League of Women Voters of the United States Board of Directors

Board Meeting

October 5, 2013

Renaissance Hotel

Washington, DC

Board Present

Elisabeth MacNamara             Peggy Appler              carolyn Brown            Pat Donath

Mary Klenz                             Toni Larson                 Janis McMillen            Karen Nicholson

Anne Schink                           Norman Turrill            Linda Wassenich        

Board Absent

Susan Wilson

Staff Present

Nancy Tate                             Kelly Gardner                        Allyson Legnini          Greg Leatherwood


Rosalee Keech – UN Observer

Nominating Committee Present

Linda Duckworth                  Judy Davis                  Mary Santi                  Penney VanVleet

MacNamara called the meeting to order at 9:04



Donath moved that the minutes of the LWVUS board meetings of June 14, June 17 and August 19, 2013 be approved.  Seconded.  Passed

Financial Report

Donath moved that the following persons be authorized to sign checks on the LWVUS bank accounts:  Elisabeth MacNamara, President; Patricia Donath, Secretary/Treasurer; Nancy Tate, Executive Director; Kelly Gardner, Chief Operating Officer; and Jeanette Senecal, Director of Elections and e-Democracy.  Checks more than $5,000 require two signatures.  Seconded.  Passed.

Donath moved that any two of the following persons be authorized to approve wire transfers from LWVUS bank accounts: Elisabeth MacNamara, President; Patricia Donath, Secretary/Treasurer; Nancy Tate, Executive Director; Kelly Gardner, Chief Operating Officer; and Jeanette Senecal, Director of Elections and e-Democracy.  Seconded.  Passed.

Donath moved that the financial report of the LWVUS dated August 31, 2013 be accepted and placed on file.  Seconded.  Passed.

President’s Report

MacNamara went to several states for speaking engagements, mostly pertaining to voting rights. She spoke in South Carolina for the meeting of the Georgia Bar Association and discussed the lawsuit over Georgia voter photo ID requirements.

She also spoke at the Carter Center on voting rights in July. This focused on international voting rights and monitoring. Through this MacNamara came in contact with social science professors from Emory and Georgia state, leading to a potential partnership with a larger social science organization interested in working more on voting rights.

MacNamara participated in Constitution Day in Baltimore at UMBC where 67 League members turned out for the event. MacNamara spoke on voting rights and the Shelby County Supreme Court case was discussed.

LWV cosponsored the March on Washington, which MacNamara, Tate and others attended. She also spoke on voting right at the National Voter Registration Day event in New York City.

MacNamara reported on a trip with Development staff to a major donor in LA to discuss a proposal ($15,000-$50,000) for the MLD Program.  That donor later made a $25,000 gift to the MLD program.  

Executive Director’s Report

Tate summarized recent national office activities, most of which were related to voting issues: dealing with the negative Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act; testimony to the President’s Commission on Election Reform; the March on Washington anniversary events; and National Voter Registration Day.

Tate reported that LWV finances continue to be good, mostly due to very strong direct marketing results. However, it is unlikely that donor response will remain at this unusually high level, especially with other issues like the government shutdown in the news.

Tate reported meeting with new foundations that are interested in LWVUS’ capacity in general, rather than specific projects like voting rights.

Tate reported on upcoming tasks in the LWVUS office. The CRM system is an ongoing process and the staff  have more meetings planned with the vendor. More planning is underway about next steps on the MLD.  The logo compliance issue will move to the  next phase of communication for those Leagues who have not complied.   

Executive Committee Report

McMillen gave the report. She stated that the committee had met with auditors, and received a very positive report. There was also discussion of the possibility that the LWVUS operating fund may have to supplement the MLD budget one more time in this fiscal year.


Motion 5: Schink moved that the Board of LWVUS accept the recommendation of the Task Force to acquire the CRM system from Round Corner.   Seconded.  Passed.

Motion 6:  Nicholson moved that the Organizational Services Report be adopted to recognize the new LWV of Roselle/Bloomingdale, IL; disband the LWV of Danbury Area Ct and LWV of Pella IA; change the name and basis of organization of the LWV of Mansfield CT to LWV of Northeastern CT, and the LWV of Plattsburgh Area, NY to LWV of North Country, NY; and merge the LWV of Arlington TX into the LWV of Tarrant County TX.  Seconded.  Passed.

