Number of National Officers: Proposal One

THESE PROPOSALS ARE TO DISCUSS CONCEPTS ONLY.  ACTUAL LANGUAGE WILL BE DRAFTED AT A LATER TIME.

Watch the webinar recording for Number of National Officers and Size & Election of National Board.  

We encourage you to use the PowerPoint presented at the webinar and the Structure Modernization Discussion Guide to help facilitate conversations in your networks.  


 Reduce the number of officers to two (President, Vice President) and lower officer salaries:

  • Lower salaries to reflect DC metro area trends for $3M nonprofit
  • Improve the balance of executive vs. staff salaries to reflect nonprofit best practices
  • Change responsibilities:
    • –Elected officers work directly in grassroots mobilization,
    • –Staff do admin work

Pros:

  • –More salary for more staff
  • –Increase in staff capacity to assist chapters and states

Cons:

  • –Limited pipeline to develop leaders
  • –More difficult to have an Executive Committee that represents various NOW constituencies
  • –Less elected (grassroots) representation

Posting Instructions

1. If you want to share your thoughts on a proposal (remember these are just concepts, the actual language will be developed later), write your reply in the text box below the words Leave Reply, and in the box “Enter your comment here…”

 

2. If you want to respond to a comment that another NOW member has left regarding a proposal, click the small blue link that says “Reply” underneath said comment. It is very important that you click this reply button and not start another comment so that the conversation is easily followed and clear!

3. You MUST put your full name and chapter affiliation before every comment you leave. If a comment does not have a name and chapter affiliation it will not be approved. This is to ensure that only NOW members are commenting.

4. Remember be respectful and friendly! All NOW members want to work to improve the organization and it takes collaboration and patience on our part as a grassroots organization to make sure that all of our members voices are heard – even those with whom we may disagree with.

5. Be creative and don’t be afraid to say what you think! It is vital that you share your opinions — in order to create the best proposals possible we need to know what all of the members think! This site is for YOU to have your voices heard.

29 thoughts on “Number of National Officers: Proposal One

  1. Sorry to be so late to the dance. My proposal is to raise the dues to $45 so we can keep all our officers.

    Like

  2. I do not support any less than 3 officers but I would support a reduction in pay for the national officers. This could be done if all our officers would not be required to live in DC.

    Like

  3. Upon further reflection, Pennsylvania NOW does NOT support the 2 officer structure, but rather the 3 officer structure. However we also believe it’s important to reduce officer pay, and figure out how to retain more staff to effectively do the work of NOW. It is worthwhile considering that not all officers or staff need to be located in DC.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lisa Labbe, Gainesville FL

    I don’t think that two executive officers is a good idea. At the very least you need an odd number to make decisions. Three officers is what is needed.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I disagree with the 2 officers proposal for two reasons.
    1.) I think the specification of two officers limits our ability to be flexible and grow without holding another bylaws convention which we do infrequently and usually with considerable difficulty.
    2.) Only two officers puts two much responsibility and power on two people. All decisions between board meetings are made by the Executive Committee which if this passes means two people. This worries me on several levels. Yes, two is cheaper than 5 but do we really want to operate without the checks and balances a full group of officers provides. Not to mention throwing diversity out the window.

    Changing it to at least two officers with the # of officers decided by the board 1 year prior to the election would make me feel a bit better.

    While decreasing the number of officers will save money in the short term; this proposal does not encourage a growth strategy.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Gay Bruhn, IL, DuPage NOW Chapter
    Maybe we should leave # officers the same and do a resolution that gives us time to recommend what we want the national office to do. As we do this we can take into account leadership development.
    Or perhaps we should rewrite the bylaws so that we aren’t locked into a specific # of officers making our organization a bit more flexible — not requiring a conference every time our needs change.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I prefer keeping at least three elected officers. I think reducing the number to two would lead to placing more decision making responsibility in the hands of non-elected staff members. Not a good grassroots
    practice.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I don’t like the idea of reducing the number of officers below 3. NOW at the national level needs three elected leaders to carry out the work needed. Reducing the pay of the national officers is necessary until we re-build the organization financially.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I’m leaving this comment on my own behalf, not representing PA NOW:
    It’s very important to maintain and strengthen a leadership pipeline in NOW, I agree. Terms limits for at least the President apply at the national level and at many NOW chapters across the country, and they are a good way to provide the room/incentive for leadership to grow within NOW. Term limits force officers in whatever chapter to think about cultivating new leadership for the organization. It’s also a way of avoiding burnout in our chapters. Rotating the responsibilities of chapter leadership gives more people experience in a leadership role without demanding too much of any one volunteer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree “It’s very important to maintain and strengthen a leadership pipeline in NOW.”

