The term "programming" refers to the activities and projects that your chapter conducts to serve and train its members, to improve the community around it and the chapter itself and to provide social activities for its membership. For a chapter to be effective it must know the direction in which it is headed; therefore, a master program plan for the entire year is essential to a strong chapter. When a chapter's goals are selected and major problems pinpointed, every project which it adopts should be viewed in relation to the goals established.
- a. Will the plan be diverse enough? Will it contain a variety of activities and projects so that most members can find areas of interest in accordance with their personal preferences?
- b. Will the program be flexible? Will it be planned in such a way that other projects can be added later when a need is seen, or that scheduled projects can be expanded to include additional factors?
- c. Will the program be scheduled realistically so that there are never so many projects at one time as to impose a critical hardship on the members or officers?
- d. Will the program provide sufficient social activities? Will it offer activities for both members and their families?
2. DETERMINING NEEDS.
Unless the program in some way serves a need, its activities and programs are meaningless. It is apparent, then, that the first step to good programming is the determination of the needs of the many "publics" which will be served.
- a. Chapter and membership needs. First, the membership. What are its needs? What are its interests? A good way of finding this out is through the preparation of a simple opinion questionnaire, which asks not only the type of activities in which members might participate but also the type of activities the membership believes the chapter should conduct to improve its community and the Association. Each chapter's own needs are most familiar to its membership. All chapters need good internal programs covering the recruitment of new members, orientation and activation.
- b. Survey community needs.
- c. Realize chapter and USAWOA needs.
3. SELECTION OF PROJECTS.
The best and most immediate source of projects is through its members' inventiveness and abilities. There are also other sources from which project ideas can be secured to adapt to a chapter.
- a. Projects that have been adopted in previous years. These should be carefully reviewed to see how successful they were and to see if they still fit into the master plan that has been devised.
- b. Individuals and organizations within the community.
- c. Attachment 7 is a list of items that may be used for chapter projects and fund raising programs. It is only a recommended list and is included as an additional tool which may be used in programming chapter activities.
- d. Chapters planning to conduct events on a government installation that could involve injuries to participating individuals should determine the liability insurance requirement from the Installation Commander for such activities to preclude a lawsuit against the government.
4. MEMBERSHIP SUPPORT.
- a. Chapter officers know that members support programs that are in accord with their thinking and are understandable to them. For this reason, at the start of the membership program, the goals of the chapter should be carefully explained to the general membership by means of a special report to them at a regular meeting and through periodical newsletters. Information on why members are needed, how their involvement will benefit the chapter and the Association and what is expected of the general membership should be clearly explained. Membership development is discussed further in Chapter VI.
- b. As mentioned in paragraph 1 of this chapter, every USAWOA Chapter must have its goals outlined on paper, but it isn't a paper organization. It is a "people" organization -- and people must be motivated, supervised and stimulated. They must be informed about what the chapter wants to do, and what it expects of them. It is in this area of working with people that chapter officers must prove themselves and their abilities.
The Standard Chapter Bylaws stipulates the standing committees that a chapter should establish and that the chapter president may form other committees. The President should thoroughly analyze the needs of the chapter, with the help of the BOD, and form those committees that will enhance the chapter participation of its members. It is extremely important that the executive council be, at all times, conversant with the activities of the chapter's committees. (See the USAWOA Web Site Attachment 5 for a recommended formulation of committees.)
- a. The committees, with close scrutiny and periodic appraisals, can be the greatest strength of a chapter. The most important criterion for the creation of committees is a real need for the activity. Whenever possible, the duties of a committee should be specifically stated.
- b. The selection of committee members is a key function. Some members of a chapter like to be on committees because it gives them prestige, or because they enjoy the social contact with colleagues, or because they hope to learn something that will be useful in their own work. In a chapter, which has serious problems to deal with, committee members who do not work effectively should be immediately relieved, and every effort should be made to appoint committee members who are competent and interested in the objectives to be obtained.
