Many of you know that Ferry Beach is a 501c3 organization. As a not for profit organization, we have some obligations we must meet and maintain. One is in the area of governance. There are a couple of ways that not for profit organizations form and then practice governance. Some not for profits are organized with a board only. Hospitals, major social service agencies, and arts organizations are some examples. Many times, these are not for profits that provide a service for their clients who may or may not be able to provide input regarding governance. A good example might be an organization focused on child abuse who’s clients are young children or a drug and alcohol program who’s clients are still in the throes of their recovery. By the IRS rules, not for profit organizations must have a board of directors, which serves in the role of governance and policy-making. But not all 501c3 organizations have members.
Not for profit organizations without members are said to have boards, which are considered “self perpetuating” because there are no members who vote on board nominations. The board development committee puts forth a slate of officers and the board members vote on that slate. (Some organizations of this type will reach out to their former clients and include them in the board development process or hold slots for them on the board.)
Membership organizations like The Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, and Ferry Beach, have a board but also have members who are responsible for voting in the board whenever the term of the board has ended. For Ferry Beach, we have an annual meeting at which the members vote for the board nominees and officers.
By our status as a 501c3 not for profit organization, our members play a critical role in governance. By our by-laws, it is our members who vote in the new board. Membership is built into the very foundation upon which our not for profit status is granted by the IRS.
We wouldn’t be here without members. They don’t just pay their membership fee and walk away—or at least we hope they don’t. They continue to show us every month (Sustaining donors) how much this place by the ocean means to them. They show up early to plant dune grass and stay late to put address labels on thank you letters (Beach Keepers). We have very proud grandparents, parents and children (Life Members) that always hold a spot in their heart for Ferry Beach. I urge you to think about what you can do to help Ferry Beach not just when you’re here but when you’re not. Do you have a talent you’d like to help volunteer? Do you want to put a fundraiser but aren’t sure how to? When you think about where to have your family reunion or wedding—why not here? Why not now?
We appreciate you and your pride in Ferry Beach. We want this place, as much as you do, to be around for another 100 years—for our grandkid’s grandkids. Let’s make I happen. Thanks for being a member.