      NOW has a degree of diversity at national level but not always at the state and local levels. Some veteran members have been hanging on to chapter officer positions for decades with the consequence that many affiliates have shrunk to a president for life and an ever-dwindling mailing list. Younger women and women of color are unlikely to want to join chapters comprised of a dwindling number of older white members.

      Karen Bojar, Philadelphia NOW

      Liked by 1 person

      • Please do not totally disregard the old white women. We have as much a need for NOW as any other women, have been contributing for decades and occasionally still have good ideas.

        Like

  10. Number of officers

    All the proposals seem to be based on financial concerns. I posted else where that “NOW is not a non-profit in any way but an IRS definition. We are a grass roots political and social force”. Our operation is not going to look like a “DC Metro $3M non-profit”. Nor are we trying to attract employees from that kind of operation. Maybe it’s my age but I don’t know a NOW leader of my generation who did not make significant economic, career and personal sacrifices to be in office or to serve in other capacities.

    How about we outline the duties of the officer’s, see how many people we need to do the job and then look at the money. I for one would like to see 5 officers. Here are some ideas… offered in the hopes of getting a discussion started. Items in red are new as officer duties.

    President
    Principal Spokesperson
    Call/preside at meetings of the Board, Executive Comm., and Nat’l Conf
    Chair NOW PAC
    Government Relations
    CFO
    CEO
    -Communications Officer
    media relations
    social media
    Fundraiser
    -Chief Field Organizer
    coordinate, organize, and facilitate National and Chapter and State Action programs,
    Member of NOW PAC
    Fundraiser
    -Executive VP
    Provide legislative clearinghouse services to State Organizations
    Preside at meetings in absence of the President
    Supervise administrative staff
    Plan National Conferences
    Keep the minutes of the meetings of the Board, Executive Comm. and Nat’l Conf serves as Secretary/Treasurer for corporate purposes,
    custodian of records
    Member of NOW PAC
    -Membership Officer
    CR Coordinator
    Fundraiser
    Maintain chapter, State and membership records
    Responsible for NOW’s general correspondence
    Treasurer of NOW PAC

    Please take special note of:
    Fundraiser listed as a duty for 3 officers
    Creation of a Communications Officer and social media listed as part of the job
    CR in the bylaws. I think we found our feminism through CR and it should be offered by every NOW chapter as a way of creating activists.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, Theresa. As you say, before we try to agree on the offices, let’s first agree on what we need for the National office to *do*, and then figure out how many people we need and how to organize them. and then how much pay is required. The list you provided is extremely well-thought-out (as usual!).

      One small caveat: I do think it’s risky to expect significant economic,career and personal sacrifice from women in the 21st century, in part because our society has always expected women to be the ones to sacrifice themselves, and we’re sick of it. Perhaps we can find ways to limit the sacrifice going forward. Or not. Just a thought!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sadly, Theresa, your method of marking some words in red did not carry over to this medium. I hope you can clarify so we can all read your ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Theresa Bergen, Rokland NOW NY
        Here it is again with a ** in front of the new ones:
        President
        Principal Spokesperson
        Call/preside at meetings of the Board, Executive Comm, and Natl Conf
        Chair NOW PAC
        Government Relations
        CFO
        CEO
        -**Communications Officer
        **media relations
        **social media
        **Fundraiser
        -Chief Field Organizer
        coordinate, organize, facilitate National and Chapter and State Action programs,
        Member of NOW PAC
        **Fundraiser
        -Executive VP
        **Provide legislative clearinghouse services to State Organizations
        Preside at meetings in absence of the President
        Supervise administrative staff
        **Plan National Conferences
        Keep the minutes of the meetings of the Board, Executive Comm. and Natl Conf
        serves as Secretary/Treasurer for corporate purposes,
        custodian of records
        Member of NOW PAC
        -Membership Officer
        **CR Coordinator
        **Fundraiser
        Maintain chapter, State and membership records
        Responsible for NOW’s general correspondence
        Treasurer of NOW PAC

        Like

    • If, and only if, we have five officers, the CFO and CEO should not be the same person. That is concentrating too much responsibility in one job. Let the Executive VP take on CFO duties.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I think this proposal for two officers and lowered salaries would put an unfair burden on our officers and therefore I can’t support it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Why can’t we Improve the balance of executive vs. staff salaries by KEEPING all three executives, and just lower their salaries some, to cover the increases in staff salaries?

    Also – when NOW talks about non-profit “best practices”, I disagree that NOW should be governed by these. The “best practices” may be fine for other corporate non-profits, but the others would not have grassroots chapters in 50 states, nor do they rebate their state and chapter affiliates, etc – NOW is very different.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I am not comfortable with the term “best practices” unless I know the source. For example practices based upon a qualitative, interview based study of 5 non-profit, health related organizations provides different value for me than those based upon a results based quantitative study of 50 issue based organizations.

        Like

Comments are closed.