In 2019, we set out a goal to vastly increase our membership in order to support multiple enhancement projects at once, rather than having enough resources to manage only one project at a time. We are proud to say that we achieved that goal, adding about 40 members.
In 2020, we realized that in order for that achievement to have the desired effect, we also needed to make it easy for our members to engage in the work that FOVEC does—whether it be getting involved as an officer, involved in a subcommittee, a project, a fundraiser or in a one-time task. But engagement as an officer or subcommittee chair was only available to a class of members called Voting Members. Furthermore, to become a Voting Member, a Member was required to demonstrate his or her commitment by first attending meetings for six months straight and then be voted in as Voting Member. As we discussed ideas for how to get more members involved, we realized that these requirements and others had become unnecessary impediments to our new members.
It is our desire for new members to engage as quickly as possible and in whichever form works best for FOVEC and them. This allows our organization to accomplish more enhancements and remain relevant to our community.
In summary, effective Jan 1, 2021, organizational changes were made to our bylaws in order to:
Adopt a new organizational structure where a smaller board handles internal, day-to-day decisions. This board consists of the officers (president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer) and subcommittee chairs.
Lower the requirements for becoming a Voting Member, so as to transition significantly faster into volunteer positions.
Allow Voting Members to elect officers and vote to approve Bylaw changes
Add fundraising to the list of duties of the Vice President
Change the officer term limit from two years to one year
As the organization grew, it became less practical to have up to 20 Voting Members assuming the responsibility of day-to-day business decisions in terms of having a quorum at meetings and allowing enough time to discuss proposals in detail. Therefore, we have opted to limit the management of FOVEC to a board that includes our officers in addition to the chair of each subcommittee.
The new revisions blur the requirements between the Associate and Voting members class. The only difference between them now is the added requirement for a Voting Member to be an "active participant".
Fundraising will be a core focus of FOVEC in 2021.
FOVEC is still fairly new to the idea of fundraising and we are working hard to have at least one yearly fundraiser we are known for. Having our own source of funds gives us more freedom to take on enhancement work. In previous years, any one of FOVEC's Voting Members could assume the responsibility of leading fundraising efforts. Now, we have an identified leader to take on that task, which includes organizing our annual barbecue event.
By the way, this fundraiser has done tremendously well in its first two years before being halted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Our goal is to establish it as something that recurs every year and hopefully we can grow it as we move forward. The idea is to gather funds for organization operations and for initiating both long-term and short-term enhancement projects, in addition to the grant money we normally apply for.
And lastly, we have limited the term of an officer from two years to one year in order to increase leadership opportunities. We believe this provides opportunities for new members to come in with new energy and fresh ideas.
We all love the Village and want to see it prosper but without active participation from our members, it is hard to make that a reality. These changes were put into effect to provide more opportunities for members to get involved in the enhancement work FOVEC does and we are very excited about what's to come in Fair Oaks Village as a result of these changes.