“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” – Mother Teresa
President’s Message, April 2018 – As a Board we have faced many tough challenges and decisions. The last Board Meeting was no different, but the enthusiasm we had following the meeting was wonderful and has kept us focused.
I am very proud of our Board Members. We started the meeting as a team reviewing concerns from Regional Directors and worked on solutions connected to Quota’s Strategic Plan Goals; building resources to support our mission, establishing Quota as a leading advocate, and engaging dynamic resources for signature programs.
In my message, you’ll learn more about how we are working to grow Quota. I am excited about the energy and direction. I hope you will see how committed we are to supporting the wonderful work you are doing to change lives around the world. You’ll find answers to the following questions:
- What major concerns were addressed at the Board Meeting?
- What is the state of our membership?
- What is being done for Development and Growth?
- What will be new at Regional Meetings this year?
- What is new with the Awards Program in 2018?
- What are this year’s World Service Hand in Hand Projects?
- Who are the candidates for the 2018-2020 International Board?
- What if a leader can’t travel, could he or she still run for an International Board position?
- Why is Quota International’s fiscal year changing and when was this decided?
- Where can I find Quota’s Bylaws, Rules of Procedure, and Regional Guidelines?
What major concerns were addressed at the Board Meeting? The top concerns from the membership were the financials, the change to Regions, and communication challenges. Each concern was approached from “if we can fix it, we will,” our mantra from last year’s Regional Meetings.
The financials continue to be restructured, reconciled, and reviewed for both Quota International and the We Share Foundation to correct concerns expressed by international board members over the years. The financial reports are now 100% transparent, 100% accrual based, and 100% program focused. For transparency, the Chart of Accounts has been set up identically for both corporations with categories that are easy to understand.
All income and expenses have been switched to 100% accrual basis. When income applies to future months, such as annual members dues and new members, it is being calculated and entered monthly. Convention registrations received in the year before convention are entered as deferred income until the Convention year. Expenses that cover more than one month are allocated to each month (this includes insurances, IT, and taxes).
Journal entries are made to record all We Share Foundation donations that are sent to Quota International (for example Hand in Hand, Teddy Bear, and Benefactor donations). Profit and Loss statements are being created for the three main programs of Quota International and the We Share Foundation. Administrative expenses are calculated off of payroll allocations and charged to each program:
Programs by Corporation
Leadership and Training, Development and Growth, and Convention.
We Share Foundation:
Volunteers in Action, Think Global Act Local, and World Service Hand in Hand.
The Board received and reviewed copies of financial reports for Quota International and We Share Foundation. Fiscal Year 2018 budgets were approved for both corporations. Annual income is decreasing from loss of members and donations. Costs were reviewed and have been cut wherever possible. Staffing expenses are dropping with only six staff members where there used to be eight and more efficient procedures have been adopted.
The ongoing challenge is with the We Share Foundation – 100% all donations are designated for programs. The Board has identified this as an urgent concern. Much of the Board Meeting was focused on alternate ways to bring in new income to cover the Foundation’s expenses and also expand Quota’s programming.
Financials for both Quota International and We Share Foundation were filed by the IRS deadline in March.
Profit and Loss Statements:
What is the state of our membership? With the updates from the Asia Pacific clubs dues cycle through October 31st, 2017, there are 244 clubs in 14 countries with 4,963 members. This is a constantly changing number with two different dues cycles and new members joining. These reports are on the website (Membership Reports) and will be updated again once we have heard from all Asia Pacific clubs. NOTE: After the Atlantic clubs dues cycle is finalized they will be updated again – another reason for streamlining the fiscal years – to provide more reliable reports.
In the past year, Quota welcomed 7 new clubs with 58 new members. New memberships have averaged 406 each year over the past three years, a total of 1,218. During the first quarter of 2017, new membership showed stronger growth. However, it slowed during the 2nd and 3rd quarters (April – September), but regained momentum in November and December 2017.
- NOTE: New Membership forms are due at the Brisbane or Washington, DC office the last day of the month. They can also be completed online (Membership Forms).
Leadership conference calls (Club President’s calls and Ready to Grow calls) were expected to boost development and growth – connecting leaders and sharing ideas to attract and retain members. Even though these calls do not appear to be boosting membership, they are valuable and will continue. The Board and Staff are looking into other development and growth initiatives. Guidebooks are being developed to help answer questions and share ideas. A new rewards program is also being launched. Details about the Quota Club Rewards Program are explained later in this message.
What is being done for Development and Growth? We talked about our financial position and proposals to grow donations, membership, and service. Better communications and training programs were noted as the most important areas of focus for 2018. Last year, over 60 free conference calls hosted by staff and board members did help with improving communications and connections among Quotarians. Members, Board Members, and Staff Members all reported benefits from these calls:
- Free monthly Club President’s/Regional Director’s Leadership Calls
- Free Ready to Grow Coaching Calls
- Free new leadership resources on the website
I encourage you to sign up for these leadership calls. The topics change every month and give you a chance to share ideas and ask questions of other leaders and the office. Notes from the call last month were distributed to all who participated. Click here for a summary of March’s All Leadership call. To register for the next call, click here.
