In a recent webinar, Boardable hosted Sabrina Slusser, CEO of the Humane Society of Central Oregon. During the webinar, we asked for her thoughts on how the pandemic affected operations for animal rights organizations, how Boardable has helped streamline board management in a time of change, and how they integrate Boardable into board member onboarding.
Animal welfare organizations have had a huge adventure over the last two years. What has that been like for you and organizations like yours?
“We’re very blessed and fortunate in the community that we live in that our, our donors stood by us, and I think that was because of our history and the community. We really weren’t closed for too long during COVID.
I mean, animal welfare folks don’t get lumped into essential workers, but we really are. So, we were here while others may have had the luxury of being at home. So we had staff in the building every day. We had a manager on duty every day. So we didn’t experience any real layoffs, we did reduce some part-time people, but we were able to bring those people back after a few months. So, again, I think just, you know, managing through it and staying flexible was one of the things that was really helpful for us.”
What does your board look like? Are there term limits?
“The way we are structured is we allow our board members to do two-year terms, and they can do up to three terms–so a total of six years consecutively. And then they are required to take a one-year break.
We have staggered recruitment, so we have an ongoing board development committee that meets every other month that board members make recommendations to that committee and or that committee selectively recruits people from the community in areas where we may have gaps on our board. If we are far enough away from a board meeting, what we’ll do is post all their information to Boardable and then put a poll out and have all the board members review the information and then vote via the polls, in portable on yay or nay or abstain. And then they have a certain time frame to do that.
As long as we have a majority of the board members participating that way, then I can fast-track that board member. I’ll be able to reach out to them, get them oriented through Boardable, and they’ll be able to view the board documents that are necessary that I would normally go over with people in person.”
Boardable: How else are you using Boardable in the organization?
“It’s very systematic and very clean. It’s, you know, environmentally friendly, which I know a lot of us are worried about right now. I’m not killing a bunch of trees, creating these board notebooks again, and then trying to keep them updated and dynamic all the time. And that has always been a challenge in the past.
Where there is an expense with Boardable, there is a flip side of thinking about that expenses: What was my time and creating those board notebooks? What was our cost and developing those board notebooks, you know, running the copies, etc., like that? We are very happy with the platform. It’s taken away from other expense lines if that makes sense.”