The LWVA Organizational Structure Task Force (OSTF) was formed in response to difficulties reported by the 2014 Nominating Committee and other issues raised at the 2014 annual meeting. The Nominating Committee noted widespread member preference for commitments of shorter range than the usual two-year board term, and suggested that LWVA would need to make significant changes in both its organization and the scope of its activities to address the volunteer-resource issues.
The LWVA Board has approved an OSTF recommendation that a streamlined and more flexible structure be tried as a one-year experiment during 2015-2016. The proposed structure includes a two- or three-person leadership team, five “designated” directors (membership, records, finance, communications and voter service), and up to two additional directors for a total board size of nine or ten. For at least this one-year trial period, terms will be one-year terms.
This bare-bones description does not reveal the scope of the changes proposed. To begin with, it is envisaged that there will be many more members taking on some of the jobs associated with the director positions, such as maintaining the member database and archives, taking charge of the book sale or other fundraising, preparing or mailing the newsletter, or organizing one-time events such as candidate forums. In fact, many of these functions are currently performed off board, and this year’s Nominating Committee will explicitly be looking not only for members interested in serving on the board, but also for willingness to serve off-board.
Secondly, most of the “programmatic” functions of the League, that is, the ways in which the League interacts with the community, become “total board responsibilities”. This may also be where the additional, undesignated directors come in. If, for example, the nominating committee can identify a member interested in advocacy and/or local action who would also be willing to join the board, then that person can fill one of these additional board slots. Or perhaps someone will wish to lead one of the numerous programmatic priorities identified during program planning (see p. 3). But the bottom line is that without additional leadership and enthusiasm for some of these programmatic activities, whether on or off board, they will be pursued only on an ad hoc basis, if at all.
So when someone from the Nominating Committee calls you in February or March, please take a few minutes to explore with them not only the possibility of serving on the board, but also other ways in which you can help the League prosper without making such a major commitment of time and energy. But that said, this will also be an exciting year; consider being part of designing our new leadership structure!
The members of the OSTF are Judy Brooks, Kathy Campbell (chair), Rebecca Fricke, Marcie Sclove, Adrienne Terrizzi andex officio members Cynthia Brubaker, Kathy Vorverk and Rachel Mustin. Please contact any of them for more information, and bring your questions and feedback to the brown bag lunch on February 19 at the Jones Library.