Standard 3: Board Accountability

“Land trust boards act ethically in conducting the affairs of the organization and carry out their legal and financial responsibilities as required by law.”

 

Practices:

A. Board Responsibility
  1. Individual board members are informed of and understand their role and their responsibilities as not-for-profit board members, including their legal and fiduciary duties.
  2. The board reviews and approves the land trust’s mission and strategic plans and is responsible for evaluating them.
  3. The board provides oversight of the land trust’s finances and operations by:
    1. Reviewing and approving an annual budget.
    2. Working to ensure sufficient financial resources are available for the long-term operations of the land trust.
    3. Receiving and reviewing financial reports and statements in a form and with a frequency appropriate for the scale of the land trust’s financial activity.
    4. Reviewing the independently prepared financial audit, review or compilation.
    5. Adopting written policies or procedures for the responsible and prudent investment, management and use of financial assets.

Resources:

Board Responsibility Agreement Ontario Farmland Trust 2013 346 KB pdf
Guidance & Protocol for Committees Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2016 86 KB pdf
Primer for Directors of NFP Corporations Industry Canada 2002 1,057 KB pdf
Board Policy Review Schedule Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2019 67 KB pdf
 
File Name Organization Year Size Format
B. Board Composition and Structure
  1. Have a board of sufficient size, skills, backgrounds and experiences to conduct its work effectively.
  2. Have a board substantially composed of independent members to reduce risk arising from conflicts of interest.
  3. Have a board development process that includes procedures for recruiting and training board members.
  4. Ensure the board’s presiding officer and treasurer are not the same individual.
  5. If, in rare circumstances, a staff member will serve you on board, clearly defined staff roles and endure that any decision-making authority compiles with rules regarding conflicts of interest.

Resources:

Recruitment & Nomination Policy Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2016 89 KB pdf
Board Succession Planning Policy Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2018 98 KB pdf
Emergency Leadership Policy Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2018 239 KB pdf
File Name Organization Year Size Format
C. Board Governance
  1. Provide board members with written expectations for their service and experiences to conduct its work effectively.
  2. The board meets a minimum of three times per year and maintains adopted minutes of each meeting.
  3. Provide board members with sufficient and timely informational materials prior to each meeting to make informed decisions.
  4. Board members evaluate their performance annually as a group and as individuals at least once every three years.
  5. Adopt procedures for removing board members who are not fulfilling their responsibilities.
  6. Have governing documents that contain policies and procedures (such as provisions for a quorum and adequate meeting notices) to encourage broad participation and to prevent minority of board members form acting for the land trust without proper delegation of authority.

Resources:

Board Evaluation Tool Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2016 34 KB word
Board Performance Ontario Farmland Trust 2018 24 KB word
Board Organization and Committee Responsibilities  Ontario Farmland Trust 2015 439 KB word
Board Awareness of Organization Policies Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust 2015 93 KB pdf
Code of Conduct Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2016 34 KB word
Job Description for OLTA Governor Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2016 102 KB pdf
File Name Organization Year Size Format
D. Board Approval of Transactions
  1. The board reviews and approves every land and conservation agreement transaction.
    1. However, the board may delegate decision-making authority on transactions if:
      1. It establishes written policies or has bylaw provisions that define the limits to the authority given the delegated entity
      2. The delegated entity provides timely notification in writing to the full board of any completed transactions.

Resources:

Securement Process and Reports Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2012 55 KB word
Draft Board Approval – Property Summary Nature Conservancy of Canada 2005 52 KB word
Sample Motions for Approval of Land Securement Ontario Farmland Trust 2015 51 KB word
Board Mandate Bruce Trail Conservancy 2018 466 KB pdf
File Name Organization Year Size Format