Membership Response to Recent Survey By Gloria Yost
AAUW Sacramento branch leaders put out a plea to members for help in dealing with a leadership gap and just under one fourth (42) of our membership responded with their ideas. In addition, these questions were discussed by the 35 members who participated in a robust exchange of ideas about the future of AAUW Sacramento. Below is a summary of responses.
We are members because:
We enjoy the friendship of other educated women and support AAUW’s mission. We enjoy our interest groups and want to continue promoting education by helping women and girls.
We can motivate participation in mission-based activities with:
We want improved communication and sharing within our branch and more opportunities for more gratifying personal interactions. Our interest groups are important to us and could also incorporate some mission-based activities. We’d like stronger interpersonal links with those we empower through our outreach efforts. We also think we need to do more to broadcast our accomplishments
Our reasons for serving, or not, on committees or as board leaders are:
We serve because we think it’s important and to share some responsibility for branch operations, and we like to be in the know and help with planning. We also appreciate learning new skills from fellow board members.
However, some of us have been there and done that, and though we might help on committees, we don’t want to be in charge. Time commitment, health issues and concern about technical proficiency are reasons for no participation. Some of us also find other organizations providing us with more focus and new input.
We do, or do not, participate in branch meetings and programs because:
Participation provides us an opportunity to keep up with the work of the branch and branch members, visit with friends and make new ones. We also get inspired by what we learn from women who are working to improve our community and the world.
Some of us don’t find program topics to be engaging. We want business and announcements to be as brief as possible. Transportation and meeting times are difficult for some and Zoom is not a welcome alternative. Zoom can also be hard for those with young children.
We want to keep participating in all of our outreach programs, but if that isn’t possible, eliminate NCCWSL. (National Conference of College Women Student Leaders)
Some of our ideas about other ways to change branch activities are:
Reduce the size of the board and streamline its activities to increase member willingness to serve. Embrace the fact that interest groups are a vital part of Sacramento Branch and the board should strengthen ties with them.
Eliminate some branch meetings and focus on doing the others well, perhaps getting out of a rut of doing the same thing again and again. Bring back WOW (Women of the World) or something similar, as we all need to be connected with the whole community. Do things more collaboratively with other groups and agencies to learn about problems and solutions.
“I’m so proud of all that we have done and will do to empower people to have better lives. These outreach programs make me feel like I’m part of the solution, especially as a retired person who no longer contributes in a paid position.”