Board Orientation Power Point

California CASA Association
Board of Directors Orientation
March 2013
Page 1
Your Facilitators
Kevin Gardner
– [email protected]
– 1-415-269-3585
Pat Bresee
– [email protected]
– 1-650-369-6252
Page 2
Orientation Objectives
Through this orientation you will …
Learn about California CASA (CalCASA)
Find out about the Board and how it functions.
Discover ways to participate and become engaged
in the CalCASA board.
Page 3
The mission of California CASA is
to enhance and strengthen CASA in California
and support individual programs in their efforts
to provide quality advocacy services to all abused
and neglected children in the juvenile courts
through the use of trained volunteers.
Page 4
CalCASA Program Overview
We support California’s CASA programs…
 Provide comprehensive technical assistance such as:
– Identify and promote best practices in program operation,
– Facilitate non-profit program management,
– Facilitate pro bono legal assistance,
– Develop and disseminate CASA practice tools (curricula and other
material via website, listserves, bulletins)
 Provide evaluation, follow-up, and training to local programs, e.g.:
– Evaluate local programs at tri-annual site visits with the AOC/CFCC,
– Provide any technical assistance following site visits,
– Host conferences, regional trainings, etc. aimed at improving CASA
efficacy .
– Provide advice and referrals for resources to local programs for
fundraising and access to other support potentials
Page 5
CalCASA Program Overview
We advocate for California’s children…
 Provide the CASA perspective to California’s legislation through:
– Board-level Legislative Advocacy Committee,
– Supporting and/or sponsoring needed legislation
 Bring the CASA perspective to policy forums such as; Participating in
numerous state-level problem solving meetings and workgroups, CA
Blue Ribbon Commission of Children in Foster Care, Child Welfare
Council, Judicial Council Family/Juvenile Advisory Committee, CA
Children’s Justice Task Force, National CASA leg/advocacy
committee, etc.
 Enhance CASA practice and efficacy through gaining expertise
through special initiatives, including: Educational Advocacy, Children
of Incarcerated Parents, Mental Health, Family Finding and
Engagement, Indian and Tribal issues (including IWCA, cultural
competence, and serving Native children), Equity in serving children
(cultural competence regarding race, disproportionality, sexual
orientation, etc.)
Page 6
CASA Network in California (2010)
There are approximately 80,000 children in foster care in California.
The first CASA program in California started serving children in 1978.
43 CASA programs serve 49 of California’s 58 counties, 1 Tribe (2012.)
6,660 volunteers donated 461,167 hours (a monetary value of $10.8M) to
advocate for approximately 9,360 children in foster care.
 Statewide, total program revenue increased slightly (3%) to about
$20,362,500. Median cost per child was approximately $2,165.
 Full-time equivalent (FTE) program staff range from 0.5 to 32 positions,
with a median of 5. The median staff-to-volunteer ratio is 1:31.
 CASA programs serve babies, infants, and young adults:
Children Served by CASA
Children in Foster Care
Birth – 5 years
6 – 10 years
11 – 15 years
16 – 17 years
18+ years
Page 7
CASA Network in California (2010)
 CASA programs are 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations (except Alameda County.)
 The major revenue sources of these CASA programs in 2010 were:
Corporations & Foundations
Fundraising Events
Government (Federal, State, Local)
Individual Donors
Other Sources
 Studies show that children with CASA volunteers are:
– More likely to receive necessary and appropriate services
– More likely to be adopted
– Less likely to re-enter the foster care system after they leave
Page 8
Roles of a Board Member
Hold the organization in trust for the entire community
Set policies and oversee all functions of CalCASA
Oversee the finances of CalCASA
Plan and implement fundraising activities
Provide and monitor personnel policies
Plan and evaluate programs and services
Make long-range and short-term plans for the agency
Oversee and monitor public relations and marketing
Provide leadership and outreach to the diverse
communities we serve
Page 9
Board Expectations: Governance & Financial
 Understand and evaluate policies and programs; oversee
compliance with national, state and local standards.
 Review and approve the annual budget and take an active
role in fundraising to meet this budget.
 Make an annual donation at a level that is meaningful in
terms of your own personal resources.
