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Call Out: Volunteers for Geist Foundation Board

Geist 122 cover
Geist 122 cover

The Geist Foundation is inviting expressions of interest to join the Board of Directors!

Deadline for Expressions of Interest: December 1, 2023.

Geist is a Canadian literary magazine of ideas and culture. We publish narrative (fiction and non-fiction), essays, poetry, reviews, photography, drawings, comix, puzzles and little-known facts of interest—with a special interest in fresh interactions between text and image. We strive to be articulate, humorous and identifiably Canadian. Our mandate is to find and encourage a wide audience for new and established Canadian writers and artists of merit.

Geist strives to create an inclusive work environment that encourages the creative process, provides transparent communication and promotes mutual respect from everyone involved.

We’re committed to modeling diversity and inclusion within the arts industry of the nonprofit sector, as well as maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.

Geist publishes content to engage primarily with an audience living in Canada, and we are thus mindful of how our voices contribute to a decolonizing context. We acknowledge that these lands are home to many diverse First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people. Production of Geist happens primarily in Vancouver, on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We are grateful for their shared knowledge and guidance on these lands.

Learn more about the organization: https://www.geist.com/

Geist 117 cover
Geist 117 cover

Call Out: Geist Foundation Board Members

We’re seeking approximately four new volunteer members for the Geist Foundation Board of Directors to join us starting ASAP. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) at which you would be nominated is expected to be held by the end of 2023 or in January 2024.

We want our board to be representative of our mandate and commitments, and we are looking for experts in various fields to support the stability and growth of the magazine. We’re particularly keen to add new voices with valuable work experience in the fields of accounting, law, fundraising, and human resources.

We recognize that groups that are more diverse—in all the representations of diversity—make better decisions and are more accountable for upholding a variety of perspectives.

"Subscribe to Geist" promotional image "The North End," black and white photo by John Paskievich: lady with large sunglasses holding a small dog
The North End, photo by John Paskievich

Board of Director Duties

The Geist Board is primarily a governance board, though many board members take on operational roles to support the small staff team. This entails assisting with editorial—including Endnotes (reviews) and Findings (excerpts)—and managing writing contests. In addition, our Treasurer supports operations by providing annual year-end accounting and bookkeeping support and preparing financials for the auditor.

Geist has full-time management staff who oversee operations. The Board of the Geist Foundation supports Geist’s management by providing guidance to staff, collaborating on strategic direction, and by making the decisions described below.

As a member of our volunteer Board of Directors, you will:

  • Champion Geist and advocate for the work we do and what we want to achieve;
  • Contribute your strengths, knowledge and expertise to the board and staff;
  • Participate in decision-making in the areas of: fiscal management evaluation, policy setting, governance and risk management, and strategic planning.
  • Participate in board meetings to exercise strategic oversight;
  • Help steer Geist’s strategic direction, integrating our commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion with organizational sustainability in a non-profit context; and
  • Participate in the evaluation of the leadership’s performance, management, and organizational activities.
GEIST Spring 2012 cover (#84), Boycott World, Another Vengtriloquist, Vavilovian Mimicry, Charms against Lightning, image of shopping card stacked high with consumer goods
GEIST 84 cover

Commitment

The Geist board currently meets in the evening (Pacific Standard Time) every other month with additional meetings held as needed during policy development or separate committee meetings.

Meetings have been held on Zoom, which we will continue to use in order to welcome Board Members not living in Vancouver. However, we may occasionally meet in-person at the Geist office in Vancouver, BC.

Time commitment is an average of 5–10 hours per month.

Board directors do not have appointed term lengths; however, we are looking for a minimum of a 2-year commitment.

The Board is currently exploring the possibility of committees, which may include:

  • Governance
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Finance
  • Fundraising
  • Human Resources

Required Qualifications

In addition to being 18 years of age or older, potential board members must meet the following criteria to demonstrate values alignment with our organization:

  • A commitment to Geist’s artistic mission – to focus on the art and politics of narrative – and Geist’s cultural focus – all facets of Canadian stories.
  • Agreement with our guiding principles: accessibility, inspiration, excellence, collaboration, integrity and creativity.
  • A personal commitment to being accountable, listening, lifelong learning, self-reflection and a willingness to apologize if needed.
  • Be willing to sign and abide by the Geist Code of Conduct.
  • A familiarity and affinity with Geist’s “spirit”, the je ne sais quoi that has made Geist magazine a distinctive presence in the Canadian media landscape.
  • Skills in one or more of the following areas: finances, human resources, fundraising, governance, legal, strategic planning, non-profit management and government relations.

Board members can live anywhere and do not have to be Canadian citizens; however, we do meet in the evening in the Pacific time zone, hence it would be beneficial if you can meet during that time.

Current Board Recruitment Priorities

Geist: Fact Fiction North of America. Now must say goodbye. Short talk on summer ending. The business of salvation
Geist 124 cover

No board of directors can, at any given time, include people with all the skills and people whose identities intersect every aspect of diversity; however, we have identified the following priorities.

You do not need to meet all of these to be considered.

  • We encourage people who have been historically, and continue to be, excluded from decision-making spaces to apply. In recognition of the importance and value of representation as well as the richness that a more diverse group brings to an organization, we are seeking new board members whose identities may intersect these areas.
  • We are seeking board members who have experience in accounting, law, fundraising and/or human resources. And while it is not necessary, it would be a bonus if that experience is connected to sectors related to our own: not-for-profits, publishing, libraries, bookselling, teaching English/Creative Writing, etc.
  • Geist magazine is a small, independent publication with practices and priorities that are similar to other not-for-profit organizations. For this reason, it is beneficial if potential board members have experience working or volunteering in or with not-for-profit organizations, charities, funding agencies or government arts and culture departments.
  • Those who are interested in taking on executive roles such as Treasurer, President, etc. While not immediately pressing, having Board Members interested in stepping into these roles is valuable.
  • We are seeking folks who have knowledge of, and training in, anti-oppression, decolonization, disability justice, equity in organizational operations, unconscious bias, and/or Indigenous ways of thinking.

If you are interested in joining the Geist Board and meet any combination of the criteria listed above, please prepare the following for submission and email it to directors@geist.com.

  1. Name
  2. Pronouns
  3. Email
  4. Phone number
  5. A 500-word (maximum) expression of interest. Tell us about you, how you align with our values, how your background and experiences could contribute to the board, and what excited you about Geist magazine and the Geist Foundation.
  6. A recent resume.

The period for expressions of interest closes on December 1, 2023.

This is to give us time to communicate with you prior to the AGM, determine who the Board will be recommending as nominees, and include information about the nominees in the AGM package of materials for Geist Foundation members.

What happens next?

Once we receive your expression of interest, it will be reviewed by the current Geist Board. We may be in touch to clarify information about your submission. We appreciate your interest in supporting Geist magazine and the Geist Foundation.

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