Membership & Governance
What it means being a non-profit society
- A society is a not for profit organization that may or may not be incorporated and/or registered as a charity.
- Non-profit organizations are playing an increasingly important role in society, delivering many important services, including many that were at one time provided by governments.
- A non-profit organization can “be in business” and make money, but any profits must be used for the objectives of the organization and not for distribution to members.
- SERN is a society that is incorporated but does not yet have charitable status.
- Being incorporated provides SERN with legal status, allowing it to raise funds and receive gifts, own property in its own name, and enter into contracts. An important advantage is that it also helps prevent members and directors from being held personally liable for any contracts or debts.
- Once a society is incorporated, it is responsible for filing certain documents and associated fees with the registrar to maintain its active status. While this is an expense, these annual reporting requirements make the Society more transparent and can help improve credibility.
What it means being a member
- Anyone can become a member of SERN if they submit an application to the coordinator and are approved by the Directors. No fees are charged to become a member.
- Some members represent other organizations or constituencies and will bring forward information as a representative rather than as an individual, but every member has equal voting rights.
- To become a SERN Director, you must be elected by the members at a meeting of the membership.
- Notice of the annual general meeting specifying date, time, and location is sent by email to the membership.
- To get more involved in the society, send an email to the coordinator at email@example.com, or
Mike Tilson: firstname.lastname@example.org, or
John DeGagne: John.DeGagne@gov.bc.ca
Please describe your interest, and the resources you might bring to the society. Also, please come to a meeting of the society to add your voice. Meetings are held periodically through the year and date, location, and time are posted on the main page of this website.
- Governance of the society, or how it functions, is spelled out in its constitutions and bylaws. Changes are made periodically and these must be approved by the membership of the society. When a member is first accepted, they are given a copy of the current constitution and bylaws.
- The society is also guided by policies that it develops over time and these are posted on the website as they are developed.
- The society currently comprises a number of directors representing different stakeholders. There are three officers - a President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer. The Directors provide strategic direction for the program including potential projects and relative program priorities, develop and approve policies, evaluate program outcomes, and sometimes provide some of the resources to run the society.
- The society has also engaged a part time coordinator whose role is to carry out the strategic plans and policies established by the board of directors, manage the day-to-day affairs and activities of the organization in a safe and cost effective manner, provide decision support by supplying the Board with information on its activities and policies, assist with fund raising, and provide community outreach.