Board Member Position Description
Bird Alliance of Oregon’s volunteer-empowered and growing community has loved and advocated for Oregon’s wildlife and wild places for more than 100 years. With the help of our increasingly diverse network of advocates, educators, nature enthusiasts, and partners, we inspire and connect people to nature through a variety of programs that are grounded in science and learning.
Our Mission: To inspire all people to love and protect birds, wildlife, and the natural environment upon which life depends.
Diversity Statement: Bird Alliance of Oregon believes that inspiring all people to love and protect nature is best achieved when we embrace diversity as a value and practice. In the same way an ecosystem needs many types of plants and wildlife, an organization thrives when it includes a diversity of people and perspectives. We recognize that inequities are widespread and create gaps between our present reality and our aspirations. Bird Alliance of Oregon is committed to:
- Reflecting the diversity of the community in our board, staff, volunteers, and members.
- Ensuring our internal culture, business practices, and programs are welcoming and advance our diversity goals.
- Empowering people to make positive changes in their community and environment.
Vision Statement: We envision a region where birds, other wildlife, and people flourish together.
Protect: Using a suite of conservation methods, we work to protect imperiled species, reduce threats to birds across the Oregon landscape, preserve high-priority habitat, fight climate change, and advocate for equitable access to nature for all Portland-area residents.
Learn: Our expert educators provide world-class environmental education programs – both locally and abroad – that inspire more than 12,000 children and 3,000 adults a year to better understand and connect with the natural world.
Rehabilitate Wildlife: The Wildlife Care Center is the state’s oldest and busiest wildlife rehabilitation facility, treating more than 3,000 injured and orphaned native animals and responding to more than 10,000 wildlife-related inquiries a year.
Steward: Our wildlife sanctuaries in the city, mountains, and coast model healthy ecosystems, offer safe havens to wildlife, and provide people with places to connect with nature.
Volunteer: More than 500 volunteers are a vital part of Bird Alliance of Oregon’s flock, donating more than 43,000 hours of service a year.
Go Birding: We support the birding community and provide resources, classes, outings, trips, and volunteer opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn about and enjoy the birds in their backyards and beyond.
A Board Member’s Role on Bird Alliance of Oregon’s Board
Bird Alliance of Oregon board members provide advice, expertise, and assistance in developing, implementing, and leading organizational vision and strategies. The board as a whole works collaboratively to advance Bird Alliance of Oregon’s mission, vision and values, and to govern the organization.
Board Member Responsibilities: Board members share responsibilities in these key areas:
Ambassadorship and Engagement – Board members serve as champions of the organization and its mission by:
- Being a member of Bird Alliance of Oregon
- Promoting the mission of the organization within communities and board members’ respective spheres of influence, and continually seeking to expand connections and possibilities
- Elevating the image and identity of the organization including amplifying the voices and contributions of members, partners, and communities across the region
- Engaging and supporting culturally specific organizations and organizations led by and working with Black, Indigenous, and people of color (“BIPOC”)
Resource Development – Board members work to assure adequate resources for the organization by:
- Participating in annual fundraising events, such as Birdathon and the Wild Arts Festival
- Participating in one or more Bird Alliance of Oregon or community partner sponsored event(s), or smaller gathering(s) specifically supporting community engagement
- Engaging their network and supporting the Development Department through various activities ranging from introductions and thank-yous to fundraising and cultivating key donors
- Making a financial contribution to Bird Alliance of Oregon that is meaningful to the board member
Leadership and Governance – Board members ensure good organizational governance and health by:
- Hiring, supporting and evaluating the Executive Director
- Participating in identifying, recruiting and orienting new board and committee members
- Advancing and implementing Bird Alliance of Oregon’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals
- Fostering an open and welcoming organizational culture
- Engaging in at least one board committee and supporting the organization as needed in programmatic pursuits through that committee (based on the board member’s expertise and availability)
- Providing budgetary oversight
- Ensuring compliance with fiduciary and legal requirements
Planning and Evaluation – Board members further the mission of the organization, exploring challenges and opportunities, planning for the future, and evolving the organization to increase its impact by:
- Participating in setting organizational strategy that is community-driven, with opportunities for continual learning, action and adaptation
- Monitoring and evaluating the organization’s progress toward strategic goals
Requirements for Every Board Member
To fulfill these shared responsibilities, each Bird Alliance of Oregon Board member must:
- Have a commitment to Bird Alliance of Oregon’s mission and to its goals of diversity, equity and inclusion
- Have a willingness and capacity to learn
- Value and make room for different perspectives and approaches
- Contribute an average of at least five hours per month, including: board meetings (seven times annually), committee meetings (generally bi-monthly; meeting schedule varies by committee), one-day long retreat (or equivalent) per year, potential impromptu meetings where a vote is required, and related preparation
Additional Attributes We Seek
Bird Alliance of Oregon seeks board members with the following knowledge, experience, skills, and abilities:
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (“DEI”) – Knowledge, experience, and commitment to advancing DEI, including:
- Knowledge and/or experience regarding the intersection of justice work and conservation
- Lived experience of systemic inequities and/or competency and applied experience in actively advancing DEI and accessibility
- Cultural competency and the ability to work with people who have different backgrounds, approaches and worldviews on creative solutions that integrate multiple perspectives
- Diversity of personal backgrounds and lived experiences, including BIPOC, community members from outside of the Portland metropolitan area (especially under-resourced rural communities), people with disabilities, and youth
Leadership and Governance – Experience, skill and ability in organizational leadership and governance, including:
- Nonprofit, business, volunteer, and/or community leadership experience, especially around developing a culture of inclusion and sharing and shifting power
- Mentoring experience, especially mentoring senior organizational leadership and community leaders
- Board systems management experience, including experience with board governance and legal experience
- Financial experience, including financial management, accounting, reporting and budgets
- Experience with fundraising and familiarity with funders, networks, and fundraising resources
Mission and Programmatic Connection – Personal interests and experiences that align with the mission and programming of Bird Alliance of Oregon, including:
- Experience with formal and/or informal environmental education of youth and/or adults
- Knowledge of sanctuary and land management, facilities, trail care and maintenance, and construction
- Experience with partnership and relationship building
- Advocacy and environmental justice experience, such as community organizing, government relations and legal advocacy
- Experience with communications and media
- Experience in environmental work and animal care/rehabilitation, such as knowledge of animal/wildlife biology, ornithology, natural habitats, animal care, ecology, and habitat conservation