Shelby Literacy Center Board Application


The Shelby Literacy Center Board of Directors invites applications from prospective board members. We are committed to selecting a diverse group with backgrounds, experience, skills, and interests that best support our mission. All applications will be considered. Shelby Literacy Center will be referred to as SLC in the remainder of the document.

Applicants should read and understand the expectations and rules of board membership before submitting an application. References or letters of recommendation may also be included with the application, if desired.

Brief History of the SLC:

The SLC is a rebranding from Collierville Literacy Council, a 35-year old nonprofit organization that offered programs for adult literacy instruction. The vision of the CLC was to promote literacy. CLC wasn’t well-known in the community.

In keeping with this vision and acknowledging change in the way our community needs literacy, we changed our name to Shelby Literacy Center in February 2022 to expand our business model for family literacy. Consistent with our non-profit origin and desire to expand literacy skills, we focus on helping children and teens who need specialized instruction to improve reading, writing, comprehension, and fluency. This expansion will be in addition to adult programs identified as needs in the community. We have successfully accommodated change and growth over our 35-year history. We are working to bring awareness of our rebranding and our work. Our work will require a committed, active Board of Directors who are willing to share time and talents and who believe in the power of literacy.

Our vision is fostering literacy throughout the Midsouth. Our mission is empowering individuals and enriching communities through literacy.

Expectations for Board Members:

Board members serve 3-year terms that can be renewed once for a total of 6 years of service. The board meets monthly.

Members must agree to:

– Support the Mission Statement of SLC
– Familiarize themselves with SLC by-laws
– Actively engage and recruit new board members, programming, funders, volunteers and/or donations.
– Communicate and participate as part of a cohesive team with common goals and group activities
– Share personal skills and expertise.
– Dedicate time to monthly board and committee meetings
– Respect and support majority decisions of the board.
– Volunteer and actively assist in SLC programs and activities, including fundraising efforts, meetings, and public events
– Attend at least 75% of board meetings and attend the annual weekend retreat, typically a Sunday afternoon in January
– Make a personal financial contribution of at least $500 per year at a level consistent with one’s ability
– Declare conflicts of interest as it pertains to board position and abstain from voting when appropriate
– Ensure, as best as possible, that SLC is well-maintained, financially secure, growing, and always operating in the best interest of our students

General Considerations for Applicants

Is the SLC the right cause and organization for me?
Becoming a member of the Board of Directors is an investment of time, talents, and funds. Learn as much as you can about the SLC by looking at the website and Facebook page. Visit the office and speak to staff, tutors, or current board members. Attend a board meeting as a guest. Determine whether the mission, goals, and beliefs of the organization are consistent with your interests and beliefs.

Can I work with this agency and this board at this particular stage in its life?
At times, board service is smooth; at times it is more demanding. Even though there are times when a “roll-up-your-sleeves” attitude is necessary, the people on the team can make a difference. So judging the make up of team members and staff can be an important consideration. If board membership is a new experience, there will be a learning curve. The SLC is a relatively small non-profit with lofty goals, which generally means “all hands on deck.” But as with all small things, the reward is great. Do you have time to participate actively?

What can I, and what will I, contribute to this organization?
Consider the skills, talents, attitudes, and beliefs you will bring to the group in light SLC mission and goals. There is room for doers, strategists, visionaries or all of the above. Do you have peers, friends, neighbors, family members, or contacts that would be helpful and supportive of you and the organization? The desire to contribute and fulfill your contribution is important. Are the activities and needs of the organization consistent with the desire to contribute? Are the monetary and time contributions comfortable? Sometimes a conversation with a current board member can help answer these questions.

What do I want to get out of being on this board?
Being a board member is a time to share your strengths. But in addition to using your talents and skills, it is a perfect opportunity to grow. For example, maybe marketing is not your perceived strength. Volunteer for a fundraising event to learn the ins-and-outs of marketing an event. You will most likely be working with people who understand that arena and learners like yourself. If your aim is to meet new people or promote the organization, then volunteering is a great way to accomplish these goals too.

All these questions will help you decide whether or not the time is right and the fit is right.

    FundraisingPersonalTreasurer/FinancialSecretaryStrategy/Mission-Directed PlanningCommunicationsBoard/Staff/Office/Volunteer Support as needed

    Gaining corporate sponsorsLeading fundraising eventsPlanning fundraising eventsCreating and leading a gifts program for professionsWriting Grants

    Managing staff hiring/terminationMeeting with staff

    BudgetingFinancial reportingWorking with accountants

    Updating websiteUpdating social media accountsCommunication strategy/planningMedia relationsAttending area meeting as a representative of the SLC