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Democratic Process Task Group

Background

The Democratic Process is a central tenet of Girl Scouting. We achieve it for girls by making our activities girl-planned and girl-led to the fullest extent possible. For older girls and adults we currently have a Delegate Assembly of elected representatives who meet annually to elect board members and officers and approve bylaws changes. We also hold Fall Forums and meet in Area Associations twice a year to elect area leaders and delegates, conduct area-related business, and hear reports from and send comments to our board.

Some Area Associations are fully functioning, meeting the needs of members and our council; others have experienced problems with meeting attendance and identifying leadership. A survey conducted in 2013 identified a variety of issues that contributed to the problems, but no single factor that would solve them.

Charge

  • Utilize existing data and collect additional data necessary to evaluate the current state and effectiveness of our field governance structure
  • Research effective forms of council governance
  • Recommend the best Democratic Process approach for our council:
    • Provide recommendations for the ideal governance structure.  This may involve strengthening Area Associations or adopting some other organizational structure
    • Define roles & responsibilities, including guidelines for involvement of operational volunteers in governance roles.
    • Recommend an approach to maintain operational support of activities within broader geographic areas with operational funds and resources.  We want to maintain the involvement of volunteers in bringing troops together for activities within broader geographic areas (i.e., Area-wide activities), but we must follow IRS guidelines.
    • Ensure we avoid situations where we risk violating IRS guidelines or other regulations.
  • Recommend timeframe and process for implementation.
  • Recommendations may tentatively be ready for submission to the board by the January 2017 board meeting.  The task group will determine an appropriate timeframe as they get into their work.  Periodic updates will be provided to the board and membership as the task group progresses.