- NOTE: Double check the times. Some call times have changed. Daylight Savings time started in the Northern Hemisphere the first weekend of March (Spring forward) and Ended in the Southern Hemisphere the first weekend of April.
Discussions during the calls have helped the Staff and Board to learn what training would be helpful for incoming leaders. This prompted the Board to explore Quota’s practices with succession planning discussion during the Board Meeting. All agreed that succession planning is one of our weaker areas. A stronger mentoring program and succession plan needs to be developed for all leadership positions this year – Club Presidents, Regional Directors, Board and staff.
With this new leadership structure, 24 new leaders will be elected between April and July: 21 Regional Directors and 3 International Board Members. Only two Board Members will be returning, the President Elect will become the President, and one of the Vice Presidents will be elected to the President Elect position. Succession planning will help shorten the learning curve and keep the focus on strategic goals during this transition period.
Succession planning has been a focus for the office staff during the past year. Procedural binders have been created for each of their positions. Staffing has been restructured to form a Membership Team to support all members. This has allowed for Alison to take on new responsibilities and focus on Strategic Development for Quota Leaders. Her first projects are to create a New Member Guidebook and Regional Directors Guidebook. Regional Directors are already providing helpful information that is being included in these Guidebooks. It is encouraging to see the real-time tips and examples that will help other leaders feel supported and connected. These Guidebooks will be printable from the website or available for purchase.
What will be new at Regional Meetings this year? Regional Directors have asked International Reps to bring excitement to their meetings. The Board has worked together to create two 20 minute presentations that allow for 10 minutes of Q & A. The presentations are Finances, Facts, and Figures, and Fun and Future.
You’ll also learn about an exciting new program – the Quota Club Rewards Program. This program was created from a request by a Past International President, “Is there anything you can do to get the matching grants back? It would make a big difference.” Club Presidents and Regional Directors also agreed during leadership calls. After considering the pros and cons of the Quota Club Rewards proposal, the Board has approved bringing back matching grants in a sustainable program.
The Quota Club Rewards Program is for clubs of any size. Qualifying criteria includes:
- Membership Increase
- Regional Meeting Attendance
- Community Giving
- Founder, Benefactor, and Hand in Hand Giving
- Awards Submissions (see Award Forms)
Clubs who qualify will receive a certificate and a matching grant ($100-$1,000) for Bronze Star, Silver Star, Gold Star, and Super Star Club levels. The deadline to qualify for the Quota Club Rewards Program is June 30th, 2018. See the website under Leader Resources for official rules and guidelines (Quota Club Reward Program).
What is new with the Awards program in 2018? The Awards Submission forms have been simplified – only 6 questions, that can be completed in as little as 5 minutes. We heard you when you said how complicated last year’s reports were and we fixed it. This simple form is the same for all the awards: 5K / 10K Giving, International Photo Contest, and Quota Cares Month. The Volunteer of the Year is also an easy application.
- NOTE: June 30th, 2018 is the deadline for all Award Submissions.
The Board also voted on adding Signature Service Projects to the International Awards program. Top service projects will be selected from club submissions in these areas:
• Buckets of Love • Cops N Kids/QuoCKa Literacy • JQ Leadership
• Scholarships and Grants • Sound Beginnings • International World Service
• Other – significant to your club (Quota Cares Teddy Bears, Bears and Badges,
Listen Up Turn It Down, Signing Santa, etc.)
What are the World Service Hand in Hand Projects for 2018? Leaders of the World Service Hand in Hand Projects have been contacted for updates to their project information and distribution of grant donations. FY2017 grants have been wired to 14 of the projects we have heard from. Click here for more information about their Hand in Hand projects which can also be found on www.teamquota.org.
The Hand in Hand Annual Report is being created that will include photos and detailed descriptions of the projects, what each grant funded, who was helped, and the names and amounts given by each donor; 120 clubs and regions from Aruba, Australia, Canada, the Philippines, Suriname, New Zealand, and the United States and three non-members.
Thank you for your HIH donations. Your Quota Clubs made these grants possible.
Information about the World Service Hand in Hand projects are on the website under Leader Resources (World Service Program). These projects fall under three categories: Educational Development, Health and Well Being, and Workforce Development. At fundraising and community events, clubs may show Hand in Hand videos promoting Quota’s World Service (‘You Needed Me’ and Quota Home of New Delhi).
- NOTE: Three projects are no longer active – Kolkata and Southwest Cebu are no longer HIH projects and Ba is regrouping and not in HIH again this year.
- NOTE: The Board is also working through details with India projects and will have an update for you on the India projects.
