CPL Board Description


Goals, Responsibilities and Personal Focus

Board Members are selected because of their deep commitment to social justice values at the heart of Cascadia Poetics LAB, and because they exemplify these values in their professional and public lives.

Members of the CPL Board of Directors are deeply committed to mission of Cascadia Poetics Lab, to: empower people to practice poetry and the arts as a means to deepen their connections to self, place, and the present moment. Members work in partnership with staff to expand CPL’s reach, skills, perspectives, financial capability, and over-all resources, and maintain a Board that is diverse in age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and national origin.

Duty of Care: Take care of the nonprofit by ensuring prudent use of all assets, including facility, people, and good will.

Duty of Loyalty: Ensure CPL activities and transactions advance its mission; Recognize and disclose conflicts of interest annually, sooner if necessary; Make decisions in CPL’s best interest; not in the best individual board member’s interest (or any other individual or for-profit entity).

Duty of Obedience: Ensure CPL obeys applicable laws and regulations; follows its own bylaws; and adheres to stated purposes/mission. Aid Board management generally.

Responsibilities of Individual Board Members

Each individual board member is expected to

  • Attend at least 80% of the board meetings.
  • Know CPL’s mission, policies, programs, and needs.
  • Faithfully read/understand the organization’s financial statements.
  • Serve as active advocate and ambassador for CPL and help identify and secure the financial resources and partnerships necessary for CPL to advance its mission.
  • Leverage connections, networks, and resources to develop collective action to fully achieve the CPL’s mission.
  • Give a meaningful personal financial or service donation.
  • Help identify personal connections to benefit the organization’s fundraising & reputational standing & that can influence public policy.
  • Prepare for, attend & conscientiously participate in board meetings.
  • Participate fully in one or more committees.
  • Produce at least three blog posts a year.
  • Be accessible to the Founding Director and other board members (through all means of communication).
  • Take any unresolved conflict with board members or the board as a whole to the Governance Committee for advice on how to proceed.
  • Understand that an individual board member has no authority to act on behalf of the organization without approval of the Board. No single board member can or should commit the organization or its funds to a project or outside organization without approval from the Board at an official meeting. Similarly no single board member has the authority to enter into a contract with an outside entity without approval of the Board.

Board members are brought on throughout the year. The Board is composed of no less than 3. Each term of service is 4 years

Board members serve at the pleasure of the Board Chair. In the event a board member is asked to step down by the Chair, the member is expected to yield.

These guidelines help us to ensure the best possible working relationship between the Board of Directors and the organization. If at any time a board member is unable to honor their commitments, they should kindly inform the Chair or Vice Chair. Short and longer-term leaves of absences are possible (for example, we strongly support family leave, time for bereavement, and self-care). Board member questions and/or concerns will be addressed immediately and directly to avoid confusion or impair the organization.