This will be quite a long message because I have a lot of information to share with you. So, when the timing is right, I invite you to make a cuppa and take in details at your own pace.
I am writing to you on behalf of the Integral Institute Australia (IIA) Board of Directors with some exciting news. We (IIA) have recently been formally accepted as the official Integral Institute chapter in Australia. We are the first international chapter to be granted such a status anywhere in the world. Having been acknowledged in this way by Ken Wilber and Robb Smith, on behalf of Integral Institute, has us all feel a deep sense of achievement for the work carried out through the last two-and-a-half years. We could not have achieved this status without the support, encouragement and capacities of our shared community, and so I'd like to also send thanks to everyone who has been involved to date.
The formal recognition brings us to a significant milestone in IIA's history, and adds to some additional good news that we'd received earlier in the year. In January, we were notified by the Australian Taxation Office that our application to be recognised as a not-for-profit with tax exemption status had been approved. This allows IIA to be exempt from paying income tax and provides us access to GST and Fringe Benefits Tax concessions. We are also now permitted to accept financial donations and use them for research purposes. If you would like to discuss co-developing and funding a specific research project please email Bob Millar via firstname.lastname@example.org or call Don Adlam on (08) 8364-3600. All research donations can be made directly into our Bendigo Bank account, which has a BSB of 633 108 and an account number of 139748610. Please include 'research donation' in the message field when you send any funds. If you would like a receipt to claim the donation within your next tax assessment please also send Bob an email with the amount that you have donated so that he can cross-check the bank receipts and send you your receipt.
Importantly, we are now at the point where we need to engage with a wide group of new Directors, Advisors and Volunteers. All current and available positions are honorary / voluntary in nature. This message is a call to action for everyone interested or potentially interested in significantly contributing to what we are going to create together through Integral Institute Australia.
I will start with detailing the call for Directors, to become members of the Board. While the obligations and exposures of a not-for-profit Director are substantially less than in a for-profit organisation, there are nonetheless formal obligations placed on Directors. Anyone wishing to see more detail of these obligations can request a copy of the IIA Constitution, which is a document registered with the Federal Government. The IIA Board positions will demand a significant commitment, expected to be equivalent to at least one full day per month. Also, due to the early stage of growth that IIA is in, Directors will be expected to not only provide insight and perspectives for developing strategy and operational plans but also to 'roll up their sleeves' and be involved in the day-to-day activities of the Institute. A major, general activity that all Directors will need to be involved with is the development of detailed strategic and operational plans for the short- to medium-term. Amongst other requirements, these plans will require sustainable funding, governance and succession programs to be cemented.
Three of the founding Directors will remain on the Board - Don Adlam, Bob Millar and me - so the new Director positions will need to complement our existing knowledge, expertise, networks, and resource bases. One expertise set that is fully covered, by Bob, is taxation, corporate governance and compliance. One way of detailing the expertise that will be required is as follows:
- Community Engagement: Leading pro-active engagement activities with the Integral community both within Australia and overseas, to identify and foster valuable relationships for IIA, as well as to find ways in which IIA can support other groups/activities.
- Communications & Marketing: Leading the development and internal approval of communications to our contact/member databases and other parties, development of key messages and other content for news updates, as well as for posts on our websites and social media accounts, marketing of any events we develop or support, etc.
- Training & Education Development: Leading the creation and integration of content for training, education and other (e.g. online awareness-raising) programs. This may also require mapping course content against formal units of competency, working with one or more Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) for certifying completions, and other activities identified as high priority.
- Events Management: With appropriate planning windows, leading the development of events and programs involving Australian and International speakers, including the coordination of venues, catering, etc.
- Technology & Digital: Set-up and technical administration of social media accounts (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter), administration and editing of our websites, moderation of any blogs or online/social media postings, use of video/YouTube as required, use of group email tools for communications, setting up requirements for receiving secure payments online, etc.
- Philanthropy & Fundraising: Leading the development of targeted engagement plans for philanthropic activities, to generate projects and funds for research, as well as fundraising (e.g. via membership fees) to support operating costs.
- Board Development & Evaluation: Leading the development of programs to enrich the capacities of the Board Members individually and collectively, internally and externally, and evaluate results for ongoing fine-tuning of the team.
If you would like to nominate yourself to be responsible for one, or more than one, of these functional areas, please send an email to me at this address. If you can think of a person that could excel in a role, please forward them the detail and ask them to contact me. We will only accept nominations directly from applicants. All nominations must include a CV or capacity statement tailored for the role(s), along with a personal account of why any role is within your/their demonstrated capability.
Nominations close on Sunday the 16th of July. Decisions about new Board members will be made with consideration (to the greatest degree possible) of: the evidence for capability in identified functional areas, Integral knowledge and practice, resources available to help execute the priorities of the organisation, networks, ability to eliminate or manage potential conflicts of interest, and experience with similar roles. Overall diversity of the Board is also a strong consideration. The filling of future Board positions will be made via an open process involving the Board members that are current at the time.
Anyone willing to take on aspects of any functional role noted above, but not willing to take on the formal responsibilities of being a Director, can apply to be a Board Advisor.
The nomination process and deadline for Advisors is the 23rd of July. (One week later than the Directors). Advisors will either support a specific Director with a functional role, or possibly lead a functional role in the absence of a suitable Director to lead it.
It is expected that, as long as the number of available Volunteers is adequate, that all Directors will be supported by at least one Volunteer for their functional area(s). Volunteers will play a crucial role in keeping up the momentum of critical activities, which are prioritised by their alignment with the strategic and operational goals developed by the Board. Volunteers might be individuals who are aspiring Directors, but do not have any relevant Board experience to date. In this way, Volunteers can expect to work closely with Directors, Advisors and other Volunteers, and learn about the requirements of an Integrally-informed not-for-profit Board. Volunteers may be expert in (and/or passionate about) one or more of the functions detailed in the functional roles above, but are not confident in taking on a whole functional role. Volunteers do not need to be experienced working within similar organisations, as the direction, structure, support and mentoring required for the roles will be provided as necessary.
Nominations for Volunteer roles will also close on Sunday July 8, and need to be supported by statement (approximately one page, or more) of what functional skills (in line with the Board's functions above), interests, experience and ideas you would bring to the IIA team. The Volunteers who are assessed as having the greatest general capability to contribute, due to experience, etc., will be chosen to be Volunteer Coordinators or Operations Coordinators. Volunteer Coordinators will work with a team of Volunteers and track activities, deadlines, issues, resolutions, etc. Operations Coordinators will assist with the general running of IIA as an organisation and support the Board with critical Administration and other functions.
The next phase of the IIA journey is about to begin, and we sincerely appreciate all offers of support that you are able to provide. We look forward to working with as many of you as possible, in as many ways as we can. We aim to serve you, our community, and also to serve the greater good to the deepest and widest capacity that we are able with the resources available. If you have any questions or issues regarding the open positions please contact me, and please be patient with responses as it might take me up to a few days to reply in some cases.
Thank you again, and blessings from us. Finally, please know that offers of support will be very warmly received even if we are unable to fulfil each and every one of them.
Integral Institute Australia