YWCA Reorganization Focuses on Local Chapters
After announcing a new CEO last month, YWCA USA is redesigning its governance structure to create a more constructive relationship between the national office and its 250 local affiliates.
In search of better national-chapter relations, the YWCA USA is changing course with new leadership and proposed changes to its governance structure.
The organization, which includes almost 250 affiliate associations at the local level, announced a new CEO last month, the first permanent CEO in more than two years, The Nonprofit Times reported. YWCA USA general membership will vote on governance changes at the end of November.
These changes come after several years of running an operating deficit at the national office and two century-old local YWCA closings.
“Many of our local associations are doing well, but not all, and some regions are doing better than others,” Debra Stock, immediate past chair of the national board, told The NonProfit Times. “The new structure will allow not only for standardization of policies and procedures but will make available additional expertise for local associations to access through the national office.”
The proposed restructuring includes downsizing YWCA USA’s board size: The new board would include 15 to 25 members, down from 12 to 30. Each of its nine regional directors would become part of the national leadership, and a new dues structure would send member payments to the national office rather than regional chapters. Plans will not be solidified until after the November vote, however.
YWCA USA’s new CEO, Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., formerly CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Greater New York, is aware that she is joining the organization at an important juncture.
“I’m highly sensitive to how critically important it is for both local associations and national to be respectful of the value that each brings to the organization,” she said.