What it Means to be on the AHS Board

Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national advocacy organization specifically for the hiking community.  Our advocacy focuses on the needs of the hiking community, from championing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in the outdoors to protecting public lands. Our volunteer trail service programs (Volunteer Vacations, Alternative Break, and National Trails Day®) bolster our advocacy through developing lifelong outdoor activists and emerging outdoor leaders. In 2018, AHS launched NextGen Trail Leaders, an activist ambassador program that comprises a group of 18 – 40 year old leaders and social media influencers in outdoor conservation and JEDI. 

Check out the 2020 class of NextGen Trail Leaders.

The two-pager linked here provides highlights of 2019 AHS accomplishments.

The AHS Board:

The by-laws call for a Board of 10-24 members.  We aim for a diverse board (age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, geography, profession, etc.). Three spaces are reserved for Board members 30 years and younger at a lower $500 give-or-get expectation.

Annual Budget as of 2020: roughly $870,000

Mission:  Empowering all to enjoy, share, and preserve the hiking experience.

Website: https://americanhiking.org 

Twitter/Facebook/Insta: @americanhiking

Board Terms:  3 years (can serve 2 terms)

Board Contributions:

Give-or-get $1,500 annually, plus an equal share of the hard costs for twice-annual in-person board meetings (approximately $200-$400 per year) (up to $300 of the equal share of the meetings hard costs  may be counted towards the $1,500 give-or-get.  

The obligations of Board members are to:

  1. Attend two Board meetings per year (spring and fall) and participate in two all-board conference calls in the winter and summer.  The fall meeting is in the Washington D.C. metro area, and the spring meeting is usually elsewhere in the country.  
    • For in-person meetings: Board members are expected to make every effort to arrive in time for the meeting (typically, but not always, begin late Friday afternoon) and to participate in the group hike/trail service project on the last day (typically Sunday).   
    • The Executive Director and some staff attend Board meetings.  
  2. Serve on at least two committees.  
    • Most members serve on no more than two. Owing to the wide geographic diversity of the Board, committee meetings are held as bi-monthly conference calls.  A staff member is assigned to assist committees.
    • Committee assignments are based on a board member’s interest, expertise, and the board’s need.
    • Current committees are:
      • Executive
      • Governance 
      • Advocacy & Policy
      • Marketing
      • Communications
      • Finance and Audit
      • Development
      • Volunteer Programs
        • National Trails Day Sub-Committee
        • Volunteer Vacations & Alternative Breaks Sub-Committee
      • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
      • Strategic Planning Task Force
  3. Under the guidance of the Development Committee, Executive Director, and Senior Director for Development, assist with AHS fundraising, beyond the give-or-get by, for example:
    • writing thank you cards to donors, 
    • introducing AHS staff to potential donors (individuals, foundations, and/or corporations),
    • promoting AHS online fundraising campaigns using provided social media toolkits, etc.
  4. Following AHS accounts on all social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for a full understanding of what AHS and to keep up-to-date; and engaging/sharing/etc. with AHS on those platforms to the extent time/interest/ability allows.