Dear League Leaders,
I know many of you are new to a League board/team and bewildered! Here is one aspect of a board orientation that might be helpful.
If you are a new president, or just want to be revved up, be sure to come to the workshop offering at Convention, Helpful Hints for New League Presidents, on Monday, June 11 at 7:20 am. You will find things I learned along the way that might not be in your job description.
REPORTING TO THE BOARD
Setting the agenda for a board meeting is an extremely difficult task. If you have a report, be sure to let the president know so time will be set aside for you. Send copies of your report to all board members (including your secretary) ahead of time.
WHAT SHOULD BE REPORTED?
- Progress in organization of a job or in getting it accomplished;
- All reports or consensus meetings and proposed position statements;
- Decisions reached by a committee, and any action taken so that other board members will be informed if elected officials or others mention the item(s);
- Problems encountered in getting a job done or reactions of members to a project;
- Information on resources that are significant to the League. (e.g., another organization pursuing an issue that the League is working on may be a resource, partner, or cosponsor)
- Important information from state or national Leagues relating to your job (e.g., LWVUS has entered litigation as a friend of the court or your state League is participating in a statewide coalition on an issue).
WHEN SHOULD YOU ASK FOR A BOARD DECISION?
- When you are going to spend more money than budgeted;
- When you want to hold a public or membership (not committee) meeting;
- When you want to publish something or distribute materials to members or to the public;
- When you want to make a statement in the League’s name;
- When you want to make any demand on the League’s time, money, or reputation;
- When you want to establish a policy or solve a problem;
- When you are not sure whether you should ask for a board decision.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE WHEN YOU NEED A BOARD DECISION?
- Be sure your report includes any motions you may plan to make.
- At the beginning of your report, state what you are going to do (e.g., I’m going to ask the board’s approval for a letter to Senate supporters of Bill 454,” or “I’m reporting on the committee’s progress and some of the problems we have encountered.”)
- State clearly and briefly what has led up to your request (e.g., “The Citizens’ Master Plan Committee has asked for comments from other organizations at the school board meeting next Wednesday. The report recommends that…”).
- Be aware of time! The president has to get through the agenda on time.
- Make a recommendation. Offer relevant information and be prepared to answer questions. Participate in the discussion.
- Accept the board’s decision – total board responsibility sometimes dictates another course despite your recommendation.