Candidates Sought to Serve on University of Missouri Extension Council

The Camden County University of Missouri Extension Council is now accepting nominations from members of the public interested in serving on the Council beginning in March 2015.

Council members assist in identifying, planning and marketing extension programs in the county, providing local extension governance, and serving as ambassadors of University of Missouri Extension.

Every county in Missouri has an Extension Council made up of elected and appointed members who represent the broad educational needs and backgrounds of people in the county.  Council candidates must be at least 18 years old and reside in the district they represent. Council members are elected to serve a two-year term on the Extension Council.

The Camden County Extension Council will have positions open in –

  • District 1 (Horseshoe Bend, Osage Beach, Linn Creek, Camdenton, Sunrise Beach),
  • District 2 (Climax Springs, Greenview, Macks Creek, Roach), and
  • District 3 (Freedom, Hill House, Montreal, Stoutland, and Toronto).

The upcoming 2015 public election will occur during the third week of January.

If you are interested in serving on the University of Missouri Extension Council, or to secure additional information about the election process please contact the Camden County Extension Center,  573-346-2644 or by email camdenco@missouri.edu.  Nominations are due by Nov. 18, 2014.
 

MU Extension offers online course for board members of nonprofits

University of Missouri Extension is offering online training for board members of nonprofit organizations.  "Serving on a board is a little different from volunteering for an event or activity," says Connie Mefford, associate extension professional and community development specialist in Benton County.  "I think many people don't understand their legal responsibility."

While board members can bring valuable skills and knowledge, they might not be ready to deal with issues such as conflicts of interest, maintaining minutes and other required documents, compensation of paid employees, and proper handling of grants, donations and other income, Mefford said.

Bringing new board members up to speed can be difficult and expensive for small nonprofits, especially in rural communities.  "It's hard enough to find time to go to meetings and go to events," she said, noting that volunteer board members for small nonprofits usually juggle service with full-time jobs, family life and other commitments.

She teamed up with fellow extension community development specialists Georgia Stuart-Simmons and Larry Dickerson to develop the online course, "Build Your Board."  Mefford says they designed the course to accomodate the busy schedules of board members and the tight budgets of small nonprofit service agencies such as food pantries.  Oversight by an engaged board of directors can be critical to the continued fiscal health of a small nonprofit, she says. 

"Board members are often not really involved in the finances," Mefford said.  "But if the organization begins to fail, the responsibility falls on them.  If they had been more involved, they might have been able to provide some guidance."

The course consists of 16 downloadable lessons covering such topics as finances, teamwork, conflict, meetings, planning, paperwork and avoiding crises.  Participants can ask questions and discuss lessons with instructors by email.

Lessons take about 10 to 15 minues to complete.  Participants have three months to complete the training.  Those who pass a test at the end of the course receive a certificate of completion.

To register, go to http://tinyurl.com/MU-BuildBoard.