 Suggest friends and/or associates each year who will
receive a solicitation (letter or email) as a part of our
annual individual giving campaign.
Page 10
Board Expectations: Attendance
 Attend regularly scheduled Board meetings. These are full
day meetings held four times a year. They alternate in
location between northern and southern California.
 Participate in 45-minute board telephone calls as scheduled
 Be an active member of at least one board committee.
 Optional events/activities:
 National CASA Conference (Spring)
 Beyond the Bench Conference (December)
 Regional CalCASA & NCASA events (as scheduled)
Page 11
Board Expectations: Participation
 Prepare in advance and actively participate in meetings.
 Assist in creating and maintaining connections to the
diverse communities of California.
 Advocate to the community and bring personal influence
on behalf of CalCASA.
 Assist in the recruitment or recommendation of new Board
members and CASA volunteers.
 Share unique skills and expertise with the Board,
including, but not limited to the following:
– monitoring and strengthening programs and services
– securing financial resources
– identifying and recruiting board members and volunteers necessary to
support the programs of CalCASA.
Page 12
Board Expectations: Education
For Board members not already engaged in, or familiar with
a local CASA program:
 Attend an Advocate orientation session within 3 months of
election to the Board.
 Visit a session of dependency court hearings where the
juvenile court judge may require an oath of confidentiality.
For ALL Board members:
 Attend a board orientation session when offered.
 Be informed about CalCASA’s mission, services, policies,
and programs.
Page 13
Finance: The Board’s Role
 How is CalCASA financed?
– The annual budget of CalCASA is garnered from private grants,
government sources, donations from corporations and individuals
 What is the board's role in finance?
– The board sets broad financial policy by identifying what the
organization does with the budget
 Major responsibilities:
– Set the financial direction
– Establish goals and approve a budget that makes it possible for the
ED and staff to reach the organization’s goals
– Delegate implementation of financial policies to the ED
– Monitor financial outcomes
Page 14
Finance: Fiduciary Responsibility
Each board member has a role in monitoring our financial health:
Are we on target with our planned expenses and revenues?
Are we financially solvent?
Do we have reserves to meet expenses?
Will we have adequate income flow to pay future expenses?
Some specific guidelines:
Having a budget matters -- study it
Recognize areas that can go wrong
Review the monthly/quarterly numbers
Don't expect that “next period will be better”
Be concerned about risks
Page 15
Finance: Monitoring Outcomes
 Directors have the responsibility to ensure that
the Executive Director is managing resources effectively
 The annual budget is the basic outline of the organization's
 The budget is much like a "checkbook". The ED is
responsible for balancing the "checkbook."
 The ED provides the board with regular financial reports and
the board approves them
 It is helpful to compare financials against the pervious period
and the same period the previous year.
Page 16
Strategic Planning
 The Strategic Plan addresses the main issues that face the
organization, accompanied by specific measurable
 The Strategic Plan is a living document that is reviewed
and revised regularly.
 Every board and staff member is expected to participate in
the development of the Strategic Plan, which typically is
reviewed and modified every 2-3 years.
 Every three years or so, a special planning meeting is
conducted to review, revise, update and/or create this plan
Page 17
The Board’s Role in Supporting
Local CASA Programs
The board’s has an informal role to positively influence the
boards of local programs. In the past, for example:
 CalCASA board meetings have been held in or near local
programs – and local board members can be invited
 Visit/attend local board meetings to introduce/discuss
CalCASA (i.e. Keeping Our Promise Initiative)
 Board-to-Board Telephone Sessions – optional training
conducted by CalCASA board members for local CASA
board members
Page 18
CalCASA Bylaws
 Set the size of the board: 12-25
 Explain how vacancies on the board are filled
 States the quorum for action: one more than half the
current board members. ED does not vote
 Provides the provision for three peer-elected EDs who
serve as CalCASA board members
 Names the officers of the board and their duties
 Board officers are Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and
Page 19
CalCASA Organization
Associate &
Legal Director
& Finance
CalCASA Staff
Cory Pohley
Chief Executive Officer
[email protected]
(510) 663-8440 ext. 101
Magdalena Hickey
Administrative/Financial Manager
[email protected]
(510) 663-8440 ext. 105
Marissa Guerrero
Resource Development Manager
[email protected]
(510) 663-8440 ext. 103
Phil Ladew
Associate and Legal Director
[email protected]
(510) 663-8440 ext. 102
Janel Brown
Data/Technology Manager
[email protected]
(510) 663-8440 ext. 104
Karen Bowers
Program Manager
[email protected]
(510) 663-8440 ext. 108
Board Committees
 Executive: Provide executive leadership. Lead by Board Chair and consists of board
officers and the CEO. Optionally can include one or more boarde members at large.