Who are our candidates for the 2018-2020 International Board? The candidates for the International Board are on the website at the top of the Leader Resources page. They have answered questions about their skills, experience, goals, and excitement. To get to know them better, each has recorded a 3-minute video. For those who are hard of hearing, closed captioning has been added to their videos.
- Vice President LuAnne Bonanno from the United States, Region 7
- Vice President Shelly Brown from Australia, Region 13
- Vice President Carol Patin from the United States, Region 9
- Regional Director Elinor Adler – Plantation, Florida, United States, Region 8
- Regional Director Brenda Cherry – Wooster, Ohio, United States, Region 2
- Past Regional Director Luz Marina Gonzalez – Aruba, Region 10
- Regional Director Jan Rhodes – Papakura, Auckland, New Zealand, Region 21
- NOTE FOR ELECTIONS: Paper ballots for the candidates will be mailed to all voting delegates on Friday, April 13th. ALL BALLOTS MUST be returned BY MAIL postmarked no later than June 1st (to Washington, DC or Brisbane office) to be counted at convention. NO voting in-person for board nominees will happen at convention. This Bylaw change was to comply with incorporation laws in Washington, DC – approved by delegates at the 2016 Convention in Brisbane.
What if a leader can’t travel, could he or she still run for International Office? With the advancement of technology, the Board seriously considered this request. Although, Washington, DC, Laws allow for Board meetings and other meetings to be conducted using videoconferencing, teleconferencing, or any other similar telecommunications device, all persons participating in the meeting must be able to hear each other or communicate effectively simultaneously.
Because Board Meetings span several days and candidates come from different time zones, simultaneous interaction for 10 hours each day would be difficult using technology in different time zones. Below is a copy of the Bylaw that was approved by delegates at the 2016 International Convention.
Excerpt from Quota International Bylaws – 2016 Convention Version
Article VIII: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 3. Meetings
A. The board of directors shall meet at least two times a year.
B. The board of directors may conduct the board and other meetings using videoconferencing, teleconferencing, or any other similar telecommunications device which allows all persons participating in the meeting to hear each other or communicate effectively simultaneously.
C. Other meetings may be held at the call of the president.
Why is Quota International’s fiscal year changing and when was this decided? There were several reasons behind changing the fiscal year (FY). The main reasons are to be in compliance with regulations for incorporations while also streamlining Quota’s operations for more effort to be on development and growth.
In 2013, a fiscal year audit showed that Quota International and We Share Foundation had 27 different annual financial deadlines and events. This makes it difficult for administration and accounting. US clubs are operating with 10 different fiscal years. It is difficult to remind them to complete their yearly filing requirements to maintain their non-profit status. Streamlining the fiscal years will make a difference for all Quota Clubs.
Following legal advice, an amendment to move the fiscal year dates from the Bylaws to the Rules of Procedure (governed by the Board) was presented to voting delegates in 2014. This amendment was voted on and passed by delegates at the 2014 Cincinnati Convention. The change to this Bylaw permitted the Board to make the decision for when the best time was to realign the fiscal year. The calendar year had been seriously considered, but was later determined that it would not be a good option. Since Australians and New Zealanders go on Summer Holiday in December/January, they would not be able to meet their requirements of holding an Annual General Meeting/AGM within six weeks of the close of their club year, since it would fall during their Holiday Recess.
Our accountant recommended changing the FY to align with the government calendar since it also matches the Asia Pacific Dues cycle – one of the 27 current fiscal year deadlines. It was not until September 2017 that our accountant determined we would be ready to make the change. Following this guidance, the Board voted on the new dates of October 1st thru September 30th.
This change to the fiscal year will begin September 2018. The change has prompted more than a dozen questions from club leaders. With the filing of the financials behind us, answers to these questions and steps for how to work through the changes for your club are being outlined. These steps will also be available for you at your Regional Meeting. Clubs on the Atlantic side (Canada, Netherlands, Caribbean, South America, and United States) paid a prorated portion of dues (Jan – Sep) this year in preparation for the change. This change was a bit more complicated than we understood it would be. We will work with you to help your club make this transition.
Where can I find Quota’s Bylaws, Rules of Procedure, and Regional Guidelines? All governance documents including Bylaws with amendments approved by members at the 2016 Convention are on the website under Leader Resources. Updated (International Governance Documents) copies of Rules of Procedure and Regional Guidelines from the December 2017 Board Meeting are on the website.
We have heard from you with the concerns about so many changes. The reason these changes are happening is to build Quota International. Your input helps let us know the areas that still need improvement.
With growth comes growing pains. Thank you for you patience as we’ve been working through these pains. These are challenging times for us all including the Board and our small staff. They are doing a great service for us all. We cannot thank them enough.
As my term as president is coming to a close, I have a stronger appreciation for Quota and everything that we do to help women and children and the deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired and how much Quota is needed. You inspire me every day.
Your fellow Quotarian,
International President 2016-2018