three-year terms on a staggered basis
- One Active Member Representative, elected by the Active Members at the NASCO Institute each year
- One member selected by the NASCO Properties Board
- One appointed representative from the People of Color Caucus
- Two appointed caucus chairs: one chosen by the Diversity Congress at Institute and one chosen by the Board, based upon the changing needs and composition of the Board of Directors. The Diversity Congress and the People of Color Caucus have staggered two-year terms.
NASCO’s Board of Directors, as in most cooperative organizations, sets the organization’s policies and direction. By nominating a candidate for the board, your co-op helps to set that direction. Our board members help keep us responsive to the needs of the co-op movement. If you’ve got ideas of where NASCO could be headed and want to help us get there or if you know someone who does, this is your way to get involved.
Board members are required to attend all board meetings: two annual in-person meetings and one conference call. The date and location of the next meeting will be announced shortly after the election results. Board members are expected to attend and help run the annual Cooperative Educational and Training Institute in November. We also have an informal in-person board meeting the day after Institute. Board members are expected to put in time between meetings. Some activities board members perform are: remaining active and engaged in committees, reporting to co-ops in their region, recruiting new members, teaching courses at the yearly NASCO Institute, and last but not least, fundraising. Please see the board member job description for more info.
Directors can expect to spend ~2-4 hours per month on board work.
The board meets 4 times per year, usually over a weekend. Board packets are made available the week prior to board meetings, and directors are expected to review the materials in the lead up to meetings.
All board members are asked to serve on a committee. Committees generally meet once per month for an hour, and there's sometimes work to do between meetings (reading or writing reports, for example). It's optional to sit on more than one committee.
The NASCO board seeks a composition that equips it with the skills and perspectives necessary to effectively evaluate issues that the organization faces. This may relate to a professional or educational background, types of cooperative experiences, or shared or hidden identities. Additionally, board members rely on each other to properly govern NASCO, and so the role requires availability, commitment, and flexibility with other responsibilities.
The following are areas of unique concern in assessing the skills and identities of potential NASCO board nominees for the upcoming year:
- The board aims to be composed of individuals who have experience with and consideration for cooperative diversity, whether it be through their personal identities or their work and experiences. The board benefits when its members can speak confidently on issues that relate to race, ability, gender identity, class, and other identifying characteristics of our cooperative community. Furthermore, the board seeks to maintain some measure of gender parity, ensure adequate representation from the cooperative community of Canada, and attract governance participation from cooperative organizations of varying sizes.
- NASCO is seeking board members from member cooperatives or community organizations with cooperative real estate development experience to help create and develop oversight systems. The board has also identified the benefit of having board members with legal expertise, a background currently underrepresented.
- The board seeks candidates who represent current NASCO Active Member co-ops as members or staff.
- The board seeks candidates with experience in grassroots fundraising, donor relations, and grantwriting.
Please consider these points when searching your cooperatives and communities for potential nominees to the NASCO board.
According to NASCO’s Bylaws:
Nomination to the Board may be made in any one of three ways:
A petition signed by five (5) Individual Members, provided that no individual signs more than one (1) petition in each election.
Nomination by an Active Member provided that no Active Member may nominate more than one (1) person by this method.
Nomination by two (2) Associate Members, provided that no Associate Member may participate in more than (1) such joint nomination each election.
Once someone is nominated, they must submit a candidate statement of their background and interests so that members may cast educated votes.
Your cooperative could choose to cover your nominee's travel should they be elected. However, you are not required to do so. If not, they will be responsible for covering travel up to the deductible in the travel policy below. (Note: If all meetings are remote, there will be no travel deductible. We anticipate the continuance of remote meetings in 2021).
NASCO shall reimburse Directors for all travel expenses exceeding $200 in a given year, $150 for individuals who do not have institutional support in funding their deductible. If the $150 deductible will cause financial hardship, the deductible can be waived. Board members are directed to travel using low-cost excursion fares. Staff is directed to notify Board members five weeks in advance of a meeting to make travel arrangements and to schedule meetings to minimize travel expenses. A summary of travel expenses shall be distributed at each meeting.