CNG Seeks Board Candidates

Posted on March 30, 2021

Applications due May 10, 2021

Click Here to Apply

The Board of Directors of Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) invites applications from individuals interested in serving this membership-based nonprofit organization. CNG is a well established and stable organization, yet there remains a great deal of untapped potential to positively impact our food and farming system. We seek passionate and engaged board candidates to help us increase our impact by reliably fulfilling the core responsibilities listed in the position description below while also contributing to the organization with particular strengths in one or more of the following areas:

  • Marketing and communications strategy
  • Fundraising (particularly corporate sponsorship) 
  • 501(c)(6) and/or other membership-based organizations
  • Financial management/investment capital

In addition, we are particularly interested in candidates who bring a rural perspective; who identify as Black, Indigenous or a person of color; and who reside in Tennessee, Michigan, Arkansas or the West Coast (and, more generally, not on the East Coast). 

CNG is rooted in the principles of Participatory Guarantee Systems as outlined by IFOAM-Organics International. All board candidates should be prepared to share in this commitment. 

Who We Are 

Certified Naturally Grown offers peer-review certification for farmers and beekeepers who produce food for their local communities by working in harmony with nature, without the use of synthetic chemicals or GMOs. CNG was founded by farmers in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley in 2002, and today boasts nearly 800 producers throughout North America. CNG’s mission is to support our members by promoting sustainable agriculture through peer-review certification, grassroots networking, and advocacy. We envision a world where local farms thrive because of supportive communities seeking naturally grown food. 

What We Seek

Members of the Board of Directors, who work collaboratively with CNG staff, are responsible for guiding overall strategic direction, setting policies, and ensuring the organization’s financial stability. In addition to bringing their individual skills and knowledge, all board members accept the following responsibilities:

General Expectations

  • Serve a three-year term (two terms maximum). 
  • Work collaboratively with a team of fellow Board members. 
  • Prepare for and be actively engaged in board meetings (every eight to twelve weeks). 
  • Serve in leadership positions, including one or more committee assignments.
  • Identify and make connections to opportunities to heighten the profile of the organization in the farming community and among stakeholders and potential supporters.
  • Remain actively engaged, including contributing approximately three to five hours per month.

Strategic Direction 

  • Identify opportunities for the organization to develop its capacity, have a greater impact, and better serve its members. 
  • Participate in the development and establishment of policies through which the mission and work of the organization is accomplished.

Finance and Development 

  • Enhance the organization’s long-term financial stability and integrity.
  • Adopt a fiscally responsible annual budget.
  • Ensure that audits and other monitoring of the organization’s finances are conducted when necessary, and otherwise assist the Board to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility. 
  • Understand and support the organization’s fund development efforts. 

Integrity 

  • Fully and promptly disclose information that would have significance in board decision making, including anything pertaining to possible conflicts of interests.
  • Exercise the powers invested through board membership for the good of the organization rather than for personal benefit. 
  • Uphold the confidentiality of sensitive information accessed due to board service.
  • In keeping with the core legal responsibilities of any nonprofit board, apply obedience to the law of the governance documents and a duty of care and loyalty to the organization.

Self-Assessment 

  • Participate in the Board’s periodic assessment of its own performance and recommend improvement in such areas as composition, organization, tenure, retention, and responsibilities.

Click Here to Apply

Interested candidates should complete an application no later than May 10, 2021. (We have included the questions below for reference, but please submit using the online form.) We intend to hold interviews in mid-May, and extend invitations to new members by June 1st. Direct questions about the application or about board service to Jasmine Nielsen, Board Development Chair, at [email protected].

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Instructions

This application is designed to help us get a better sense of you and your interests and experience. Please do not feel obligated to craft lengthy paragraphs. However, we are eager to get a sense of what you might bring to the board as well as what you would hope to get out of the experience. Thank you in advance for your time.

About You

  1. Name
  2. Occupation/Title
  3. Organization/Farm
  4. City, State
  5. Phone/s
  6. Email

History & Affiliations

  1. What, if any, is your relationship to CNG?
  2. Do you currently serve on any boards? If so, which one(s) and for how long?
  3. On what other boards, if any, have you served in the past?
  4. Please list the names of other related organizations, besides the ones above, to which you've had some affiliation, and indicate the nature of that affiliation. (Alternatively, or in addition, you may upload a copy of your resume or CV below.)
  5. [Upload resume or CV here.]

Your Potential Board Service

  1. What skills, connections, resources, and expertise would you make available to the organization if you were to serve on the board?
  2. How does CNG's mission speak to you personally?
  3. What interests you about the prospect of serving on the CNG Board of Directors?
  4. If you were to join our board, are there any experiences you’d like to have as a board member, or people you’d like to meet?

Time Commitment/Availability

  1. It is not unusual for board members to have multiple significant commitments. However, it is essential that a Director has the capacity to be engaged and fulfill their duties as a member of the CNG board. What commitments in your life could present challenges to participation as an engaged director? How do you anticipate overcoming these challenges?
  2. Would your commitments routinely prevent you from participating in board meetings during any particular time frames (eg weekdays, evenings, weekends)? This wouldn't necessarily be a problem, but it's something to take into account. 

Your Ideas

  1. Based on what you know about CNG and the field in which we operate, where do you think there might be opportunities for us to grow?
  2. What challenges do you foresee in the local food movement over the next five years, and how might CNG help to address these challenges?
  3. Please feel free to share any additional information or suggestions

Thank you for your interest in helping to nurture and grow CNG, and for taking the time to tell us about yourself. We really appreciate it and look forward to being in touch!