Northern California Spelmanslag Board Guidelines for Discussions and Decisions,
Especially Using Email
Purpose of these Guidelines:
These guidelines have one purpose:
All board members should have the opportunity to discuss any ideas presented to the board and vote on every proposal. Because face-to-face meetings are infrequent, email will provide "virtual" board meeting for discussion and voting in between face-to-face meetings. The same basic rules of conduct apply to both face-to-face and virtual meetings.
Accommodation will be made for board members who do not have access to email on an individual basis. In general, however, board members who do not have email can provide their ideas and votes in writing or verbally to any member of the board who will either transcribe or summarize onto email.
General points about email.
Use a descriptive subject line. Make it as specific to the particular topic you want discussed as you can, but precede it with "NCS" to help those who get tons of email distinguish board-related messages easily. So, e.g., the subject line on the message to discuss these guidelines would look like this: "NCS: email guidelines"
State up front what response you are asking for and when you need it by (be reasonable). For example, are you putting forth an idea for discussion or asking the board to make a decision about something.
Some standard vocabulary will help avoid confusion:
Idea For Discussion. Label your message this way for general topics, soliciting ideas, etc. Use this when you either aren't ready to ask for a decision or the topic is something that you won't need board approval for but you want board members' input. Anyone, board members and non-board members alike, can ask for discussion of an idea. Anyone with input on the topic can and should respond.
Proposal: a formal request that the board agree to something, such as to sponsor an event or establish a policy.
The Basic Process.
If you have an Idea for Discussion:
If you want to make a proposal, get it discussed as an idea first. Then make the proposal:
More General Points.
Including non-board members in discussions. If someone not on the board wants to present an idea for discussion or a proposal, they can do so following the same rules as above. If they're on email, they should be copied on all messages pertaining to the topic except the call for vote and responses. They should be copied on the final message that gives the result.
We'll all assume that if a board member doesn't reply to something, it's because they don't have anything to say. We're all responsible for reading our email regularly and reasonably frequently. If you can't, e.g., if you're on vacation, it would be nice to let someone such as the president know.