NCF in a Nutshell

Orientation Material for NCF Board Members
March 2002

NCF is a large group of people, getting together to share costs and do something good for themselves and the community.

This large group of people is structured as a not-for-profit corporation, with members as owners and an elected Board of Directors governing NCF on behalf of members.

The Board has three main assets to employ, to pursue the interests of members:

  1. Donations from members ($60/year is suggested), which totaled to about $170,000 in 2001
  2. Willingness of members to volunteer time and effort
  3. Goodwill in the community; contributions from institutions and corporations

NCF has two employee positions (a System Adminstrator and an Office Administrator) and a contracted Executive Director position. The Executive Director is contracted to maximize the productivity of the resources provided by the Board, in pursuit of the mission and direction set by the Board. The Executive Director inspires staff, volunteers, and community partners to contribute to NCF.

Donations are expected to be spent wisely and prudently to purchase items that cannot be donated by corporations or institutions.

To maximize the productiveness of staff and volunteers, the Board expects the Executive Director to create a positive, creative, can-do environment, managing by use of inspiration, recognition, and responsiveness. The Board and members recognize that not every behaviour can be accommodated, and expects the Executive Director to be assertive in maintaining a positive, productive atmosphere.

NCF's goodwill-generating activities include efforts that are recognized to reduce internet and computer illiteracy, and operating an online public commons for open public discussion and exchange of information. NCF must do things to earn the goodwill and contributions it receives from institutions, corporations, and volunteers. NCF must earn a good reputation in the community; it's part of NCF's mission, and it is the source of the three resources NCF depends upon: donations, volunteers, and goodwill.

In 2000, the Board faced donation shortfalls. To avoid lay-offs or closing down, the Executive Director at the time, Chris Cope, pursued funding from HRDC and SmartCapital for projects of joint interest. Chris was able to secure funding from HRDC for thin client. Thus NCF was able to avoid shortfalls by having staff work part-time on contracts and be partially paid by the contracts. The staff now split their time (and cost) about equally between what they formerly did (eg., maintain the modems and services) and the contracts (which are expected to benefit NCF members in different ways). The Executive Director is contracted for skills at managing progress in all aspects of NCF's activities, making best use of available resources: donations, volunteers, goodwill, and contracts.

In 2001 and early 2002, the HRDC thin client contract moved into implementation phases, and recently, the SmartCapital contract was solidified (involving thin client, web-mail, and extended modem access).

In 2002, staff are budgeted to spend about half their time on contracts. The Board expects that by 2003 new and improved services will attract and retain a membership of approximately 12,000, providing sufficient donation revenue to support three full-time staff.