President Karen Murphy
27 February 2015
Dear fellow Quotarians,
Our Quota International board met in Washington DC last week for 3 solid days of planning for Quota’s future – it may have been freezing outside, however the inside was full of Quota warmth and goodwill, which quickly turned to excitement as we examined reports of where we have come from, and proposed plans to take us forward.
To this end, please mark your calendars for the first Regional Meetings where much of our deliberations will be unveiled. If you cannot attend your own regional meeting, rest assured of a warm Quota welcome in the region next door, or across the country. There are some innovative sessions being organised!
Board Meeting in Washington
This was the first board meeting held within the Quota office, with members being housed at a hotel nearby. We certainly understand the logistics of why we had not previously held meetings at the offices (limited space permitting), and we believe that this meeting was positive for both the board and the staff, with valuable interaction occurring. It was a treat to meet whilst the snow fell throughout the day outside our windows, but was not so wonderful having to traverse the path back to the hotel afterwards! Due to this, we continued meetings of a night within the confines of the hotel complex. Having this board meeting at the office saved $350 each day in room-hire costs.
With this 2014-2015 year heralding the first of the new structure, and a new board with 3 out of 5 members being new, I believed it was imperative to “get up-and-running” earlier than usual, thus we held our first board meeting in November, and the second in February. This concentrated approach has paid dividends with brainstorming of ideas, and a renewed strength of purpose emanating. We would recommend this timetable (5 board meetings every 2 years) to continue for Quota’s benefit.
Our financials (post-Convention) were presented, and members will be pleased to note that they are “in the black” for the year ending 2014. At this time, our Treasurer has received financials until end-December 2014.
The IRS review of 2010 WeShare Foundation books is believed to be satisfied, however this will not be final until the report is signed off. This is expected by end-March.
The Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) has increased by 1.7%, and this was presented to the board. It is a decision of the board as to whether or not to pass this increase along to our members for the next dues year. With pleasure, I announce that there will be NO DUES INCREASE for the 2016 year. We do anticipate that members will be pleased with this decision.
The 2014 Quotarian magazine was published on-line and then posted to all members later in 2014. It is with pleasure that I announce that the 2015 Quotarian magazine is at the printers as we speak, so members can look forward to receiving this very soon. We appreciate the positive feedback from most members to the new-look format, and love the fact that many members recognise the “story” which was part of that first issue. The second issue has a very different focus – with a strong story-line of empowering women – which is just perfect as we move towards this very important time of year when we recognise and celebrate International Women’s Day around the world.
Bylaws and Policies
Our taskforce on the Bylaws reported their work-to-date, and are continuing to fine-tune work in response to legal advice – “watch this space” as time progresses.
After legal counsel, there will be a Policy set in place that covers volunteering with Juniors. No matter what, please note that at all times we should ensure that there is never a 1-on-1 situation occurring, whether it is at a function or event, or in getting the students to the function/event.
United States IRS Filings
Of concern, is that there are a number of clubs in USA who have missed IRS filings, or have had their IRS status revoked. Some clubs have not realised that they have 2 separate entities to file, many have their filings at different times of the year, and sometimes it has all got just too hard. The International Representatives who will attend the USA Regional Meetings will be meeting with a representative of each club at that meeting – either your club’s “Documentation Officer”, the Club President or Club representative. It is imperative that we get this sorted out for each and every club.
Volunteer Protection Act
Quota International is proud to have joined with other service clubs to support the Volunteer Protection Act Legislation being presented by Lions Club International currently. We hope this comes to the resolution to give much greater insurance protection to our USA clubs in the future.
Membership Recruitment Tools
The new membership video is ready, and as soon as approval from participants is received, this will be shared with all clubs – it is a wonderful tool to showcase just who we are as Quotarians!
There is also a new membership brochure which will be coming soon, and this will be “country specific” – it will be unique to the country of your club, with country-specific photos and service being highlighted mainly.
New Website and Communities
Our website is undergoing a major overhaul, and many new features are in the process of being tested – interactive communities gave us the biggest buzz at the board room table!
