Please give each proposal careful consideration and e-mail your opinions to DelegateResponses@girlscoutcsa.org.
Our Delegates are waiting to hear what you think.
Proposal One: Annual General Program Fee for Girl Members
Each council has the option of establishing and charging a general program fee. The fee can change from year to year if the council chooses to do so. Only girl members will be charged the general program fee. The fee will be applied to all girls in the council and will be charged at the time girls register for Girl Scouting each year.
Adult members will not pay the general program fee. Lifetime members will not pay the general program fee.
The amount of the general program fee cannot exceed the cost of GSUSA membership dues in the year that the program fee is charged. The general program fee can, however, be lower than the GSUSA membership dues.
If the council chooses to charge a general program fee, all income received from that fee will be considered undesignated income to the council. The council can use the income in any way it would like including but not limited to recruiting girls and adult volunteers, program development and delivery, capital costs related to property….the options are endless. All decisions about how to use the funds rests with the local council.
100% of the general program fee stays with the council and the council is responsible for wise use of the funds.
Would this new general program fee make all programming inside the council free – would it replace fees that are already being charged?
What are the main reasons councils want this money?
Will the money go to Girls, Service Units, Troops, or the Council?
Have the extra costs associated with this proposal been considered? If checks are made to GSUSA, will GSUSA remit the program fee back to the councils? Will two checks have to be submitted, one to GSUSA and one to the council?
Will the fee be the same for all – will it vary from council to council?
Will the amount of the fee be a barrier to participation?
It is very important for all Girl Scout Councils to focus on building their philanthropic base. However, we are learning from councils that the philanthropic base is not growing fast enough to support the true cost of delivering Girl Scouting to girls.
Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians’ additional information about Proposal One: ANNUAL GENERAL PROGRAM FEE FOR GIRLS
GSCSA would engage in a multi-stage due diligence process to determine whether or not to implement a Program Fee, how much to charge (if implemented), and how the funds would be utilized. Steps of this process would include, but not be limited to:
- Review of the financial needs of the Council as a whole plus the specific needs of service units, troops, and girl members;
- Market survey of costs of other youth development activities in the region;
- Review of impact of fee on girl access to Girl Scouting and financial aid;
- Opportunities for membership engagement and feedback;
- Board oversight to ensure that use of funds is consistent with GSCSA’s Vision, Strategy, and Culture.
PROPOSAL TWO: ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP
- We could reduce the complexity and cost of implementation, because more councils would use online registration.
- We could implement changes when timing would be better for most councils, thus reducing disruption for girls, volunteers, and council staff.
- It would enable us to introduce other related changes, such as introducing new types of membership or partial year memberships, that would allow us to get a greater return on investments in system changes.
The National Board will convene a task group to study the current national dues structure and annual membership-registration practice. The purpose of the study is to make sure that our membership processes meet the needs of current and future members and align with national program offerings and pathways. Members of the task group, which will include councils, will be appointed by January 2012. Recommendations will be reported to the National Board in early 2014, with placement of a report on the 2014 National Council agenda.
It is important to note that if the proposal is adopted at the 2011 convention (without a proviso to delay implementation), the proposal would take effect immediately.
In January 2012, the National Board will convene a task group to study the current national dues structure and annual membership-registration practice. The purpose of the study is to make sure that our membership processes meet the needs of current and future members and align with national program offerings and pathways. Members of the task group will include council representation. Recommendations will be reported to the National Board in early 2014, with placement of a report on the 2014 National Council agenda.
Will the alternatives be explored at the convention so we can hear the “better options”?
What about registering adults?
If a rolling annual membership were implemented, the process would apply to both girls and adults.
GSCSA’s Council-Specific Information for Proposal Two: “ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP”
PROPOSAL THREE: TIMING FOR THE ELECTION
OF NATIONAL COUNCIL DELEGATES IN COUNCILS
The role of the Delegate is–and has been–a three-year commitment, and this proposal is consistent with the core elements of a delegate’s responsibilities. We, as a National Board, do see that for a girl member to take on this vital governance role it would make more sense for councils to elect girls earlier, such as those in their sophomore year. If elected in their freshman or sophomore year, girls could fulfill their 3-year term as a delegate before heading off to higher education or a job.
The three-year role of the delegate may have required councils to utilize alternates in the past, and may continue to require that councils select and train a sufficient number of alternates should the elections be held earlier. While some adults may find it difficult to accept a nomination to serve as a delegate, thus committing to a National Council Session meeting date that is over a year out, councils have always been encouraged to elect alternate delegates because of conflicts that occur, even at the last minute. We would hope that the practice of electing alternates would continue.
We believe that this proposal promotes engaging volunteers substantively and directly, and speaks to the true partnership of the National Board and councils.
The National Board is proud to support this proposal as it focuses on strengthening the governance processes of our Movement.
Timing of National Council Materials
Would the national organization, in turn, provide communications and resources earlier if the proposal is adopted?
- Earlier communications requesting submission of proposal topics from council boards of directors;
- Earlier and ongoing dialogue with councils and delegates about agenda development for the next session;
- Earlier placement of proposals on the agenda by the National Board,
- Earlier communication regarding the items for vote as placed on the agenda by the National Board;
- Earlier communication of resources to support delegate training.
The proposed amendment makes no provision for adjustment of the delegate count if there is an increase in the number of girls under its jurisdiction. With on-going consolidation of councils, a provision that allows for adjustments to be made seems appropriate.
a) Two (2) delegates
b) One (1) additional delegate for up to 3,500 girls;
c) One (1) additional delegate for up to 3,500 girls thereafter.
USA Girl Scouts collectively shall be entitled to the number of delegates according to the same formula prescribed for local councils. The prescribed figure of 3,500 girls may be adjusted when necessary to keep the total membership of the National Council no larger than 1,500.
GSCSA’s Council-Specific Information for Proposal Three: TIMING FOR THE ELECTION OF NATIONAL COUNCIL DELEGATES IN COUNCILS