- c. How to maintain the active interest of the best people on chapter committees is a problem. The policies and actions of the chapter will reflect the capacity of the people who make its decisions. There are variations in the quality and competence of individual members. One of the chapter's jobs is to attract those members from all types of activity who promise to contribute the most.
- d. Among members specializing in one area or another, there is generally willingness among the best of them to be involved in committees dealing with those specialized areas. While exchanging information with each other, they are able to contribute to the entire membership.
- e. Among the junior members, the most promising are usually eager for recognition and opportunity to be acquainted with their seniors, and therefore, welcome appointment to the less glamorous committees such as membership, promotion and internal affairs of the organization.
- f. A group tax ruling received from IRS requires the Treasurer to file an annual financial report with USAWOA Headquarters prior to March 15th of each year.
- (1) Make sure there is a real need for the committee. Could the job have been delegated to a BOD member or settled at a general membership meeting?
- (2) The committee's assignment must be clearly understood. Insure the goals and duties of the committee have been satisfactorily explained to the chairperson and committee members.
- (3) The committee chairperson must be able to provide leadership and should possess initiative and the ability to preside over meetings and motivate people.
- (4) The selection of committee members must be made carefully. Only responsible and able members with an interest in the subject with which the committee is concerned should be selected.
6. COMMITTEE REPORTS.
- a. All standing and special committees should prepare reports (USAWOA Form 200-2 available at www.usawoa.org/downloads/USAWOA-Forms-List.htm and USAWOA Headquarters as an attachment to minutes and the other is retained in chapter files.
- b. The report should contain only that which was agreed upon by the majority of the committee members. The report may contain statements and opinions or they may be more involved, containing recommendations, motions and proposals.
- c. A committee should give its report at a general membership meeting, when called upon to do so by the presiding officer, at the time prescribed in the order of business.
- d. It is recommended that Robert's Rules of Order be referred to if additional information is desired on committees and reports. Every chapter should have a copy, as it will be used in several phases of chapter operations.
Every meeting should have an objective and each participant should know what it is. It may be to conduct routine business, to provide information, to make decisions, to look for ideas, or even to entertain. However, regular and/or general meetings should be held monthly. A helpful list of proven recommendations for conduct of successful meetings is shown at Attachment 3. Chapter officials and committee heads are encouraged to become familiar with and apply the recommendations provided.
- a. Prior to a meeting, a system should be affected to provide ample notification to all members and/or participants of the time, date, place and overall purpose.
- b. Methods of notification can be by:
- (1) Direct contact by telephone or visitation.
- (2) Notices in Daily Bulletins/Newspapers (see USAWOA Web Site).
- (3) Bulletin Boards.
- (4) Mail. (or electronic means)
- Chapters should not depend on members remembering from month to month that meetings are held on certain days.
- c. A meeting poorly prepared for will likely be conducted amid chaos. Depending on the type of meeting, the chapter president (or a representative) is responsible for lining up the facilities, publicity, participants, materials and agenda. The purpose of the agenda it to save time and keep the meeting on course and shouldn't be digressed from without sufficient reasons.
- d. Meetings should be conducted in the order of business prescribed in the Standard Chapter Bylaws and in accordance with rituals outlined in Robert's Rules of Order.
- e. Minutes shall be prepared by the Secretary after each meeting
8. CHAPTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING.
Because the Chapter BOD is so important to the success of the chapter operation, the President should hold regularly scheduled BOD meetings, preferably monthly and midway between the regular meetings for the entire membership. The Chapter BOD will normally consist of the Chapter President, Vice president, Secretary and Treasurer, plus any other positions the President feels are necessary to manage the Chapter. A majority of the BOD members should constitute a quorum at any meeting.
- a. Matters of importance to the chapter and the Association should be discussed and prepared for presentation to the general membership.
- Create the opportunity and atmosphere for a solid, meaningful exchange of ideas and convictions with your chapter officers, away from the telephone and interruptions of daily routine. Share your own conclusions with them and absorb what they have to say. These are the first tangible steps toward building an eventful year ahead.
- b. Plans for the general membership meeting should be made and a tentative agenda drawn up based on information they have gathered between meetings and from previous minutes.