Our Policies

 

Woman2Woman Organizational Guidelines 

Adopted Oct 2017

 

Context

Woman2WomanTC (W2Wtc) convened in early fall 2016 prior to the national elections with a goal of educating its communities – especially women – about the issues at stake in that election.   Following the election, there continues to be a need for education and attention to the issues that are particularly important to women, families, and communities.  These issues are expected to change over time and at this time include human rights, equity, climate, health care, and education, among others.

The Board of W2Wtc chooses not become rigid in its structure and prefers to be an adaptable, fluid, and somewhat informal organization that is inclusive in its approaches.  It has also currently taken the position that it will not seek a non-profit status because of the reporting and legal responsibilities associated therewith.  W2Wtc considers itself an advocacy organization.

This document is intended to lay out the basic organizational structure and philosophies that will guide the activities of W2Wtc going forward.

 

Mission

We are women united to take action to protect human rights, ensure civil liberties, preserve the influence of evidence and reason, and influence public policy through the election of candidates and the advocacy of a progressive agenda.

Vision

Woman2WomanTC envisions a future where equity for all exists in a strengthened, enlightened, and successful world through the contributions of women at all levels of government and in communities in proportion to their representation in the population

Goals

  1. Serve as an educational and advocacy convener in the greater Grand Traverse region for examining issues of importance to our communities

  2. Heighten the awareness of the status of women in America

  3. Promote education about issues of concern to W2Wtc

  4. Support women candidates and others whose agendas align with W2Wtc interest areas

Values

  • Integrity

  • Equity

  • Inclusion

  • Collaboration

  • Civility

  • Justice

 

Participation

 

With inclusion among its values, W2Wtc is open to all interested in our agenda.  Programming is primarily directed toward the greater Grand Traverse region (six counties, including Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford), particularly for face-to-face events.  However, members of our Facebook group page and followers of our website represent men and women from across the nation and around the world.  While convened and led by women with a particular focus on motivating other women toward more active engagement in the political processes, men are also welcome. 

Ways to Connect with W2Wtc

1. Facebook public page: www.facebook.com/W2WPUBLICPAGE

2. Facebook closed group: www.facebook.com/groups/W2WSHARE

3. Website: www.woman2womantc.org

4. Email: woman2womantc@gmail.com 

 

Philosophical Foundation

While the group came together around a particular election and a specific candidate, the group does not identify with a particular political party.  The common philosophies guiding our work are situated in a progressive agenda.  These basic definitions from dictionary.com describe well the group’s philosophy:  

Progressive is an adjective that means “favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, especially in political matters” and “making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas, new or experimental methods, etc.”  

It is with this continuing concern about social, environmental, political, and economic issues that W2Wtc pursues its work with a shared belief that “who better than women to address them.”  However, W2Wtc also recognizes that the challenges are so immense that it will need to engage all in its efforts if the change we desire is to be realized. 

Officers

W2Wtc will elect the following officers on a bi-annual (every two years) basis:

  1. Chair

  2. Vice Chair

  3. Secretary

  4. Treasurer

  5. Social Media/Communications Coordinator

These five positions will comprise the Executive Committee of W2Wtc.  Terms of office for these officers will commence on July 1.  In the organizing phase, the officers serving or appointed in October 2017 will serve until at least June 30, 2019, unless they choose to step down.  Officers can be appointed for three consecutive terms (a total of six years following the launch of this strategy).   

 

W2Wtc Board

Guiding the work of the organization is a Board.  Membership of the W2Wtc Board will not exceed 12 members and will never be fewer than eight (8).  Each board member is expected to contribute to the activities of W2W through service on event committees, fund-raising, information sharing, and/or financial contributions.  

 

The Board will meet as needed during the year, but it is anticipated that there will be about 4 meetings each year.  Some members will participate virtually if schedules preclude face-to-face engagement.

Any member of the board may recommend to the full group the addition of a steering committee member, whenever a position is open.  Two-thirds of the current members must endorse this nomination for the person to be invited to serve. (When there are 12 members, adding a member would require the support of 8 current members or 2/3 of those offering their views).  Support may be offered in a committee meeting or a poll can also be undertaken via e-mail and is one of the topics that would require consultation with the entire board.

 

Board members’ terms are indefinite.  As long as they are contributing to the work of the organization, board members are encouraged to continue to serve.  When a member feels that s/he is no longer fulfilling the expectations of board membership, she should resign.  In the unlikely event that members of the board are concerned about a member’s contributions, the issue will be raised with or by the Executive Committee of the group who will discuss the topic, make a determination, and pursue a course of action, according to their determination.

 

Nominating Committee

A nominating committee comprised of three board members who are not current officers will be invited to convene bi-annually to recommend a slate of officers for the next biennium.  This nominating process should commence by March 1, 2019, and their recommendations should be made to the entire W2W Board at an April or May 2019 meeting (or via electronic conversations), and then every two years thenceforth.  Nominating committee members will confirm their nominees’ willingness to serve.  

 

Board Decision Making

Consensus is the W2Wtc Board’s preferred method of making decisions.  Often decisions will be made in the regular in-person meetings, but many will need to be made at other times.  Any decisions thought to be of interest to all board members should be provided to the entire W2Wtc Board and each is obligated to respond within three (3) days if they want their opinion to be considered.  Not every member is likely to have an interest in responding to each request, and some members’ schedules preclude their active involvement at some times.  Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the officers of W2Wtc to make the final decisions, after they have taken into account others’ input and other considerations (such as budgetary limitations).  Any expenditure exceeding $250 should be approved by the entire Executive Committee.  

Consensus is defined as the “judgement arrived at by most of those concerned” (Merriam-Webster).  In the case of virtual communications, those concerned will include those who respond within the 3-day response timeline.  While consensus does not include voting, there is a preponderance that should appear emerging from the dialogue, conversations, and other considerations.  At times when a vote seems important, a simple majority of those voting will prevail.

 

Other Committees

Committees will be convened as required to fulfill the aims of the group. Periodically issues or topical committees may be convened, such as those organized following the election, the nominating committee, etc.  Regularly event committees will be convened for planning special events and regular membership meetings.  A programming committee may be added to facilitate the annual planning.  In addition, an individual or a pair of individuals will be delegated the responsibility for overall management of each event, and the chairs of the event committees will have the freedom to involve those they need in achieving the event’s aims.  Event chairs do not need to be members of the SC.

 

Membership Events

Periodically W2Wtc will host events within the region.  For these events, membership is generally considered to be those whose names have been gathered from their attendance at other events.  Scheduling will be planned by the Board and designed to mesh with the timeliness of topics, the designation of planners, and the availability of desired speakers.

Each meeting should be educational and contribute to advancing the mission, vision, values, and goals of W2W.  Each event will have at least one designated chair and an organization to support the event.

 

Communications

All board members are expected to provide occasional items for the website and/or the Facebook page (at least two each year).  Board members may post these themselves or send to the Communications Director.

Individual members of W2Wtc with interests in W2Wtc key interest areas will be encouraged to submit items to our Communications director for inclusion on the website or in other communication vehicles.  Examples would include solicitation of opinions/informational items from those with expressed interests in particular areas, such as education or climate.

 

Whenever W2Wtc is to be attributed with taking a position on a matter, it should first be reviewed with the board and decided in the methods outlined above. In consultation with the board, the communications director is responsible for overall coordination of member communications. 

 

Finances

There are no membership dues.  At each W2Wtc, donations will be requested to offset programming expenses.  The W2Wtc website and Facebook page will also provide information for those who may wish to send a donation.  For events or activities that require more resources, targeted fund-raising will occur to support the event, much like was done for the initial event where donors at the $100 contribution level were solicited. In addition, periodic solicitation may also occur to continue the support of W2Wtc while making participation affordable for all groups.

There will be no paid staff in W2Wtc, but on occasion outside services may be required and actual expenditures for W2Wtc activities will be reimbursed from W2Wtc funds.  As noted above in the decision-making section, expenditures of more than $250 require Executive Committee approval.

 

Candidate Endorsements

See separate document for adopted policies concerning endorsement of political candidates.  

