Money: Proposal Six

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

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. 


 Money: Proposal Six

  • To ensure availability of sub-units’ funds, require that National NOW be a co-owner on any sub-unit bank accounts

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14 thoughts on “Money: Proposal Six

  1. I believe all state NOW organizations should be co-signers on chapter accounts. With a clear statement in the State bylaws regarding when the state NOW may invoke access to chapter funds. Plus each chapter should be required to have an associated recognition clause in their bylaws. As should there be a dissolution clause standard to NOW. So, what is the experience National NOW regarding loss of state level funds? I would be okay with a similar agreement between National and states….. but National needs to be clear how they will manage active state chapters – if they determine the state is inactive.

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  2. Bonnie Shapiro, NNJ NOW

    In my experience with NOW chapters and other local organizations, like tenants organizations, the money goes to the State to continue doing the work it was given for. I have never seen it be a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If a chapter dissolves on its own accord, what should happen to the money? I’ve always wondered what everyone thinks about that.

    Charlotte Klasson

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    • Good question, Charlotte. Do any of them dissolve with money on hand? If they do, then that’s a good reason have National NOW as the co-owner of the account.

      What if NOW set up a “pay pal” or some such system. The chapters could each have an account for automatic deposits. Additional deposits and withdrawals could be made and checks honored for the chapter’s president and treasurer.

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  4. Central Oregon Coast NOW requires two signatures. Frankly, it is kind of a nuisance and our bank told us that they do not check for two signatures, but it does give some protection and reminds us that two board members are responsible for the decision to write a check for something. In hindsight, I think I would require 2 chapter board members to sign checks on expenses over a pre-determined amount (maybe $100?), but this should be a chapter decision and national should not be the 2nd signature! Very little of our chapter money comes from rebates or new memberships; most comes from fundraisers. We are the ones doing the work and want to be the ones who determine what we spend the money we earned on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Matt Shapiro, Northern NJ NOW, NOW-NJ

      You are clearly right about this. But even if all your chapter’s money came from rebates, it’s still the chapter’s money, not National’s. National should not have the power to confiscate a chapter’s funds, period.

      Please see my comment under MONEY: Proposal Three

      Liked by 2 people

    • Judi Polson, NOW-NYC: we have a similar two-signature policy at NOW-NYC; we do fine with having the second signatory be a Chapter Board member. I see no reason for National to be co-owner of Chapter funds, especially those not raised by National.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Dina S Willner Northern NJ NOW

    I agree with Matt and Central Oregon Coast NOW.
    If the concern is availability of a second signatory, have the second one be from the chapter.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Good point Matt, and as a “grassroots” organization we really should be leading from the bottom up. I know my local chapter would probably dissolve and restart itself as a non-affiliated different organization if national wanted to co-sign on our bank account.

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  7. My understanding is that the second signer doesn’t have to sign it check. The chapters can do business as usual. It just means that if the chapter dissolves, National can retrieve the money and put it toward feminist work. It seems like a no-brainer.

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    • Matt Shapiro, Northern NJ NOW Board Member, NOW-NJ Board Member

      If National NOW is a co-signer on a chapter’s bank account, then National would have the power to confiscate the chapter’s funds at any time. Sorry to be so blunt, but so many of these proposals are about National controlling both what a chapter does and how much money a chapter should have, if any, that there is no reason to trust that this will not happen. Especially if National does not approve of the chapter’s type or level of activism, or if National just has a money problem. Does National have a money problem?

      Why would a chapter want to give up control of its funds?

      Being a co-signer does not just have an effect if the chapter dissolves. It entitles National full access at any time.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dina S Willner Northern NJ NOW

    This is beyond insane and insure that nothing gets done in a timely manner. Having a second signatory is one thing, having it in a totally different location is another.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Bonnie Shapiro, Northern NJ NOW

    This is insane. I don’t want my mother on my account either. Our State Treasurer almost had a coronary when she heard of it.

    Liked by 2 people

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