 Fund Development: Establish a plan (and execute) for board participation in corporate and
individual giving. Work with staff to reach CalCASA’s annual fundraising goals.
 Marketing: Create and execute marketing plan.
 Audit: Work with staff to prepare year-end financial reports and to hire and manage
auditors and present audit report to the board for approval.
 Board Development: Identify, recruit, and orient new board members. And, to nurture
current board members.
 Legislative: Track, identify and educate staff/board on pending and proposed statewide
Note: Finance & Human Resource responsibilities are delegated to the Executive Committee.
Page 22
CASA Resources
CalCASA website,
NCASA IntrAnet,
CalCASA monthly Bulletins (see web-site)
Non-profit Resources:,
Page 23
CASA Board IntrAnet
 URL:
User = calcasa
Password = board
To post documents, update or problems, contact:
Janel Brown
[email protected]
(510) 663-8440 ext. 104
Page 24
CalCASA Board Document Library
 CalCASA Overview – doc
 CASA Annual Report (AOC)
 Mission Statement – doc
 CASA Map – pdf
 Board Orientation – ppt
 CalCASA Bylaws – doc
 Annual Financial Audit – pdf
 Annual Tax Return (Form 990) – pdf
 Rule 5.655 CASA Program requirements – pdf
 Directors & Officers Insurance Rider – pdf
 Board Job Description – doc
 Board Member Expectations – doc
 Board Meeting Calendar – doc
 Financial Controls – doc
 Employee Handbook – doc
 Reimbursement Form – xls
 Board Conflict of Interest Form – pdf
 Board Nominating Policy – pdf
 Board candidate Profile – doc
 Annual Board Assessment – TBD
 Board Roster – pdf
 Board Bios – pdf
 Board Demographics – pdf
 Staff org chart – pdf
 Staff list & bios – html
 The Board meets for full day
meetings, four times a year
 Meeting locations alternate
between a northern and southern
California location
 In between, there are periodic 45minute telephone meetings
 Committees meet (via telephone)
at times set by their respective
committee chairperson
 Your role is:
– Read information in advance
– Engage in discussions and ask
– Consider how the agenda topics
impact your committee work
– Focus on the bigger, more
strategic issues
Page 26
Conflict of Interest Policy
Conflict of Interest Policy
– Principle: Act in the best interest of the entire
– Keep your role with the local CASA program and your
role with CalCASA separate
– Remember that you represent CalCASA in the
community’s view
Page 27
Board Rules & Culture
Every organization has a different culture. Non-profit cultures (including
boards) are intrinsically different from the private sector:
 How we make decisions
 How we handle conflicts
 Some board members have more heart, some more logic. Respect &
Accept. We are all different, and that’s what makes our team work!
 Each of us has an opinion and the responsibility to voice it. Don’t be
silent – Speak up.
 Let others speak up too! The Board works by having many diverse
ideas & opinions.
 Don’t forget to have fun. Remember we are all here for the same
Page 28
You are our newest Ambassador to spread the word:
Associates, friends and community leaders
Community affiliations (rotary, etc.)
Your membership organizations – churches, clubs
and associations
CASA – National, California and peer chapters
Page 29
How do I get started?
 Review the board files, documents & procedures on the
Board IntrAnet site
 Attend an introduction session for CASA volunteers. (Onehour overview about the role of the Advocate volunteer.) We
can help you connect with a local program.
 Court Visit at a local Dependency Court
 Tell your friends and colleagues about CASA
 Join a CalCASA board committee
 Identify and volunteer your friends and associates as potential
constituents or donors. Discuss with staff.
 Get to know your fellow board members and enjoy
Page 30
That’s All Folks!
Page 31

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