The following descriptions are excerpted and shortened versions of each committee’s terms of reference. Committee terms of reference are available on request once they have been approved by the Board of Directors.
The Executive Committee assists the Board of Directors by acting in the place of the board between regularly scheduled Board meetings and by performing the other responsibilities that are delegated or assigned to it by the board. While the committee has authority to act on behalf of the Board, its powers can only be used when necessary and appropriate on routine or urgent matters that cannot and should not be delayed until the board’s next regular meeting or until a special meeting of the board can be called. The composition of this committee includes the chair(s), vice-chair(s), secretary, treasurer, and past chair.
Governance & Nominating Committee
The Governance & Nominating Committee helps the Board of Directors create and maintain a healthy governance culture that reflects current governance standards and good practices. The committee’s main role is to institutionalize best practices in three areas: strategic board recruitment, effective board engagement, and intentional revitalization. This includes handling board self-assessment, board development, and ensuring that the board is diverse.
The CAA Governance & Nominating Committee’s mandate includes the following:
- Recommends qualifications for directors, including the competencies, skills, experience, and personal qualities recommended for candidates for board membership
- Identifies qualified candidates for board membership
- Recommends to the board a plan for ongoing board education and development, and leads the orientation of newly elected directors
- Monitors the corporation’s compliance with its bylaws and board policies, as well as its compliance with provincial and federal legislation governing not-for-profits
- Reviews the corporation’s bylaws and board policies every three years and recommends changes as required
Finance & Corporate Strategy Committee
The purpose of the Finance and Corporate Strategy Committee is to consider and make recommendations to the Board regarding issues impacting the financial structure and strategic direction of the association.
The committee’s mandate includes the following:
- Review, at least annually, the association’s strategic plans, budget, and financial strategies and work with the executive director to adjust as needed; make recommendations to the board
- Review and evaluate the association’s performance relative to its plans and strategies for programming, operations, fundraising, and financial management on a quarterly basis, and work with the executive director to address shortfalls
- Review at least quarterly and make recommendations to the board as needed regarding the association’s cash flow, expenditures, and financing requirements
- Annually review the association’s policies on finance, including financial risk assessment and management and make recommendations to the board as needed
- Oversee the strategic planning projects for the association and appoint a strategic planning task force to carry out the planning exercises as needed
This committee is in the process of overseeing the implementation of the CAA Strategic Plan 2021–2025, the overarching goal of which is to achieve “financial stability by December 2022 and gain a solid financial footing to be a renewed national presence… by July 2026.” The committee is therefore seeking individuals who believe in the association’s mandate, are keen to be part of its renewal and revisioning, and are not afraid of a challenge.
The purpose of the Advocacy Committee is twofold:
Educational: to help ensure that the association and its members keep well informed of major issues and challenges faced by the writing and publishing sector (e.g., copyright, fair compensation, ebook piracy, illegal digital lending); and
Advocatorial: to help ensure that writers’ works are protected, their rights and needs are adequately represented, and their ability to enjoy satisfying and rewarding careers is enabled.
The committee works virtually and relies on “the power of the pen” to:
- Advocate and lobby on behalf of its members and other writers as appropriate
- Support the lobbying efforts of other groups and organizations with information, encouragement, and assistance of a non-political nature
- Disseminate information to the Board of Directors and members as appropriate on a timely basis
- Respond to major issues and concerns raised by other organizations in the sector, and clarify the association’s position on issues as required and appropriate
Branch Support & Development Committee
The primary purpose of the Branch Support & Development Committee is to provide branch presidents with opportunities to network, share best practices and provide the Board of Directors with information, feedback and recommendations on policies and other issues of concern to branches.
The CAA Branch Support & Development Committee meets virtually and:
- Reviews and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors on policies related to branch development and support, including criteria for establishing and disbanding branches and satellite or twig branches, as required
- Informs the Board of Directors of any issues or concerns arising in relation to the upcoming business of the board
- Serves as a forum for exchange of information among branches
- Acts as a resource and support for new branches and new branch presidents/executives
The CAA Membership Committee:
- Approves member applications for professional status
- Makes recommendations to the Board of Directors on proposed changes to requirements for professional status, as required
- Makes recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding branch status, including recommendations regarding approval of new branches and disbanding of branches that do not meet bylaw requirements
- Makes recommendations to the Board of Directors on proposed changes to bylaws related to membership and branch issues, as required
- Makes recommendations to the Board of Directors on proposed membership categories and rates, as required
- Assists the Marketing and Communications Committee and the executive director with the development of a membership drive plan
Fundraising & Sponsorship Sub-Committee
A subcommittee of the board’s Finance & Corporate Strategy Committee, this committee helps the board and the executive director in the planning, coordination, and implementation of all fundraising activities in support of the association’s programs, projects, and services.
This committee is open to members in good standing who are interested in helping the association ensure its sustainability in the years to come. There are a number of proposed fundraising activities, but the committee needs an influx of volunteers to help make them successful. While experience in fundraising and sponsorship is helpful, individuals with energy and an interest in learning new skills are equally welcome to the team.
Marketing & Communications Committee (MarComm Committee)
The MarComm Committee oversees and advises on marketing campaigns, marketing collateral, and public relations efforts. This includes helping the association in its efforts to define, project, and live its brand identity, including its core values and beliefs, the benefits and resources it offers to members and to the public, and what makes it unique among other writers’ groups.
The committee’s focus is twofold:
- Helping ensure that the association’s internal and external communications, communication products and vehicles are professional, effective, and consistent with its branding strategy (includes website content, brochures)
- Assisting in the development of high-level policies related to communications and public relations
Because of a shortage in staffing and resources, committee members are also asked to help with social media campaigns and postings, ideally with the assistance of a select group of volunteers (ComSquad).
Note that this committee has been inactive for some time and is in urgent need of committee members with writing skills who share a passion for good communication and outreach to the writing and publishing community.