 

 

 

 

Woman2WomanTC Candidate Fundraising Policy

Revised and Adopted June 27, 2018

 

  1. Following W2W’s board endorsement of a candidate, consideration may be given to help the campaign do its fundraising.

  2. Requests for assistance in fundraising for an endorsed candidate will be initiated by a Board Member who will prepare a written rationale for doing so including how monies will be raised, how much is being requested, and what the Board's responsibilities will be. This request will be forwarded to the Board for consensus.

  3. The campaign must cover expenses related to the event as well as handle all the money at the event.

  4. An endorsed candidate may ask for money one time a month on W2W's Facebook page and may request an email blast from the  administrator one time a month as well. 

Nomination Procedures for Board Positions

Adopted 11/5/2017

 

Introduction

 

The Nominating Committee of Woman2Woman will convene annually to provide recommendations to the W2W Board concerning both board membership and filling of any open officer positions.  This nominating committee will serve a three-year term and is appointed by the President following solicitation of volunteers.  Members may be reappointed to this committee just once (for a maximum of six years). The following provides information on philosophies to guide board membership as well as procedures to be followed in filling board positions.

 

Philosophy and Expectations Underlying Board Appointments

 

The Board should seek to achieve the following with board appointments:

  1. All board members are encouraged to assist in the identification of women who could fill future leadership roles in the organization, 

  2. Keep a focus on the future needs of the organization and select members to support those needs (see item 8 below)

  3. Consider the current strengths/capabilities of the board members to fill areas of need or assist with strategic directions; we should avoid building a board with too many overlapping abilities; for this purpose, a board profile form will be updated annually (see attachment)

  4. The Board should develop a culture of mentoring other board members and those serving the organization’s purposes, providing ongoing education to enable continuing robust leadership

  5. Consideration should be given to selecting members who have the time to commit to the tasks, which generally will mean the availability to be active 10 months, even if not local

  6. Board officers should be selected from the current board members

  7. The Vice President of the organization should expect to become the president at the end of the president’s term or sooner if the president does not complete a term

  8. With the election of a new president, a strategic planning session should ensue soon thereafter, facilitated by one of our board members (Ann McPhail has this expertise)

 

Processes of the Nominating Committee 

 

  1. Nominating committee members will solicit recommendations from both board members and others who support W2W

  2. Nominating committee members and/or current officers will contact prospective members to gauge their interest and to evaluate the fit for the organization’s needs

  3. The nominating committee will recommend members and officers to the entire W2W board for their decision through consensus or a vote, whichever seems appropriate

  4. At least two-thirds of the current board should support the addition of any new board member

  5. Because of the somewhat informal nature of the group and its small size, it is not suggested that competing candidates be recommended for each officer position

  6. For the fall of 2017, once the processes to be followed are adopted, the nominating committee will bring recommendations to the Board’s December meeting.

 W2W Endorsement Policy

 

 

W2W Endorsement Policy

Adopted at 11/5/17 Board meeting

Amended on 2/22/18 with Public Summary

 

W2W is an advocacy group focused on advancing women’s equity in all aspects of society including political representation and economic equity. We advocate on issues that directly impact women and families including support for public education, healthcare, including reproductive rights, environmental protections, civil rights and voter rights.  We have seen the value of joining efforts with others to advance our agenda and are now seeking to put into place some processes to help manage future efforts.  

 

Background

 

To date, W2W partnered with the League of Women Voters to screen Equal Means Equal, the movie about the E.R.A. We held two meet and greets for female political candidates: Gretchen Wittmer, candidate for MI Governor, and Senator Stabenow, as part of her re-election campaign. A sub-group of the Board held a fundraiser for Senator Stabenow, although the fundraiser was not seen as strictly a W2W event. 

We have received requests from political organizations to distribute information to our community and/or share events on our FB page. 

 

Looking forward to the 2018 mid-term elections, we foresee an increase in the number of requests from other organizations and political candidates to distribute information to our mailing list (1,000+), to co-sponsor political events, requests for candidate endorsements and requests for candidate fundraising.

 

We see an opportunity to get more progressive women to run for office and we want to be part of the force behind that movement.  

 

We also see a role for W2W in holding political candidates accountable in the fight for women’s equity and on issues of concern to our families and us. 

