Board of Directors – Roles & Responsibilities

As a Board member,

I am responsible for the health and well-being of Sustainable Connections and understand and am committed to its vision and mission.


Sustainable Connections advances a regenerative local economy that builds community, strengthens food systems, catalyzes climate solutions, and expands access to housing in NW Washington.


We envision a region of informed and engaged communities where all people have access to fresh local food, live in affordable and healthy housing, make a living doing what they love, and have the lightest possible impact on the environment. We make this vision a reality by leading the transition to a regenerative local economy. Regenerative economies move away from extractive business models and work in harmony with nature and society to foster ecological restoration, community resilience, and social equity.


  • It is my responsibility to know and review all policies and programs of Sustainable Connections and to monitor their implementation.
  • It is my responsibility to know what Sustainable Connection’s budget is and to take an active part in reviewing the budget and fundraising activities and grant proposals to meet that budget.
  • The Board is responsible for ensuring adequate financial resources for Sustainable Connections and for managing those resources effectively. I will actively engage in developing the financial resources for Sustainable Connections in whatever ways are best suited to me. These may include providing contacts, recruiting members, writing proposals or letters of support, helping with special events, or individual, corporate, or foundation solicitation.
  • Being on the Board of Sustainable Connections is Fun!—and, it does involve a time commitment. I will attend at least 80% of board meetings during the year and be available for phone and/or e-mail consultations with other board members or staff. If I cannot attend a board meeting it is my responsibility to notify the executive director prior to the meeting. It is also my responsibility to find out what occurred during the meeting and what actions were taken by contacting another board member or the executive director. I understand that for most board members, commitment to this board will involve an average of 6-8 hours/month of time during the year (board and committee meetings, reviewing board packets, annual retreats and events, etc.).
  • I will actively work to enhance the public image of Sustainable Connections.
  • I will bring a sense of humor to the Board’s deliberations.
  • I will maintain the confidentiality of the Board’s executive sessions.
  • I will avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest that might embarrass the Board or organization and will disclose any possible conflicts of interest to the Board in a timely fashion.
  • I will serve on at least one committee of the board. Current board committees include Executive, Finance, and Board Development.
  • I will maintain independence and objectivity and do what my sense of fairness, ethics, and personal integrity dictates.
  • I will serve the best interest of Sustainable Connections as a whole rather than any special interest group or constituency.
  • I understand that authority is granted to the board as a whole. I understand that I, as an individual board member have no authority.
  • I understand that the minimum legal functions of the Board include the following:
  • Approves all personnel policies.
  • Approves Executive Director’s job description
  • Selects and evaluates Executive Director, including approving salary adjustments
  • Adopts and monitors the annual budget
  • Receives financial statements regularly
  • Authorizes all bank accounts and all borrowing by the corporation
  • Determines and monitors Sustainable Connection’s programs and services.
  • Develops and helps implement a realistic annual funding plan
  • Annually, elects officers, holds meetings, and evaluates its own performance
  • Maintains minutes of all board meetings
  • Ensures that annual corporation reports are submitted
  • Understands laws regulating nonprofit organizations.
  • Is informed of and approves all political activities.

Board members understand that no rigid standards of measurement and achievement have been formed. We trust each other to carry out the above agreements, each in our own way. Board members understand that if they fail to act in good faith, they must submit a letter of resignation.

In turn, Sustainable Connections is responsible to the board for the following: 

  • Sustainable Connections will provide clear and current information relating to the mission, programs, policies, legal status, board activities, risks, and staffing.
  • Sustainable Connections will provide without request, monthly financial reports, which allow the board to meet the “prudent person” section of the law.
  • The Executive Director will be available to discuss Sustainable Connections’ mission, programs, policies, goals, and objectives.
  • Sustainable Connections staff will respond in a straightforward and thorough fashion to any questions board members have, that they feel are necessary to carry out their fiscal, legal, or moral responsibilities to the organization.
  • Sustainable Connections will give reasonable notice for all board and committee meetings.