Our communications are continuing to expand with the Website, our Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest showcasing Quota’s work. The Pinterest link is the most clicked through Quota communication link.
Our board considered the extensive feedback received from interested members following the November decision to hold our 2018 Convention in Washington DC. Feedback was quite evenly weighted between those who preferred Buffalo as a site, and those who preferred Washington DC, with a few who sent in letters of concern that they were “caught in the middle” of this process. Our board considered all feedback, looked again at the original criteria for the decision, looked again at more extensive research, and have upheld the original decision – the 2018 Convention will be held in Washington DC. We acknowledge that there will be some members who were hoping otherwise, and hope that they will be open to understanding that due process has again been followed, and a decision taken that we believe is best for Quotarians from around the whole world. We value all input, and will hope to receive input in the near future when the new Centennial Committee is announced. This committee will look at possible centennial opportunities within the broader Quota.
Speaking of Committees, it is my pleasure to announce that we are also forming a Budget and Finance Committee (Chaired by President-elect/Treasurer Marie, with qualified members as her team), an Awards Committee (to judge Quota Cares Month entries), and a Young Professionals Committee (to create ideas and solutions attracting and engaging young professional as Quotarians, and building a strong contingent as members. This committee will explore ways to get young professionals involved and examine ways Quota can tailor programs and projects to engage the changing face of volunteerism).
The purpose of these committees is to strengthen the organisation and to provide ideas. Our aim is to create committees where there is a need, where there is expertise, and where we can empower our members by inclusion…all leading to a stronger Quota for the future!
Quota International has formed a partnership with the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) – yes, this is an American Museum, but is “Step 1” in partnerships. Once this is cemented, watch for other partnerships of a similar nature in other countries where Quota is active.
Hand-in-Hand World Service Projects
Our board considered applications for the new one-year term for Hand-in-Hand projects, commencing 1st May 2015. It is our pleasure to approve 23 projects – all working in the field of assisting the deaf and hard-of-hearing or empowering women and children. These signature Quota projects are of exceptional standard!
World Service Ambassador Program
Members are reminded of the International President’s Fund – we are offering to partner with individual clubs to provide $350 prize money for each club which starts the World Service Ambassador Program this year, whilst funds last. This is our way of “giving back” to our clubs, and we hope the uptake of this will be high. Please contact the office if you would like to participate, or board members for information.
In an effort to solicit outside funders for our programs, the first online fund raising campaign “Breaking Poverty” was launched through Crowdrise with 100% of the proceeds going to the Hand-in-Hand projects. The majority of donations were from Quota clubs, however at this time we have also sourced one donation from a former member, which is a start.
Five Areas of Focus
All Hand-in-Hand programs fit under a holistic approach of Five Areas of Focus:
- Advocate to Empower Women
- Ensure Child Development
- Fund Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Resources
- Inspire Future Leaders
- Develop World Service
Highlighting this holistic approach will go a long way towards attracting new partners, members and donors.
Awards and Recognition
Nominations for the Volunteer of the Year have started to come in – these nominations, and all award entries for Quota Cares Month, International Photography Competition, 5K and 10K Awards are due by 30th April – you’ve got to be in it to win it!
I’ve left the really exciting news until last!
New Club Formation
We are in the middle of witnessing community expansion – creating a model for growth of Quota throughout our big cities – Quota International of Greater Washington is in the process of being organised! Already there is considerable local interest, partnership feedback and sponsors eager to get on-board. More details at the upcoming Regional Meetings – you need to be there to hear all about it!
Members – I am truly excited by the strength of Quota going forward, by the possibilities that exist, and by the attitude of your board of directors – they are determined to seize the opportunities, to provide the depth of expertise that they have, and to totally support our wonderful staff! Quota is heading in the right direction, and we are doing it TOGETHER!
Yours in Quota service,
2014-2016 International President
Previous President’s Message
World Service Ambassador of the Year Program
Special thanks to the following donors:
QI of Beaudesert
QI of Beenleigh
QI of Gold Coast
QI of Ipswich
QI of Orange
QI of Whitsunday