 

We have made decisions on a case-by-case basis thus far, by soliciting views of the Board and moving forward absent any strong contrary views. Going forward we 

want to be prepared to handle these requests by thinking through the implications of possible actions and putting into place appropriate policies and processes.

 

Working Premise 

 

We can increase the effectiveness of our advocacy work by partnering with individuals and organizations that support our fight for women’s equity and who share our progressive values. For example, we could reach out to national and state efforts at getting women to run for office for the purpose of bringing some of this energy to our community.  Or, by partnering with Planned Parenthood (PP), we can educate the community about the importance of PP services to women and families and help mobilize pressure on elected officials to fully fund PP.   

 

The question of who, when and how we form partnerships, give endorsements, and/or distribute information to our community on behalf of individuals and organizations is the subject of the remainder of this draft document.

 

I. Endorsements of Political Candidates

 

One of W2W’s core goals is to get more women in elected and appointed positions at all levels of government where they can fight for women’s equity and represent our issues. As advocates for women’s needs and interests, we should also be pressing candidates and politicians to take positions and actions that support women’s issues. 

 

Political endorsements carry risks that need to be carefully considered by the Board.  We identify some of these risks in the Pros/Cons that follows.  

 

Pros of W2W political endorsements

  • Increases visibility of female candidates

  • May help us recruit women to run for office

  • Increases attention to our issues

  • Increases our influence/leverage with candidates

 

Cons to W2W political endorsements

  • Has the potential to divide our community

  • Could result in lost sponsorships if people don’t agree with our choice

  • The effort to fully vet and agree on a candidate could be costly, taking time away from other things we could be doing

  • Overlaps with the mission of political parties, PACs and other organizations

  • Could tarnish W2W’s reputation if candidate is found to have committed an egregious or even criminal act, esp. if it harms women

 

If and when we do endorse a candidate, we should be clear in all communications that it is the Board of W2W that is giving its endorsement, and not W2W sponsors nor the people on our mailing list.  

 

 

Criteria for Candidate Endorsements 

 

The following questions will be examined in depth before deciding to endorse a specific candidate:

 

  • How well does this candidate support our mission and issues? 

  • Are there other candidates vying for the same position that also support our mission and values and why not support them? This question is esp. relevant to local campaigns like city commissioners.  NB: endorsements made before a primary should undergo stricter scrutiny, given the added risks. 

  • What does W2W gain by making this endorsement?

  • What does our community gain if we make this endorsement?

  • Why does the candidate need our endorsement?

  • Is there unanimous consensus among the Board to endorse?  If not, what is justification to proceed in face of an objection?

 

Adopted Process for Endorsements

 

Given the high visibility and strategic weight of a W2W candidate endorsement, we agree that only an existing board member should initiate the request.  Given the time and effort involved to fully vet a candidate, we further agree that the Board member(s) who initiates the request will prepare a written rationale that includes answers to the questions listed above.  The board will vote on the endorsement with the aim of reaching a unanimous decision; the endorsement will be made if at least 80% of the Board vote to endorse. 

 

Here is the agreed process outlined as steps:

 

  1. An existing W2W board member initiates a request for a candidate endorsement

  2. Said board member(s) prepares written rationale, addressing questions listed above

  3. Board members have 2-3 days to review written rationale before a vote is taken

  4. The endorsement will pass if approved by 80% of the Board. 

 

We further agreed to inform with our sponsors before adopting a policy on candidate endorsements. We may also share our policy with the W2W FB community so that no one is surprised if and when we make an endorsement. 

 

II. Co-sponsoring Events and Partnerships

 

We agree on the benefits of building coalitions with organizations that share our goals.  The following criteria will be used to vet potential partnerships. 

 

  • Does this event/organization support our mission, and if so, how broadly and/or deeply?

  • Could the event/organization help us expand our community of followers? 

  • What value does the event/organization bring to our community? 

  • In what ways does the organization reflect their commitment to women’s equity, e.g., how many women on their board? How many female employees? Pay equity, etc.… 

 

Typical events we might co-sponsor include:

  • Screening a film

  • Organizing a candidate “meet and greet”

  • Hosting an educational forum or community event on one of our issues or on an issue equally important to women

 

A partnership could involve any of the following: 

  • Promoting the other organization to our community and vice-versa; 

  • allowing an organization to present at one of our events; 

  • Distributing another organization’s event information to our community; 

  • co-sponsoring an event; and/or

  • sharing financial costs of an event. 

