Members: Proposal Seven


Watch the webinar recording for Money & Members.

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

 Members: Proposal Seven

  • Automatically assign all members to a local chapter, wherever possible
  • Any member could opt-out, choosing at-large status, or could choose another chapter
  • To ensure adequate funding, states may need to change their current chapter-state rebate sharing formulas

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 bellow 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.


12 thoughts on “Members: Proposal Seven

  1. PA NOW supports auto-assigning members to local chapters if there is one in their area, or opt out. There will still be plenty of at-large members, I believe, and giving chapters the means to reach out to new members is the best way to ‘grow the pie’ for all of NOW.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This proposal concerns me. If all at-large members are switched to chapters, then each State’s funding lowers drastically! Florida has both active chapters and a very active state chapter too.


  3. As a fairly new State Membership Director, I have been doing some statistical analysis for my position and was surprised at what I found… So this is where the numbers led me.
    1… Our chapters are our hearts and arteries of our state organizations.
    2,…. Our chapters are our ‘farm teams’ for leadership at the state and national levels
    3….. We should do everything we can to feed them activist members (note – I did NOT say highly active). The level of activism for each member varies based on her/his current life issues.
    4…. We need to RESPECT each members desire regarding their level of activism and desire to be associated with a specific chapter.
    5…. Each state should help the chapters find at-large members that will add to the activism and leadership needs within their chapter.
    6.Unilaterally moving at-large members into chapters – based on the current rebate standards; will DECREASE the state’s ability to fund state wide programs — including lobbyists at state legislative sessions.

    I say a very loud NO to this idea

    Florida Lake NOW

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I suppose this would only work in areas where there actually are active chapters, and would not apply
    in areas or states where that’s not the case. So there would still be a significant number of at-large members whose dues need not be shared with chapters.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really, really like this. And, national should immediately notify the chapter president of this new member so that the president can welcome the new member. Involving members to the point they want to be involved is a good way of retaining them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dina S Willner Northern NJ NOW

    Having recently joined another group where there was a question on what chapter I should be in, I like the idea of assigning a chapter in physical proximity with an option to got to another chapter if it is more convenient. For example, one might want to go to a chapter near one’s work instead of one’s home.

    And the membership email should give a link for the assigned chapter as well as a link for all chapters.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Bonnie Shapiro, NNJ NOW

    I like this proposal, but this just illustrates what I said in another section– these proposals are not necessarily fitting tother. How does it follow to assign people to chapters if you decide (under the proposals in Sub-Sections) that there are no more chapters and are simply getting rid of them and calling them Task Forces (which I fervently hope does not happen)?

    Obviously the chapter selected would have to be geographically the closest, and hopefully two chapters will not be arguing over who gets whom. Although in my State we do have people selecting chapters based on other criteria. Opting out, I guess, would allow them to “re-locate.”

    I think right now those who pick a chapter immediately, to answer Judi, have been referred to the NOW website by someone in their area from the chapter.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Automatically assigning members to their nearest active chapter is a good idea, and would demonstrate NOW’s commitment to local grassroots organizing. Members would still be able to opt out of this assignment if they prefer to remain at-large, or prefer a different chapter where there is more than one in their vicinity. Chapters should be notified when new members are assigned to them, so that they can reach out and welcome them.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The more I look at this Proposal, the better I like it. Frankly, I’ve always thought that it’s strange to have to make a conscious choice of chapter at the moment when we know the least about the organization (most actions are local; “I just gave you my address, how I am supposed to find which chapter to join–don’t you know which is closest?”, etc. etc.).

    I’d also like to note: NOW has been struggling for years to bring in women of color, with very limited success, and we haven’t been able to figure out the problem. Ever since Patricia Arquette’s courageous and much-criticized call for equal pay at the Oscars, I’ve been in a number of online conversations involving women of color. What I hear is that their voices aren’t heard–no one is listening to the concerns that they believe, rightly or wrongly, to be theirs alone. And I have heard the same concern from young feminists at NOW also.

    What I have realized is that NOW is not terribly welcoming to new members, of *any* demographic. We like working with the people we know, and we don’t quickly welcome strangers into our decision-making process. Given the virulence of opposition to women’s equality, that’s understandable caution. But it discourages both growth and diversity.

    If we want to bring in and keep the new, diverse voices we genuinely want, there needs to be a way for those voices to prove their credibility and then be welcomed in. Making sure each new member was quickly connected into the organization, whether at the local, state or national level, would be a start. Likely the best starting place is making sure the new member gets connected to their local chapter.

    Judi Polson, NOW-NYC

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good points, the diversity issue will likely continue, from what i have read in all postings concerning diversity, The only way would be to have a 50/50 % from each region. 50 Anglo, 50 Other. lots of cr, and
      maybe the Anglo s learn how to be more careful in how they communicate. I don’t think at the advance age of most NOW members that changing their behavior is an option. But if they control their temper, and yelling, making faces as they talk, would go a long ways. Most NOW women talk down at non-anglos.
      Judi, your good, i understand what you wrote.


  10. I would prefer to see an “opt-in” rather than an “opt-out”, as:
    “Thank you for joining NOW. The local chapters in your vicinity are __________. Would you like to choose one of these or be an at-large member?”


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