Open Call for Expressions of Interest in Board of Directors Membership

August 2022
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Jane Alger, Secretary of CBI Board with Seamus Hand, Managing Partner at KPMG Ireland, at launch of Free To Be Me
Jane Alger, Secretary of CBI Board with Seamus Hand, Managing Partner at KPMG Ireland, at launch of Free To Be Me

Children’s Books Ireland is calling for expressions of interest to join our board of directors. Three directors have completed their terms and will step down in September 2022, and this is an exciting opportunity to diversify our governing body and to ensure that the board has the skills it requires to successfully guide this ambitious and growing charity.  

Children’s Books Ireland is a vibrant, dynamic organisation which seeks to inspire a lifelong love of reading in children, share our expertise and enthusiasm with the adults who guide them, and support the artists who make work for young readers. Our vision is simple: every child a reader. If this resonates with you, and you have the skills to contribute to the governance of the organisation as we implement our Strategic Plan 2020–2023, please get in touch.

We are seeking directors with skills and experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Philanthropy and fundraising – The organisation, supported by OKC and the Arts Council through the RAISE programme, relies on a significant amount of fundraised income. Board members may help to make connections to donors, corporate partners or companies who may give a benefit in kind.  
  • Education – Schools are a key audience for Children’s Books Ireland, and we advocate for vital supports for children and young people including the reinstatement of funding for school libraries.
  • Law
  • Business and marketing strategy
  • Children’s literature: Writers, illustrators or others who are actively involved in the children’s literature community*

We are actively seeking new perspectives so that our board better reflects the richness and diversity of Irish society. We are also cognisant of gender balance on our board: five of the six sitting board members are women, so we especially welcome applications from men and non-binary people. We particularly welcome applications from candidates who come from backgrounds and communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the literature sector.

Board appointments will be based on skills and experience, and should the open call process not yield candidates with the required skills and experience, the organisation reserves the right to make direct appointments of appropriately qualified individuals. Any directors who are appointed in this way must be formally elected by Children’s Books Ireland’s members at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM), in accordance with our constitution. The next AGM takes place on 29th September at 6 p.m. and will be held via Zoom. According to the constitution, Children’s Books Ireland members can also nominate a candidate or put themselves forward for election. Details of how to do this will be provided along with AGM documentation for members.

* Children’s Books Ireland is governed by a voluntary board. Directors cannot be paid by Children’s Books Ireland even for work carried out in another capacity. For this reason, authors, illustrators or other freelance workers who are or hope to be paid by Children’s Books Ireland in any capacity should carefully consider their application.

Functions of the board & duties of directors

Children’s Books Ireland is a charity (CHY number: CHY12911; charitable status number: 20038922) and a company limited by guarantee (Company number: 154905). It is governed by a voluntary board of directors. Our directors receive no payment, other than reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, and serve a maximum of two three-year terms, with the option for the chair to extend by a further year. Directors of the board are both company directors and charity trustees, and should understand the legal duties of the role, as explained by the Charities Regulator and the Arts Council’s Practical Guide for Board Members of Arts Organisations. Directors are responsible for the strategic direction of the organisation and for ensuring the highest standards of governance are upheld, in accordance with the Charities Governance Code.

Directors are responsible for the financial sustainability of the organisation and should support the fundraising function of the organisation – this may be through joining the fundraising subcommittee, making introductions, championing the organisation’s work to relevant contacts, recruiting new donors and Leading Lights or giving individually at whatever level is comfortable.

The Board of Directors is responsible for:

  • the appointment of senior executives to the organisation
  • setting strategies and ensuring their implementation is delegated effectively to the executive
  • overseeing and maintaining the financial health of the organisation
  • ensuring the highest standards of governance and transparency

Time commitment

Approximately 6 board meetings per annum with time required for preparatory reading, and additional time commitments depending on membership of sub-committees. The board engages in a full- or half-day strategy or training session approximately once per year. Board members may be asked to represent the Board at certain events, depending on their availability and interests.

Current Board Composition

Our current board of directors can be viewed on our website. Jane Alger, Eddie Murtagh and John O’Donnell will complete their terms in September 2022 and will step down from the board.

Applications and enquiries

All correspondence can be sent by email to the chair of the board, Patrick Thorpe (via Elaina Ryan, CEO), at recruit@childrensbooksireland.ie no later than 4pm on Friday 16 September 2022. 

Your expression of interest should include a short cover email which clearly specifies why you are interested in joining the board of Children’s Books Ireland and how your background and experience meets the requirements of the organisation as detailed above, as well as a summary of your experience or a CV. Applications can also be sent in video format if this is preferable, using Dropbox, WeTransfer or Google Drive links sent by email.

Selection process

All applications received will be reviewed and may be shortlisted for online or phone interview. Submissions will be considered by the board and selected directors will be recommended to the membership at the AGM in September 2022. As Children’s Books Ireland is a membership organisation, members are entitled to nominate directors by submitting the appropriate paperwork, detailed in our Constitution, ahead of the AGM. Should there be more potential directors than spaces on the board, there will be an election at the AGM.

Confidentiality

Applications will be treated in strict confidence. All enquiries, applications and all aspects of the proceedings will be treated as strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone outside those directly involved in the process.