Motion 7: Schink moved that LWVUS accept the recommendation that some of the PMP in dispute by the DeKalb GA League be waived and that they will pay the remaining $3,281.   Seconded.  Passed

Schink reported on Membership Committee activities, building on the committee discussion about “trust” within the organization and what it means to be a legacy organization. There must be a reframing of LWV’s work with a 360 degree build out including members, donors, and Leagues all as one system. The CRM will be able to help with this. There was a discussion amongst board members about resources and information sharing.

Board members also discussed the MLD and the fact that 27 states have fewer than 500 League members.  Donath noted that there are issues with some state and local League bylaws, illustrating that states have lost the institutional knowledge of what their role is in helping to develop Leagues.  Turrill suggested LWV consider “e-Leagues”.

A question was raised about whether the advocacy positions that LWV takes results in fewer members in states where the positions are seen as partisan.  

Sustaining Local Leagues

Appler reported on the pilot program for sustaining local Leagues in Kansas and its progress. State coaches are involved and the training has been divided between MLD and the sustainability program. Evaluations that have come through have been extremely positive.

Wassenich mentioned the importance of training on fundraising, and suggested a resource team to help Leagues write fundraising letters. She also suggested that Kansas be recognized during Convention 2014.

The Board asked questions and received updates from Tate and MacNamara on the Dues Renewal Pilot Program, which is finally get off the ground this year in GA.


Motion 8:  Brown moved that the 2014 Convention theme be “Power: Our Voices, Our Votes”. Seconded.  Passed.

Motion 9: Brown moved that the following goals for Convention 2014 be adopted:

Promoting strong participation; Completing the organizational business; Collaborating among levels of the League for effectiveness and impact; Fostering leadership development opportunities and a learning environment; Integrating ample networking opportunities; Looking to the future.  Seconded. Passed.

MacNamara appointed the following committees for Convention:

Budget:  Elaine Wiant, Chair; Ann Luther, Henrietta Saunders, Pat Donath, Susan Wilson.

Bylaws:  Norman Turrill, chair; Mary Klenz, Chris Carson, Geri Cummons, Alice Bartlet

Resolutions:  Jennifer Waggoner, Chair; Darlene Hicks, Toni Larson, Janis McMillen


Larson reported on the Syria discussion that was held in the Advocacy Committee meeting, and the rationale for not issuing a statement.  Larson reported that redistricting was one of the big issues to focus on right now. The committee discussed signing onto a coalition letter and decided that there were some issues with our redistricting positions that would need to be addressed first.  Lastly, she gave an update on the work of the Campaign Finance Task Force. Their toolkit for Leagues is nearing completion, with an expected completion date in January.  


Motion 10:  Larson moved that the LWVUS/EF adopt the “Guidelines for LWVUS/LWVEF Member Forums” dated October, 2013.  Seconded.  Passed.

Motion 11:  Larson moved that the LWVUS/EF adopt the Forums Board Assignments list dated September 27, 2013.  Seconded.  Passed.

Motion 12: Donath moved that an MLD coaches forum group be established.  Seconded.  Passed.

The Board discussed the LWV webpage, particularly the “Join” and “Get Involved” buttons.   The name “Leaders Update” was also discussed, and whether it should be sent to all members or only to those who are assigned or sign up, as is done now.


Motion 13:  Turrill moved that LWVUS adopt the “Guidelines for LWVUS Studies” as amended.  Seconded.  Passed.

Motion 14:  Turrill moved that the formal request to continue to use the names “League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network” and “League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Advocacy Network” be denied.  Seconded.  Passed.

Tate reported that most of the original 45 states with incorrect logos or names had complied by the October 1 deadline.  She described the letters that would go to the remaining few. The Board confirmed that they agreed with that approach, which gave December 31 as the final deadline.  


Wassenich repeated that Board calls should focus on treating donors  as friends, and trying to identify their passions, rather than making direct asks for funds.

Program Planning

Donath reported that Leagues have the opportunity this time to choose two options, which can be study, update, or concurrence.

The Board discussed how the late release of discussion materials for the Agriculture Update might impact League choices during Program Planning, if a League wants the study to continue.



Meeting adjourned at  4:44.


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