 

Adopted Process for Ad hoc Requests 

 

While there is no harm (but a possible benefit) in sharing all requests with the Board, we agree that a process managed by a subgroup would be more efficient than the current process of polling via email. An exception would be something that concerns an issue not currently covered by the board, i.e., those issues for which we have statements on our web site; in this case the Board’s views will be solicited by the subgroup prior to making a decision. 

 

The following subgroup-managed process was adopted. 

 

  1. Requests are forwarded to the subgroup for action and copied to the Board FYI.

  2. The subgroup investigates the organization/group, referencing criteria listed above.

  3. Simple requests to post information on our FB page can be acted upon by the subgroup w/o consulting the Board, unless, as noted above, the issue is new to W2W. News issues will be sent to the Board for their views; the subgroup will facilitate that consultative process.

  4. Requests to co-sponsor an event or to enter into a longer-term partnership would require a Board vote. The subgroup would prepare its recommendation to the Board explaining rationale and asking for any additional concerns/input.

  5. The Board votes within a prescribed time frame (depending on the nature of the request). A majority vote decides unless there is strong objection by any Board member, at which point the subgroup consults with the dissenting member and makes a final determination, sharing rationale with the Board.

 

Adopted Proposal to Pilot a Partnership for Run Woman Run  

 

There may be organizations that we wish to be associated with on a longer-term basis for strategic reasons, e.g., using the example cited above of working with State or National organizations that support women running for office. Given the strategic nature of partnerships, the Board’s role in decision-making is paramount. 

 

We agree to undertake a “pilot” exercise to establish the merits of taking a more proactive approach to establishing partnerships. The agreed process is outlined below. 

 

  1. The board selected the high priority issue Run Woman Run to use as a test case.

  2. A subgroup will be created to oversee the pilot. NB: to reinforce the forthcoming recommendations by the Nominating Committee, the subgroup will be led by at least 1 board member and draw upon the community for other subgroup members as a way of developing a “bench” for future boards.   

  3. The subgroup will identify potential allies and reach out to investigate suitability/interest of a partnership.

  4. W2W will “Test the waters” by co-hosting an event. 

  5. Subgroup will assess the merits of the pilot and report back to the Board with recommendation on future actions.

 

 A policy on partnerships will be reconsidered based on the outcome of the pilot.

 

Summary of Endorsement Policy for Public Consumption – adopted on 2/22/18

 

The following summary may be provided to candidates who seek endorsement of W2WTC.

 

Criteria for Candidate Endorsements 

 

The following questions will be examined in depth before deciding to endorse a specific candidate:

  • How well does this candidate support our mission and issues? Link to website: https://www.woman2womantc.com/issues-advocacy

  • Are there other candidates vying for the same position who also support our mission and values?  

  • What does W2W gain by making this endorsement?

  • What does our community gain if we make this endorsement?

  • Why does the candidate need our endorsement?

  • Is there unanimous consensus among the Board to endorse?  If not, what is justification to proceed in face of an objection?

 

Adopted Process for Endorsements

 

Given the high visibility and strategic weight of a W2W candidate endorsement, we agree that only an existing board member should initiate the request.  Given the time and effort involved to fully vet a candidate, we further agree that the Board member(s) who initiates the request will prepare a written rationale that includes answers to the questions listed above.  The board will vote on the endorsement with the aim of reaching a unanimous decision; the endorsement will be made if at least 80% of the Board vote to endorse. If and when we do endorse a candidate, we should be clear in all communications that it is the Board of W2W that is giving its endorsement, and not W2W sponsors nor the people on our mailing list.

 

Here is the agreed process outlined as steps:

 

  1. An existing W2W board member initiates a request for a candidate endorsement

  2. Said board member(s) prepares written rationale, addressing questions listed above

  3. Board members have 2-3 days to review written rationale before a vote is taken

  4. The endorsement will pass if approved by 80% of the Board.​

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