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Thank you to Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Association for providing this information


Executive Committee

Chair: Board President

Members: Board officers, others as appointed by the Board

Purpose: As required in the bylaws: to review issues of board governance and make recommendations of policy options and agenda items for consideration of the full board.

Key Annual Responsibilities: None


Volunteers Committee

Chair: Appointed by the Board

Members: Board members appointed by the board; others at the invitation of the committee, including bookstore volunteers and Refuge staff.

Purpose: To ensure projects and activities authorized by ONWRA’s board of directors are fully supported by trained and enthusiastic volunteers. 

Key Annual Responsibilities:

  • Working cooperatively with Visitor’s Services, identify volunteer needs for various projects and programs throughout the year.
  • Develop and implement a volunteer recruitment and orientation program.
  • Develop and revise a volunteer manual outlining ONWRA policies and procedures regarding volunteers.
  • Ensure a continuous flow of information between the board and front desk volunteers.
  • Front Desk: 
    • Ensure a trained volunteer is available for every shift the Visitor’s Center is open.
  • Bookstore: 
    • Ensure the smooth and continuous operation of the bookstore as a service to the public and as a source of revenue for the organization.
    • Ensure bookstore operations are in compliance with FWS policies and our cooperative agreement.
    • Appoint and manage a volunteer bookstore manager to oversee daily operations including inventory, displays, cash management, staffing, and adherence to business principles. 
    • Prepare an annual inventory of assets at the end of each year for use in filing the association’s IRS 990.

Marketing and Outreach

Chair: Appointed by the Board

Members: Board members appointed by the Board; others at the invitation of the committee chair.

Purpose: To develop and implement a Marketing and Outreach Plan designed to increase community appreciation of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and support ONWRA’s strategic goals.

Key Annual Responsibilities:

  • Implement an annual Marketing and Outreach plan.
  • Establish membership benefits package and review/revise membership levels and eligibility.
  • Review website content annually and ensure that information posted there is accurate and up to date.
  • Develop and distribute literature regarding the Refuge and association membership.
  • Provide information about annual monetary needs to the Treasurer or finance committee prior to the budget process in November.
  • Prepare and distribute an electronic newsletter.
  • Coordinate special events that bring people to the refuge.
  • Recruit, train and oversee the work of a Membership Coordinator to:
    • Maintain a database of members and ensure renewals appeals are provided to members in a timely manner.
    • Ensure members are thanked for their gifts.
    • Maintain database of potential members/email addresses and other contact information collected from visitors.
    • Coordinate members-only events and activities with Refuge staff.
    • Seek opportunities to make presentations to community groups about the refuge and association membership.
    • Provide for association presence at local fairs, festivals and community events.
    • Set up displays in public locations.

Nominations/Board Governance Committee

Chair: Board Vice President

Members: Appointed by the Board

Purpose: To ensure a continuous flow of engaged, trained, committed, effective and fulfilled board members to carry out the mission the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Association and to provide for the best possible board experience.

Key Annual Responsibilities:

  • Compile and update analysis of existing board characteristics and skills.
  • Make nominations to fill board vacancies based on actual needs of the board.
  • Conduct orientation of new board members.
  • Prepare and conduct board development or annual planning retreat.
  • Conduct board self-evaluations.
  • Review and recommend needed revisions to bylaws and other board governance policies annually. 
  • Prepare for smooth transition of officers by ensuring that potential successors have been identified and are being mentored into their future roles.

Finance Committee

Chair: Treasurer

Members: Board Members appointed by the Board; others at the invitation of the committee

Purpose: To ensure the financial health of the organization, implement financial policies, be a resource for finance-related information for all board members, and ensure Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Association is compliant with federal and state financial laws and regulations. 

Key Annual Responsibilities:

  • Develop and present an annual budget to the board for adoption.
  • Monitor income and expenses and make monthly report to the board.
  • Update income projections and make reports to the board as needed.
  • Ensure the Form 990 is presented to the board for review, approval and subsequently filed with the IRS in a timely manner.
  • Ensure all annual documentation is filed with the Ohio Attorney General.
  • Review Directors and Officers Liability Insurance and renew contract.

Fundraising/Resource Development

Chair: Appointed by the Board

Members: Board members appointed by the Board; others at the invitation of the committee.

Purpose: To ensure adequate resources are available for the operation of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Association by developing and implementing an annual fund plan (to generate unrestricted funds) and securing foundation and government grants.

Key Annual Responsibilities:

  • Develop, update, and implement an annual fund plan for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and renewal of donations from individuals and businesses.  
    • Plan and organize fundraising events
    • Develop major donor solicitation program
    • Develop appeals for members and others
  • Research available grant opportunities and prepare proposals in accordance with established mission, vision and priorities.
  • Complete all required grant reports.
  • Ensure that all donors are properly thanked and acknowledged.

Conservation Projects Committee

Chair: Appointed by the Board

Members: Board members appointed by the board; others at the invitation of the committee, including representatives of partnering organizations and staff.

Purpose: To review, propose and implement projects for the refuge in keeping with our mission, including land acquisition, habitat restoration, and other property improvements or conservation efforts; to take the leading role in preparing for and taking advantage of conservation opportunities as they are presented.

Key Annual Responsibilities:

  • Develop, propose and annually review policies and procedures governing ONWRA’s conservation  projects: land acquisition criteria and priorities, use of funds, and 
  • Be familiar with USFWS policies related to friends and to conversation projects and ensure ONWRA’s projects are in compliance.
  • Develop and maintain expertise regarding legal ramifications and processes involved in acquiring, owning and transferring property. (Partner/apprentice with other conservation nonprofits who participate in land acquisition and management projects.)
  • Work with the fundraising committee to secure sufficient resources for conservation projects.
  • Propose budget for and oversee use of ONWRA’s land acquisition fund.
  • Propose budget for and oversee use of ONWRA’s special projects line items, including any special-purpose grants related to land acquisition or other conservation projects.
  • Work through strategic planning process to establish priorities and action plans for possible land acquisitions and conservation projects.
  • Review possible land acquisitions and conservation opportunities and prepare recommendations to the board consistent with approved policies, plans and budgets.
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