Seeking Board Members (Applications due 31 October)

Stumptown Syndicate, the organization behind Open Source Bridge and other local tech events such as BarCamp Portland, Ignite Portland and WhereCampPDX, is seeking applicants to fill at least two open positions on our Board of Directors.

Read on for details and then apply here. Applications close 11:59pm PDT on 31 October, 2015.

About Stumptown Syndicate

Stumptown Syndicate’s mission is to create positive social change by supporting resilient, inclusive tech and maker communities.

We envision a Pacific Northwest that is home to many vibrant, diverse, accessible and inclusive tech communities of caring, actively engaged people. We aspire to serve these communities by facilitating the sharing of resources, knowledge, and experience. We work to build trust and a reputation for excellence among the communities we serve as well as the patrons who support us.

We have guiding principles that inform our decision-making.

Our current program activities include events (Open Source Bridge, BarCamp Portland, Ignite Portland and WhereCampPDX) and stewardship of open source projects Calagator and OpenConferenceWare as well as the Citizen Code of Conduct.

Future planned program activities include local user group support; fiscal sponsorship of related community projects; safety, diversity & inclusion training and support; and more.

We would like to hire a paid Executive Director in early 2016. As a director, you will be a part of the recruitment and selection process.

Board qualifications & requirements

There are no specific requirements for being a Syndicate Director. Prior non-profit experience is helpful, but not required. You must be able to attend monthly board meetings, either in person or via teleconference. You do not have to live near Portland, Oregon.

We will provide training to help get you up to speed on non-profit issues and related matters. Please apply if you’re interested in furthering our mission even if you don’t think you know enough about running a non-profit.

Serving on a non-profit board in Oregon comes with certain legal obligations, a good overview of which can be found at Oregon’s Attorney General website page about non-profit board service.

Board Responsibilities

  • Makes final decisions on policies relation to mission, programs, finances, personnel, and public relations.
  • Provides leadership and expertise with technical needs as identified by executive director and staff: for example, legal, accounting, marketing, and fundraising.
  • Expected to know the mission, history, policies, and programs of the organization.
  • Expected to know the duties the board delegates to staff and/or volunteers.
  • Available to be consulted by staff and/or volunteer consultation on matters of related to the organization.
  • Acts as both an informal and, when requested, formal ambassador and spokesperson for the organization.
  • Hires and evaluates the executive director.
  • Ensures financial support by participating in fundraising planning and activities.
  • With the help of the staff and volunteers, evaluates and updates the work of the organization to ensure that it is meeting its mission.

What we expect from you as a board member

  1. I will give my best effort to “hit the ground running” when beginning my service with the board.
  2. I will learn about the organization’s mission and programs, and be able to describe them accurately.
  3. I understand that the board meets 12 times per year, plus one annual full-day retreat. I will do my best to attend each meeting, with the understanding that three consecutive unexcused absences will be considered resignation from the board. Board meetings may be attended remotely via phone or teleconference. The annual retreat should be attended in person.
  4. I accept fiduciary responsibility for the organization and will oversee its financial health and integrity.
  5. I will provide oversight to ensure that our programs run effectively.
  6. I accept ethical responsibility and will help to hold fellow board members, the executive director (and, by extension, the full staff) to professional standards.
  7. I will serve as an ambassador to the community to educate others and promote our work.
  8. I commit to increasing my skills as a board member.
  9. I will participate in fundraising to ensure that our organization has the resources it needs to meet its mission. Our organization will be one of the top three charities I support each year that I am on the board.
  10. I will evaluate the performance of the executive director.

What board members can expect in return

  1. The organization will provide me a full orientation, including background information on work accomplished to date.
  2. The organization will provide me with relevant materials and education.
  3. I expect board meetings to be well run and productive, with a focus on decision-making, rather than reporting. I understand that agendas will be distributed at least one week in advance. If I wish to add items to the agenda, I will contact the chair at least two weeks in advance.
  4. I expect timely, accurate, and complete financial statements to be distributed at least quarterly, one week in advance of the relevant board meeting. I also expect to be trained to interpret these financial statements.
  5. I expect monthly reports from the executive director, program updates, press clippings, etc.
  6. The organization will provide me with relevant training.
  7. I will need materials and may need training (public speaking, etc.) to do this job effectively.
  8. The organization will provide me with appropriate training and support.
  9. I will be able to choose from a range of fundraising activities, and I expect relevant training and support to help me fulfill my obligations.
  10. Evaluation of the E.D. will be based on goals developed jointly by the board and the E.D.

What is the time commitment?

Directors can expect to spend an average of 2-5 hours a week on Syndicate business.

The term length for directors is 3 years and starts December 1st.

What is the compensation?

Board members are volunteers and are not compensated. Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed (e.g., childcare, transportation, meals, approved training).

Do you carry Directors & Officers insurance?

Yes, we do.

Additionally, as a volunteer board member of an Oregon non-profit, you have “qualified immunity,” as explained by the Attorney General:

To encourage citizens to serve as board members for charities, the law cloaks volunteer board members with qualified immunity. They cannot be sued for negligent acts. They may, however, be subject to lawsuits alleging that a loss was due to their gross negligence, willful or fraudulent acts.

Read more about serving on an Oregon non-profit board here.

Are they any perks to being a Syndicate Director?

Fame and vast opportunities for wealth! Just kidding. There is a certain visibility to being a Director, but the biggest reason for serving is that you get to help make the Portland tech community (and beyond) better and more vibrant.

What are some reasons for serving on the Syndicate board?

Some specific reasons to apply to be on our board:

  • You’ve attended one of our events and it’s been meaningful to you, and you want to see those events continue to happen.
  • You’ve had an idea for a new event or an idea about how to improve an event we’re already doing.
  • You’d like to make our community even more welcoming and supportive by improving safety, diversity and inclusion.
  • You’d like to see Calagator or OpenConferenceWare continue to improve and thrive. You’d like to support Outreachy or other interns contributing to these projects.
  • You’d like to see another Portland Tech Workshop happen. Maybe more than one?
  • You’d like to help us figure out how to fundraise enough so that more people can get paid to work on our events and so that we can have a scholarship fund to bring anyone who wants to attend one of our events can do so.

How to Apply & Application Deadline

We encourage all those who are interested to apply no later than 11:59pm PDT on 31 October, 2015 here:

Questions? Email the board:

We look forward to hearing from you!