Technology Initiative 2001

Pledge Form


What's this about?
A demonstration of member concern for the importance of upgrading the ways that the Association uses technology to communicate with the branch and state organizations and individual members.
How did this start?
An individual member hatched this idea. It did not come from the Association staff or leadership. It has not been presented to the Board. It has been supported by the member's branch board.
So is this just about upgrades to the Association infrastructure?
Yes, that is the initial vision. Certainly upgrades to the Association infrastructure and practices will not have their full effect if the technology use of the branches and members lags behind. However, the systems at the Association affect us all, and until they are working smoothly, we won't be able to achieve maximum efficiencies at the local level. The new 21st Century Branch program will hopefully be a catalyst for changes in the branches.
Why is this issue being raised now?
How long have you been hearing frustrations about getting accurate membership information and other data from the Association? The member who started this had been having discussions with Association representatives since the 1999 Convention and nothing had appeared to change. She's taking advantage of the 2001 Convention to give the issue some visibility and make sure we're not in the same place in 2003. She has collected sample comments, both frustrations and ideas that have been brought up during this conversation.
What are members being asked to do?
Think about this issue and how they can help. Consider if they wish to join a mailing list that will discuss technology related issues after Convention. Write down the reasons that this is important to them. Inform the Association if they have significant resources (e.g. money or professional expertise) that they would be willing to donate to an Association directed project.
Why isn't this a "pledge drive" in a traditional sense?
It started that way, but discussions with Sandy Bernard and Jackie Woods (who were both very generous with their time during the hectic last week before Convention) changed the focus somewhat. The idea was not described in a way that made sense to the average member, so it became apparent that taking it to Convention as a pledge drive for contributions would cause significant confusion. Jackie has a vision of what needs to change at the Association, and she has already started an IT needs assessment. She does not see a need at this time for an infusion of funds for Technology in particular. So there will be forms at Convention for people to "pledge concern" and provide specifics of how they could help -- online forms will appear here based on discussions in Austin.
What if I still have no idea what you're talking about?
Don't worry about it. There is no motion on the table, no Association fund drive planned, and no issue that needs immediate action. Some members will "get" this instantly -- depend on them to represent your interests while you concentrate on the AAUW priorities that are of concern to you. If the Association does need your help here, marketing and development professionals will craft a message that you will understand.
What happened in Austin?
About 40 members from about 20 states completed forms pledging their concern. About half of them wanted to continue the discussion after Convention.
How can I help?
Fill out the Pledge Form. If that doesn't seem to "fit" your concerns, send a note to shoemaker@acm.org with your comments or join the Webmgrs list to contribute to the discussion (see below).
How else can I help?
Send this URL (http://www.mindspring.com/~it2001/) to your friends who have expressed concerns about getting accurate membership lists or other data to or from the Association.
More information
Letter to the AAUW leaders, 6-Jun-01
Comments from those who have pledged

The pledge campaign data was forwarded to Pam Furneaux at the Association on 25-Sep-01 (sorry for the delay), and she has agreed to send periodic updates to those who said they wanted to get e-mail on this subject. Sept 26 update

March 17, 2002 update
September 30, 2002 update

Technology discussions are continuing on the WebMgrs list. To subscribe, send the message
SUBSCRIBE WEBMGRS Firstname Lastname
to "listserv@elists.aauw.org".

For more information on other technology discussions stemming from the 2001 Convention, see
http://www.acm.org/~shoemaker/nes/2001AAUWConvention/
 

Nancy Shoemaker
7009 Jeffrey Dr.
Raleigh, NC 27603
shoemaker@acm.org

Last updated: 03-Oct-2002