Letter from the Director of Operations






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April 23, 2012

Dear WILPF members,

With this letter we are launching the semi-annual Director of Operations letter to members with news about activities at National Office, membership, and any other non-programmatic information we think would be of interest to you.

As you hopefully have heard by now, WILPF has recently instituted a new dues policy.  Instead of specific membership levels, we are now using a sliding scale of $15.00 to $150.00.  We want to make sure membership in WILPF is as accessible as possible to everyone regardless of socio-economic lines. We also believe that people should have some say in how much they value a resource and therefore how much they want to pay for it.

We set the bottom limit at $15.00 because this is the amount WILPF U.S. must pay to WILPF International per member. Every dollar contributed above that amount supports the publication of Peace & Freedom, our monthly E-newsletter, and the important work of our Branches and National Issue Committees for total disarmament and peace throughout the world.

In addition, for each new or renewing member who pays dues or pledges monthly in a calendar year, branches receive a $2.00 rebate per person. In this way we hope to support the vital grass-roots work of our branches at the local level.   The rebate checks for renewals and new members in calendar year 2011 were just sent to branches.  I am delighted to recognize the following branches that did an amazing job at member retention in 2011:  Santa Cruz with 70 renewing or new members, Los Angeles with 71 and, with the highest active membership in 2011, Des Moines with 91 renewing or new members. In addition, I would like to recognize the newly re-invigorated Toledo group.   Thanks to vigorous leadership by Cynthia Ingham, this formerly dormant group grew to 9 active members in 2011!   Congratulations women!  Job well done.  We are extremely grateful for your commitment to the vitality of WILPF both on the branch and national level.  

Our total membership numbers for 2011 include 944 dues or pledge paying members plus 382 Life Members for a total of 1326 members nationwide.  This includes members in 57 branches as well as At-Large members.  These numbers are far lower than we would like and so the National Office is spearheading a Membership Drive this spring.  It is timed to coincide with WILPF’s birthday (April 28) and Mother’s Day (May 13).  We will be doing both a postcard mailing and an e-appeal to our mailing list encouraging members to renew and to buy gift memberships for all the important women in their lives. Note that individual dues renewal dates for Members will be included on the address labels of this postcard. Please support these efforts and help Grow WILPF!

It hardly seems possible that it was almost a year ago that we met in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for the WILPF National Congress ably and graciously hosted by the Triangle Branch.  Yet it is already time to begin planning for the next one, scheduled for 2014.  In order to begin that process and understand how a meeting of the membership can best be conducted, we have constructed a survey.  We would very much appreciate you taking the time to complete it and let us know what format would work best for you.  The survey can be found at the following link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WILPF_NCPS.  This survey was also published in the Spring 2012 Peace & Freedom, so if you already completed it there, there is no need to complete the online version.

Lastly, as you know, I am soon leaving the staff of WILPF.  The Personnel Committee of WILPF is in the process of finalizing a contract with my replacement and expects that she will begin work as the new Director of Operations on May 21. In the interim, please send any urgent requests for assistance to do@wilpf.org or call the national office at 617-266-0999. During this transition period, a crew of volunteers and interns will be maintaining WILPF's membership infrastructure so that any interruptions to our ongoing operations will be kept to a minimum.

It’s bittersweet for me that my first Director of Operations letter to you is also my last.  You are receiving this email at the beginning of what will be my last week at WILPF. I've learned an enormous amount in this job and feel that I have accomplished a great deal as well.  It has been a very challenging two years, but meeting that challenge has been enormously satisfying.  I want to thank you all for the opportunity to be part of WILPF, and for all the support and friendship you have given me during these two years.   WILPF is a vibrant community with a unique and important voice in the world.  I look forward to continuing to support your work from afar.

With best wishes,

Laurie R. Belton

Director of Operations


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