Friday, September 28, 2007

WIN - Network President's Workshop

Hi Everyone,

A little late, but I want to fill you in on the Network President's Workshop (explained in the previous mail) that I attended on the first night here, Wed 26 Sept.

Some of the issues/themes discussed were:

  • The challenges of operating women's professional or social organisations on a volunteer basis (eg. women regularly moving in and out of town, women dealing with other life issues [such as pregnancy, children, relationships, work issues, work/life balance issues etc.], and some women not carrying the responsibility through its full term, perhaps due a "too-casual" sense of responsiblity towards the organisation (eg. once the honeymoon phase of being on the board of the organistion wears off). One group talked about how they transformed their group into a legal entity, to try to increase the sense of legal responsiblity for at least a few of the board members, and how this approach had seemed to work to date.
  • Ideas about how different women's organisations can better collaborate (to share ideas, resources, networks etc.) The group were talking about not just organisations in your area, but organisations across borders.
  • What processes in the organisation can be automated, so that board members' time can be focussed more on valuable strategic contributions, rather than spending lots of time on admin and the taking of membership monies etc. Ideas included using a website (to disseminate information and to link members) and using PayPal (and/or similar applications) on websites, to accept member money.
  • Thinking seriously about employing an administrative assistant (full-time or part-time), to again alleviate some of the burden of the mundane admin tasks, so that the board members' volunteer time could be used in other ways.

Stephanie MacKendrick (talking about the Canadian Women in Communications organisation) stressed how funding and focus were key elements to grow an organisation. She speaks from experience - as their organisation has 1400 members, 9 chapters across Canada and very healthy corporate support/sponsorship.

Food for thought, if you are involved in a professional and/or social organisation....


No comments:

Share This: