This online resource is designed to help League leaders understand the relationship between their Junior League, the Association, the AJLI Board and the AJLI staff.
Embracing The Responsibility Of Governance
The Junior League is comprised of The Association of Junior Leagues International (alternatively the Association or AJLI) and the 291 individual Leagues throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the U.K.
Becoming a leader of The Junior League—either at the Association level or in your individual League—is an incredible opportunity to lend your voice and vision to the future of one of the most highly respected and storied institutions in the world. With it comes a tremendous responsibility to uphold the reputation and legacy of our organization–one that has trained some of the most inspiring and galvanizing civic leaders in history.
As a Junior League leader, you play two equally important roles in the Association:
As a steward of the Association, the big question on your mind should be: “What can I do, as my League's representative at the Association, to ensure the health, vitality and viability of The Junior League for future generations of civic leaders?"
In your role as steward of the Association, you will help govern AJLI. You are responsible for keeping up to date on all Association-wide matters throughout the year and, in turn, ensuring that your League members are informed about key issues in a timely manner. You will serve as the voice of your League by participating in discussions and selecting a voting delegate to vote on items of importance to the Association as outlined in the following sections.
As your League’s leader you will help ensure that your League members are aware of the information and services we provide, staff roles and responsibilities and how to access resources and tools. In this role, you would ask: "What can the Association do for me and my League?"
If you would like a quick refresher on our mission, vision and our commitment to diversity and inclusion, you can read those here.
Brand Identity & Voice
A key part of governing the Association is governing The Junior League brand. With Leagues spread across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the U.K., The Junior League brand serves as our common bond, reinforcing our heritage and the unique value we bring to society.
We have a tremendous responsibility to ensure that our extraordinary legacy of leadership–a precious cultural inheritance–thrives. It's a responsibility we don't take lightly, and one we cannot do without the foundation of a clear and consistent Junior League identity and voice.
Leagues have been given the right to use the brand to further our mission. In your role as steward of the Association, you also have the obligation to protect and defend The Junior League brand, and not allow it to become diluted or tarnished.
For more information, see the Brand Standards.
How AJLI Works
The Junior Leagues are responsible for electing the members of the Board and Governance Committee who in turn work with the Executive Director to set the strategic direction for the Association.
The Executive Director reports directly to the Board and has sole discretion, within the boundaries of policy governance, to direct the Association Staff.
Electing The Association's Board Of Directors
By electing the Association's Board of Directors, the Leagues give it the authority and responsibility to govern and manage the Association within the parameters of its Mission, Vision, Bylaws, Certificate of Incorporation, The Operational Policies Approved by the Junior Leagues and External Policies.
Participating In Association Leadership Meetings
Presidents and Presidents-Elect exercise their joint authority as stewards of the Association by preparing for and attending business meetings, staying apprised of Association issues and voting at Annual and Special Meetings of the Association, as well as participating in Governance Dialogues at these conferences.
The Association also solicits input and feedback from Presidents and Presidents-Elect via surveys, webinars, emails and telephone conference calls throughout the year.
The Board of Directors keeps Leagues informed by holding Governance Dialogues at Association meetings.
The Junior Leagues (pursuant to the AJLI Bylaws - Article III) are divided into six (6) geographical areas. Some areas hold their own area conferences or are involved in organizing regional conferences and trainings.
Having Your Voice Heard
Presidents and Presidents-Elect have the right and responsibility to communicate with fellow League leaders and the AJLI Board of Directors to share ideas, concerns or grievances related to the Association.
If you'd like to implement a change within the Association, you can propose one of the following at an Annual Conference or Special Meeting:
- An Advisory Resolution;
- An Amendment to the AJLI Bylaws;
- An Amendment to the Operational Policies Approved by the Junior Leagues; or
- An External Policy Resolution.
If you'd like to discuss a matter with the AJLI Board of Directors, you may do so by:
- Calling, emailing, faxing or meeting in person with any Board member;
- Contacting a Board member via the AJLI website; or
- Participating in Governance Dialogue's open mic session at an AJLI Conference.
If you'd like to speak with other League leaders, you may do so by:
- Participating in Area Conferences, Fly-Ins and Trainings managed by (Affinity) League Groups or Partners with a national or international reach.
- Networking at Association Conferences during Governance Dialogue, open Business Office hours and networking lunches; or
- Connecting with others on the AJLI website by asking a question, the JL Contact Directory or creating/joining a Groupshare page.
Policies, Bylaws & Resolutions
Overwhelmed? Can't remember the difference between a bylaw and a resolution? No problem! We've created a handy cheat sheet for you to download print, and fold up tiny enough to fit in your notebook, tuck in your purse, or share with your friends! Download it here.
Amending AJLI Core Documents
As stewards of the Association, the Junior Leagues have the joint authority to amend, through their voting delegate:
- The Association’s Mission
- The Association’s Vision
- The Association’s Certificate of Incorporation
- The Association’s Bylaws
- The Association’s Operational Policies
- The Association’s External Policies
Amend an AJLI Bylaw or Operational Policy
Any five (5) or more Junior Leagues may propose an amendment to an Association Bylaw or an operational policy with the approval of each proposing League’s Board of Directors or General Membership (as applicable, in accordance with each League’s bylaws). The AJLI Board of Directors can also propose amendments at the Annual Meeting or any Special Meeting of the Association.
The Junior Leagues must be notified of all amendments in writing no less than 30 and no more than 50 days before the meeting.
Bringing Forward an Amendment to the Bylaws or OPALs
If a League wishes to bring forward an amendment to the Bylaws or OPALs it must gain the support of at least four (4) other Leagues (five (5) Leagues total) and each Junior League must obtain majority approval of either its Board of Directors or its membership. Together they must then submit to the President and Secretary of the Association a written copy of the proposed amendment at least 60 days prior to the meeting at which action on such amendment is to be taken.
The following materials should be sent to the Association President and Secretary (in care of AJLI Headquarters) no later than 60 days prior to the Annual/Special Business Meeting at which they wish to make the proposal:
- List of all Leagues and contact information for each President/PE (or League members assigned as the contact person) proposing the Amendment(s) along with the topic of the Amendment(s).
- Copy of minutes from each League showing Board or membership approval to propose the Amendment(s).
- Written Amendment(s) and rationale(s) following the sample below. Note that new language is bold and underlined and language to be removed is left in place but struck through.
Propose an Advisory Resolution or Dialogue Topic
Any Junior League or the AJLI Board of Directors may propose an Advisory Resolution for consideration by the Junior Leagues at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Association. Submissions may be included with the official notice materials for the meeting or at the meeting according to submission deadlines published in the Meeting Rules.
Any Junior League, as well as the AJLI Board of Directors, also may propose a topic or issue for discussion at Association Governance Dialogue held at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Association. This would be done following the instructions and submission deadlines published in the Meeting Rules.
Communicating Your Needs, Ideas and Concerns
The AJLI Board of Directors encourages interested member League(s) to identify ideas, issues, and needs and to participate in the Association governing process.
Advisory Resolutions communicate areas of interest or concern regarding the Association by member Junior League(s) to the AJLI Board of Directors. These resolutions are advisory in nature and suggest possible action to the Board. If approved, the Board will direct the Executive Director or a Board Committee to facilitate action for the implementation of the Advisory Resolution.
Procedures for Advisory Resolutions
Advisory Resolutions are developed within the following framework:
- Advisory Resolutions may be brought to the Annual Meeting or a Special Meeting for consideration by a/some Junior League(s). Such resolutions shall be adopted by a majority vote cast by the member Leagues. They are referrals for study and are advisory. Advisory resolutions are not binding on the AJLI Board of Directors.
- Any Junior League wishing to present such a resolution at the Annual Meeting or Special Meeting under New Business must submit that resolution to the Governance Office per a time frame established in the Call to Conference.
- The President, Secretary and a third member of the AJLI Board of Directors (as determined by the President) shall function as a Rules Committee to offer guidance to Leagues wishing to present Advisory Resolutions, to establish, before the meeting, whether or not such resolutions are in order, and to determine the order in which such resolutions shall be brought to the floor.
- Advisory Resolutions will be considered under the appropriate agenda items.
- Once an Advisory Resolution is passed by the Leagues, the Board will review the suggestions brought forward in the Advisory Resolution at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board following the Annual or Special Meeting.
- The AJLI Board will then send a letter within five (5) days of the adjournment of the Board Meeting to the Junior Leagues indicating whether action will or will not be taken on the issues raised in the Advisory Resolution with an explanation for their decisions.
Guidelines for Writing An Advisory Resolution
A resolution is an original main motion introducing a substantive subject, which is put in resolution form because of its importance, length or complexity. The following suggestions have been prepared to simplify the process for you. The examples that follow illustrate the correct punctuation and a suggested format to use when writing resolutions.
A resolution may be presented in a single paragraph:
Resolved, That the AJLI Board discuss with the Junior Leagues the effect on women’s community leadership development of the changing roles of women in society.
If more than one proposal is presented on the same subject, additional paragraphs may be added:
Resolved, That the AJLI Board discuss with the Junior Leagues the effect on women’s community leadership development of the changing roles of women in society, and be it further
Resolved, That this discussion begin by the next Annual Conference.
If the reasons for the resolution(s) are given, they must be stated in the “Preamble.” The Preamble serves as the introduction to the resolution(s) and begins with the word “Whereas.” There are as many “Whereas” paragraphs as there are reasons for presenting the resolution(s). Use of the “Whereas” paragraph(s) enables the rationale for the resolution(s) to be presented concisely.
Whereas, the roles and opportunities available to women are changing rapidly; and Whereas, barriers to community leadership still exist for women; therefore, be it
Resolved, that the AJLI Board discuss with the Junior Leagues the effect on women’s community leadership development of the changing roles of women in society, and be it further resolved, that this discussion begin by the next Annual Conference.
Exercising a Collective Voice
The Junior Leagues may adopt External Policies, which are statements on a social or public policy issue that constitute an area of interest to the Junior Leagues. All External Policies must be compatible with the stated purposes of the Association and must be consistent with the Bylaws of the Association and with all applicable laws and regulations.
A Junior League, group of Junior Leagues, State Public Affairs Committees (SPACs), the Canadian Federation of Junior Leagues (CFJL), the AJLI Board of Directors, or any combination thereof, may develop and propose an External Policy. The submission process is managed by the AJLI Board of Directors, as detailed in the Operational Policies Approved by the Junior Leagues, which is available on the AJLI website.
Proposed External Policies are voted on at any Annual Meeting or a Special Meeting of the Association. In order for the proposal to be adopted, it must be approved by an 85% affirmative vote of the votes cast by the Junior Leagues. If adopted, any Junior League, group of Junior Leagues, State Public Affairs Committees (SPACs), the Canadian Federation of Junior Leagues (CFJL), the AJLI Board of Directors, or any combination thereof, may take action to pursue the outcomes of an AJLI External Policy. An 85% affirmative vote of the votes cast by the Junior Leagues is required to amend or rescind an approved External Policy.
It is highly recommended that any League or group considering proposing an External Policy Resolution review the External Policy Resolution Proposal Template as soon as possible.
Propose an External Policy
A Junior League, group of Junior Leagues, State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC), the Canadian Federation of Junior Leagues, the AJLI Board of Directors, or any combination of these may propose an External Policy Resolution for adoption by the Junior Leagues. The AJLI Board of Directors will determine submission deadlines, rules on length and formatting for all External Policy Resolutions.
Procedures for External Policy Resolutions
External Policy Resolutions are developed within the following framework:
- External Policy Resolutions may be proposed by a Junior League or groups as described above, at any time, and will be considered at an Annual or Special Meeting of the Association. Notification of the intent to propose an External Policy Resolution must be received via email by the AJLI President at AJLI Headquarters no less than 30 days prior to the submission of the proposed External Policy Resolution for review by the Board. The notification will identify the issue the proposed External Policy Resolution will address.
- The proposed External Policy Resolution, using the External Policy Resolution Proposal Template , must be submitted electronically to email@example.com for review.
- Within 45 days of receiving the External Policy Resolution, the AJLI Board of Directors will review the submission. Upon completion of the review, the AJLI Board of Directors will inform the proposer(s) whether or not the proposal meets the format and submission guidelines. If it does not, the Board will identify what additional information is required and the timeframe within which the proposer(s) will be expected to respond.
- Once the AJLI Board of Directors has determined that an External Policy Resolution meets the format and submission guidelines, it will inform the proposer(s) of the Annual or Special Meeting at which it will be considered.
- The AJLI Board of Directors is responsible for providing notice to the Junior Leagues of the pending External Policy Resolution.
- The proposer(s) are to be responsible for educating the Junior Leagues about the pending External Policy Resolution, including any communication with Leagues, organizing information sessions at the voting meetings, speaking at Association Governance Dialogue and voting meeting, and so forth. Any communication AJLI receives from Junior Leagues regarding the content and intent of the pending External Policy Resolution will be referred to the proposer(s).
- the Junior Leagues will then vote on the proposed External Policy at the specified Annual or Special Meeting. If adopted, Leagues and groups mentioned above may take action to pursue the outcomes of the new AJLI External Policy.
The Board of Directors
AJLI is governed by a Board of Directors, whose members also are members of the Junior Leagues in their communities. The Board is accountable to the Leagues for the development of goals that enhance their ability to fulfill The Junior League Mission.
The individual Leagues own, and are responsible for, the entire organization and delegate the governance of AJLI to the Board on their behalf through the Bylaws and Operational Policies Approved by the Junior Leagues.
The Board ensures that AJLI members (the Junior Leagues) are committed to the Mission and adhere to standards of excellent performance.
The Board in its turn is committed to following the principles of Policy Governance® as the means by which they exercise their responsibilities as stewards of the Association’s resources, ensuring a future-focused vision and the overall financial health of the Association.
The principles of Policy Governance® include:
- The concept of whole Board work;
- The establishment and maintenance of role clarity among the Board, Executive Director (ED) and Staff;
- The deliberate delegation of certain responsibilities for organizational achievement to the ED in the form of written policies; and
- Rigorous monitoring of these policies to ensure compliance.
The key responsibility of the AJLI Board of Directors is to govern the Association effectively, assuring the viability and integrity of the organization and providing leadership that inspires the Junior Leagues to achieve the Mission.
The Board exercises this governing role in four (4) primary ways:
- Setting the strategic direction of the organization;
- Linkage with the Junior Leagues, who are the Association’s stewards and members;
- Development and monitoring of policies and organizational goals; and
- Oversight and evaluation of the ED, to whom the Board delegates the authority and responsibility for accomplishing the organizational goals.
Positions on the Board include President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, International Director, Governance Chair, Governance Vice Chair and At-Large Directors.
For more information, see the AJLI Certificate of Incorporation & ByLaws - Article IV, Section V; Article V, Section VI and Article VII, Section IV.
Removal of Members of the AJLI Board
In the event that your League feels that a member of the Board is not meeting her legal duties, you have the right, on behalf of your League, to bring a motion forward to remove a Director at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Association. Removal of a Director requires a vote of two-thirds of the Junior Leagues.
For more information, see the AJLI Certificate of Incorporation & ByLaws - Article V, Section V.
The Governance Committee
The members of the AJLI Governance Committee come from across the Association and represent all Junior Leagues. The committee is led by the Governance Chair and Vice Chair.
The Governance Committee's Composition
The Governance Committee is comprised of the following 9 members plus the AJLI Executive Director, a non-voting member of the committee.
- Seven (7) At-Large Members. Each serves a two-year term.
- One (1) Governance Committee Chair. Governance Committee Chair requires previous service of at least two (2) years on the AJLI Board, Governance Committee or former Nominating Committee (other than as AJLI Governance or Nominating Committee Chair). The Chair serves a one-year term.
- One (1) Vice Chair. Governance Committee Vice Chair requires previous service of at least two (2) years on the AJLI Board, Governance Committee or former Nominating Committee (other than as AJLI Governance or Nominating Committee Chair). The Vice Chair automatically succeeds to the position of Chair after a one-year term.
The Governance Committee's Responsibilities
The AJLI Governance Committee is responsible for matching organizational needs and individual strength to produce a leadership team that will most effectively forward the Association’s mission, goals and strategic plan.
Specifically, members of the Governance Committee accomplish accountability by:
- Staying up-to-date on Association governance issues.
- Assuring that a broad range of members are informed about the availability of Association positions and the competencies required to serve in these elected positions.
- Identifying individuals who have the competencies and who understand the responsibilities of serving in Association elected positions.
- Working collaboratively with the entire Committee to decide which candidates best meet job requirements and organizational needs.
- Evaluating Committee work to continually improve the results and process.
Participating in the Nominating Process
Presidents and Presidents-Elect play a critical role in the success of the nominating process. It is their responsibility to nurture and encourage talented women to consider applying to serve on the AJLI Board of Directors and Governance Committee. It is important that they are knowledgeable about the skills and experience required to serve on these entities so they can share the information with women in their Leagues.
It also is their responsibility to vote on the slate of the AJLI Board of Directors and Governance Committee as presented annually by the Governance Committee.
For more information, see the AJLI Governance Opportunities on the AJLI website.
The Nominating Process
There are four (4) phases in the Nominating Process:
1 Application Screening
Applications for AJLI governance positions (Board of Directors and Governance Committee) are submitted to AJLI Headquarters by the application deadline, which is usually in early September. After the application deadline, the Governance Committee screens all applications and determines which applicants will be interviewed. Applicants will be notified by email and/or letter regarding the status of their application.
2 Interviews and Reference Checks
The Governance Committee interview teams conduct telephone interviews with selected applicants. Interview questions are behaviorally based, which focus on the applicant’s experiences and past practices in The Junior League, at work or in other community organizations. References will be checked after the interviews.
After interviews and reference checks are complete, the Governance Committee slates the available positions. All slated candidates are notified of their selection by telephone within 24 hours of the close of the slating meeting, and applicants who are not slated for positions will be notified by mail and/or email within a week of the conclusion of the slating meeting. After the slating meeting, the Governance Chair prepares the final slate and submits it to AJLI Staff for distribution to the Junior Leagues no later than 70 days before the Annual Conference (usually sometime in January).
Right to Propose Additional Candidates
Your League has the right to propose additional candidates if you do not feel the candidates slated by the Governance Committee meet the expectation of representation at the Association level. Any 11 Junior Leagues may nominate additional candidates for any positions. Nominations must me be made within 30 days after the publication date of the Governance Committee Slate.
For more information, see the AJLI Certificate of Incorporation & ByLaws - Article VII. Section V.
The Governance Committee issues the final election ballot to the Junior Leagues no later than four (4) weeks before Annual Conference. Ballots must be returned to the Governance Chair no later than seven (7) days before Annual Conference. Governance members are elected by a plurality of the votes cast by Leagues eligible to vote for slated positions.
The Governance Committee announces the results at the opening session of Annual Conference.
Responsibility to Vote
Our board leads the organization and ensures that we’re headed in the right direction. Therefore, voting for board and governance committee members is a critical action and responsibility of League leaders.
Ballots will be made available in early spring, prior to Annual Conference, and every League must return their ballot to AJLI on or before the date specified.
The Ajli Policy Governance® System
What is Policy Governance?
Policy Governance is a model that allows a governing Board on behalf of the people who own the organization either morally or legally, to ensure that the organization achieves what it should and avoids what is unacceptable in alignment with the Mission, Vision and Values of the organization.
What are the principles of Policy Governance?
1Regard for Stewards
The Board governs on behalf of the organization’s Stewards (the Junior Leagues).
Establishing and maintaining an effective relationship between the Board and the Executive Director is critical for effective governance and management.
Governance (Board) and Management (Staff) are separate jobs. Board Policies empower the Board and ED to engage in their respective areas of responsibility through the definition of pre-established criteria clearly articulating where responsibility lies for governance and management of the organization. The Board defines and delegates rather than reacting and ratifying.
The Board focuses on the desired outcomes or “Ends” of the organization. “Ends” describe what good is to be done, for whom, and at what cost.
4Controlling for Success
The ED determines the “Means”—how to meet the Ends. “Means” are actions and arrangements needed to accomplish Ends, or to safeguard the operations that produce Ends.
5Organizing to Fulfill Concerns
The Board speaks with one voice. The power of the Board is not as individuals, but as a group. To ensure one voice, the Board establishes written policies and assesses performance only against Board-established criteria. Board decisions should predominately be policy decisions.
Clear delegation and monitoring provide accountability. The Board monitors whether the ED has made reasonable interpretations of the delegated policies, and whether there is achievement of the Ends, and compliance with the Executive Limitations. The monitoring process is structured in a manner that covers every policy. By clear delegation and monitoring, the Board demonstrates accountability to the Stewards.
The Ajli Policy Governance® System
There are four Categories of Board Policies:
Mission-related outcomes; what good is to be done, for whom and at what cost.
Boundaries placed on the Executive Director to guide how the Means are developed to achieve the Ends.
Clarifies how authority is delegated to the Executive Director, the Board’s only link to Staff—as well as how the Board evaluates the outcomes being met within the specified boundaries.
Defines the Board’s own process for operating, including its accountability and provides a mechanism for evaluating its effectiveness.
What Is A "Member" Role?
When a League leader is acting in a "member" role, she is no longer acting on her League’s behalf to move the Association forward, but rather she is now asking the Association how it can help her better her League. While wearing the member hat she asks questions such as "what benefits does the Association provide to my League members" and "how can our network of 150,000 women help my members become stronger community and civic leaders and affect systemic change in our community?"
The Association is headquartered in New York City, where it maintains a Staff of about 25 people, led by the Executive Director (ED). Under her leadership the Senior Leadership team and their respective departments translate the organization’s strategic goals into a Service Plan and Budget, and are responsible for providing services to the Leagues in their fulfillment of The Junior League Mission.
Association Services include conferences—which involve skills enhancement, training and networking opportunities with other Leagues, timely discussion of social issues and trends that affect League communities—as well as technical assistance with the AJLI website and League branding & communications issues. Our current conference schedule includes AJLI Annual Conference, Fall, Winter and EVP Leadership Conferences, Organizational Development Institutes and League-run regional meetings in which AJLI participates by invitation.
We also provide guidelines and support for managing and promoting The Junior League brand, curriculum for training and consulting services.
Association services for Junior Leagues are developed and strengthened through ongoing dialogue with League leaders at Association meetings, at individual League meetings, by email and telephone consultations as well as through formal surveys.
The AJLI Board sets policies that vest management responsibilities in the ED, although with certain limitations. The ED is responsible to the Board for accomplishing the purpose of the Association within prescribed limitations. The Board is ultimately accountable to the Leagues for the work of the Staff and monitors such work through the process of monitoring the performance of the ED.
Your Rights Regarding AJLI Services
It is your right and your responsibility to ensure that your League is receiving services from the Association to add value in your fulfillment of The Junior League Mission. If you have an idea, concern, complaint or grievance about the services provided by the Association, you may contact AJLI through the Help Desk, by phone, or via the AJLI website.
You also can bring any concerns to the Service Dialogue held during each AJLI conference.
If You Don’t Get the Results You Desire
- Discuss the issue with the Manager of League Relations. She will forward the complaint to the appropriate party for resolution of the issue and will monitor the complaint. The complaint will be acknowledged within two business days, and a plan to resolve the issue will be presented within 10 business days of initial contact with the Manager of League Relations.
- If these procedures do not yield satisfaction, you should contact the Executive Director.
- If these procedures still do not yield satisfaction, you should contact the AJLI Vice President.
For more information, visit the AJLI Member Service Policy page.
Canadian Federation of Junior Leagues / La Fédération Canadienne des Jeunes Ligues (CFJL) is comprised of the Junior Leagues in Canada. The Federation’s principle purposes are to promote a strong national presence on issues relevant to Canada and to provide AJLI with the Canadian perspective on the Association’s initiatives.
Current Affinity Groups are organized by size:
- SLBI - Small Leagues Big Impact (formerly PLUS)
- PALS - Presidents and Leagues Sharing
- POLL - Presidents of Large Leagues
State Public Affairs Committees (SPACS)
SPACS are state level groups formed by several Junior Leagues within a state to facilitate networking and collective action on issues of shared interest among the member Leagues.
Based on their geography, several groups of Leagues meet regularly for training, networking and to discuss items of mutual interest. These groups currently include:
- Southwest Exchange - Leagues in the southwest region of the United States
- Northwest Exchange - Leagues in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Western Canada
- NorCalRenoHon - Leagues in Northern California, Reno, NV and Honolulu, HI
- New Jersey State Council - New Jersey Leagues
- Michigan State Council - Michigan Leagues
- The Metroplex Board - Leagues in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area
From time to time, League groups may become inactive or go out of existence and/or others may be created. A League or member may connect with any of the groups listed here by visiting their respective Groupshare pages.
Junior League Disaster Fund
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, AJLI established The Junior League Disaster Fund, whose purpose is to provide assistance to Leagues adversely impacted by a disaster, whether natural (earthquake, hurricane, snow storms, etc.) or other. The Fund was begun with an initial $10,000 contribution on behalf of all of the Leagues across the Association, putting in place a process which allows it to move quickly and effectively whenever disasters occur.
The AJLI Board of Directors oversees this Fund and has directed that the amount of investment earnings on the monies held in the Disaster Fund during the course of a year be added to the balance in the Fund at the end of each fiscal year. Contributions to this Fund are made by Junior Leagues, individuals or organizations that wish to support Leagues and their communities following such disasters.
For more information or to make contributions, see the AJLI Junior League Disaster Fund page.
AJLI Governance Fund
The purpose of the AJLI Governance Fund is to provide financial assistance to Leagues in the form of a waiver of the Early Bird Annual Conference or Special Meeting registration fee for a voting delegate, and, when possible, funds to offset some of the travel-related expenses.
Because it is the Junior Leagues that own the Association, it is critical that each League be able to debate and present its views on issues and vote on Association matters. Nowhere is this more important than at the Annual Business Meeting of the Association, which occurs during Annual Conference.
The Board also understands that there are, from time to time, financial or other operating difficulties that might prevent some Leagues from attending. Accordingly, in 1994 the Board established the AJLI Governance Fund. An amount is budgeted annually for the Fund to provide financial assistance to selected Leagues that are deemed deserving of assistance.
Details on the application process, including criteria and deadlines, are provided in the Annual Conference registration materials posted online. An All League Email alerts Presidents as soon as this web page goes live. In addition, you may find further information on the governance fund here.
The Staff organization is managed by an Executive Team led by the Executive Director with the Chief Officer for Strategic Initiatives; the Director of Marketing & Development; the Director of Finance, Administration and IT; the Director of Programs; the Director of Learning/Meetings; the Director of Membership and the Director of Administrative Services.
The Strategic Initiatives Department is responsible for long-term pilots, projects and collaborations.
The Chief Officer for Strategic Initiatives (COSI) is responsible for long-term strategic programs, resources, collaborations and pilot initiatives that have significant impact on the future direction of the Leagues and the Association. In addition, the COSI serves as a senior advisor to the Leagues, Staff and the Board.
The Executive Director’s office oversees the strategic direction of the organization, represents AJLI externally from a Staff standpoint and works with the Board to maximize AJLI success. The Board communicates to Staff through the ED. The Governance Department is responsible for supporting the work of the Board of Directors and the Governance Committee, from meeting support to managing the Board travel schedule and Governance visits.
The Executive Director is responsible for the strategic direction of the organization and is charged with the overall responsibility of managing the Staff and working with the Board to ensure implementation of the Board’s work. The ED reports directly to the Board.
Marketing & Development
The Marketing & Development Department is responsible for planning and executing the Association’s internal and external marketing, communications, fundraising and development initiatives. Specifically, the department is responsible for the oversight and management of The Junior League brand, all internal and external communications, including the AJLI website, connected (both printed and online), various social media platforms, videos, speeches and scripts; and the development and execution of a diversified fund development strategy. Additionally, it coordinates public relations activities and serves as a resource to Leagues on their marketing, communications, fundraising and development projects.
The Director of Marketing & Development is responsible for planning and executing the Association’s internal and external marketing, communications, fundraising and development initiatives. Additionally, the DMD provides technical assistance on a consultative basis to Junior Leagues, Board and Staff in all aspects of marketing, communications, fundraising and development.
This department houses the central services of the Association, which are finance and accounting, management of information technology, including our League and member databases, human resources, League member benefits and non-dues revenue such as our hotel and rental car discounts and the AJLI Boutique, as well as general office administration.
The Director of Finance, Administration and IT helps determine the long-term strategic direction of the organization and provides senior leadership to the organization through management of core areas of the business on a day-to-day basis, including Finance, Administration and Information Technology.
The Programs Department is responsible for community impact curriculum and resources, issue centers and programmatic content for AJLI programs, such as Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen.
The Director of Programs is responsible for developing the training curriculum for all AJLI conferences and other trainings around community impact, for developing the community impact resources for Leagues, developing Association-wide programmatic content and creating and maintaining the Issue Centers.
The Director of Membership is responsible for leading the Association’s efforts to promote quality Junior League membership practices and to support the Leagues’ ability to attract, retain and grow their memberships. The position will be responsible for leading all efforts in training, consultative services and resource development in this area.
The Learning Department is responsible for creating new, innovative and engaging learning opportunities; delivering them in a variety of venues and media; and evaluating the effectiveness of these efforts. This includes oversight of conference curriculum, online learning opportunities and other resource development efforts. This Department also is responsible for the siting and logistics for the training and development conferences that benefit individual League leaders and members such as Annual Conference, Fall, Winter and EVP Leadership Conferences, and Organizational Development Institutes.
The Director of Learning/Meetings is responsible for defining, creating, and implementing strategies that facilitate professional development, leadership development and continuous learning for Junior League members everywhere. In addition, the Director of Learning/Meetings provides assistance to Leagues regarding their own learning initiatives and is responsible for the siting, development and execution of all AJLI conferences and meetings.
The Director of Administrative Services is responsible for the daily operation of the headquarters facility, the AJLI boutique logo merchandise and conference exhibitors.
League Services comprises Strategic Initiatives, Programs and Membership. Together, these departments deliver support and consultative services to strengthen individual Leagues in their fulfillment of The Junior League mission. A team of generalists and subject matter experts across the AJLI headquarters team address League member queries through direct communication, the 1-800 number and Ask and Question.
Annual Business Meeting: General Order Of Business
- Call to Order
- Establishment of Quorum
- Approval of Conference Rules
- Approval of Program
- Announcement of the AJLI Board & Governance Committee Elections
- President’s Address
- Consideration of:
- Any Proposed Bylaw Amendments
- Any Proposed External Policy Resolutions
- Any Advisory Resolutions submitted per the Conference Rules
AJLI Governance Office Hours
To facilitate your ability to ask questions of the AJLI Board of Directors, submit topics for discussion with the Board of Directors and among the Junior Leagues at Association Dialogue, or submit or sign onto Advisory Resolutions, the AJLI Board of Directors has established Governance Office hours as outlined on the conference app. Leagues also may schedule an appointment with AJLI’s parliamentarian during this time.
|Governance Dialogue Topics||Thursday Evening|
|Advisory Resolutions||Friday Evening|
The conference rules are based on information contained in the AJLI Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Operational Policies Approved by the Junior Leagues. These documents and additional resources are available in the Governance Library section of ajli.org. If you have questions about procedures or the conference rules, please visit the Governance Office or contact a member of the AJLI Board of Directors.
Conference Rules must be adopted by two-thirds of the votes cast by the Junior Leagues. The Conference Rules are amendable by a majority of the votes cast by the Junior Leagues while they are pending adoption. A motion to suspend a rule requires two-thirds of the votes cast by the Junior Leagues.
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the conference in all cases to which they are applicable and are not inconsistent with relevant and applicable federal, state and local laws, the Bylaws of the Association and these Conference Rules.
The minutes of the Annual Meeting will be approved by the Conference Rules Committee, appointed by the President, consisting of the Secretary and at least two other Board members.
Business Meeting Agenda
The final agenda, with times specified for discussion of each item, shall be composed by the Rules Committee and distributed to the delegates at the beginning of the Business Meeting.
Some things to remember from the AJLI governing documents:
- Eligibility to Vote and Quorum: Every member Junior League has the right and authority to vote at the Business Meeting either through representation in person or by proxy. As such, quorum is defined as a majority of Junior Leagues present in person or by proxy.
- Approval of Motions: Unless specified otherwise in the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Operational Policies Approved by the Junior Leagues, motions may be approved by the majority of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting by the member Junior Leagues present in person or by proxy.
- Approval of Amendments to the Bylaws and Operational Policies: Amendments to the Bylaws and Operational Policies Approved by the Junior Leagues require approval by two-thirds of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting by the member Junior Leagues present in person or by proxy.
- Defining Voting Delegates and Association Personnel: The voting delegate is the Junior League member designated by her League to speak and act on its behalf and identified by displaying her League’s voting credentials. The voting credentials must be displayed when a delegate is speaking at the Annual Meeting. If the Voting Delegate is unable to perform her responsibilities, an Alternate Voting Delegate may represent the League. Association personnel include members of the AJLI Board of Directors, members of the Governance Committee and professional Staff.
- External Policy Resolutions: Junior Leagues may adopt External Policies—statements on a social or public policy issue that constitute an area of interest to the Junior Leagues—with an 85% affirmative vote of all votes cast. A single Junior League, group of Junior Leagues, State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC), the Canadian Federation of Junior Leagues, the AJLI Board of Directors or any combination of any of the above may propose an External Policy Resolution.
- Advisory Resolutions: Junior Leagues and the Board of Directors may submit Advisory Resolutions advising the Board through recommendations and/or topics for Board discussion or exploration. These resolutions may be included with the Call to Conference/Meeting notice materials and/or submitted and distributed onsite during the Conference/Meeting. The President, Secretary and members of the Board of Directors are available to offer guidance to Leagues wishing to submit a resolution. The Board has the authority to combine submissions and to establish whether or not such items are in order.
- Governance Dialogue: Governance Dialogue is designed for discussion on topics to be explored at the Annual Meeting as well as other topics relevant to the governance of the Association. See below under Procedures for Governance Dialogue for further details on Governance Dialogue.
Procedures For The Annual Business Meeting
Seating At The Annual Business Meeting
The room will be divided into color-coded sections with the Voting Delegates in the front of the room. Voting Delegates should bring their credentials with them. Electronic Voting devices will be distributed to all Voting Delegates prior to the Annual Business Meeting and we ask that you arrive at least 10-15 minutes early to allow enough time to test your device.
If the Voting Delegate must leave the room, she may pass her credentials to the Alternate Voting Delegate who may then take a seat in the front of the room with the other Voting Delegates.
All motions offered from the floor shall be submitted on a motion form and shall be given to the teller when approaching the microphone to speak. The motion forms shall be available at the microphone areas as well as at the Business Table.
After the Call to Conference is made available, proxy forms and instructions will be made available for those Leagues that cannot attend the meeting in person. By assigning a proxy to another Voting Delegate or the AJLI Secretary, Voting Delegates are ensuring that their League’s vote will be counted in their absence. Once on site, proxy forms will be available in the Governance Office.
Speaking At The Business Meeting
- Only Voting Delegates and Association Personnel have the privilege of speaking during the business meeting. All Voting Delegates and AJLI Board members may propose and second motions.
- No one may speak longer than three minutes on any one question. No one shall speak a second time on the same question until all others who wish to speak for the first time have had the opportunity to do so.
- Debate on a main motion, including any amendment offered to the motion, shall be limited to thirty minutes. If continuation of the debate is desired, a motion may be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the Junior Leagues present to extend debate in increments of no more than five minutes. The clock will not be stopped for requests for information.
Voting At The Business Meeting
Electronic voting will be used for most motions introduced during Governance Dialogue and the Annual Business Meeting unless other methods are approved by the voting delegates. The Secretary will make a motion at the beginning of the Business Meeting to consider voting by keypad a “counted vote.” If this motion is adopted, a motion for division of assembly will not be in order and all results will stand as reported. Specific instructions for using the electronic voting devices will be distributed prior to the Business Meeting.
Procedures For Governance Dialogue
Seating And Speaking At Governance Dialogue
There will be separate seating for voting delegates and non-voting attendees during Governance Dialogue. Electronic Voting devices will be distributed to all Voting Delegates prior to Dialogue and we ask that they arrive at least 10-15 minutes early to allow enough time to test their device. Please note that credentials are not required in order to speak on the floor during Dialogue.
Motions In Order During Governance Dialogue
There are only two motions in order during Governance Dialogue:
- Extending Time on an item
- Only the Voting Delegates may vote for extensions of time in increments of no more than five minutes for any item—it must pass by a two-thirds of all votes cast.
- Any Voting Delegate or AJLI Board Member may request a straw poll on the topic being discussed.
- If any Voting Delegate objects to the taking of a straw poll, the Chair will put the matter before the Voting Delegates. A majority of all votes cast is required to adopt the request to take a straw poll.
Junior Leagues and the Board of Directors may submit Governance Dialogue Topics to be distributed with the Call to Conference/Meeting Notice materials and/or onsite during the Conference/Meeting. The President, Secretary and members of the Board of Directors are available to offer guidance to Leagues wishing to submit an item. The Board has the authority to combine submissions and to establish, before Governance Dialogue, whether or not such items are in order.
Procedure For Onsite Topic Submissions
All items to be submitted must be received by the Secretary in the Governance Office on Thursday evening prior to Dialogue. A Junior League wishing to add or remove its name from the list of submitting Junior Leagues on an item must do so in writing in the Governance Office on Thursday evening prior to Dialogue. Dialogue Topic templates are available in the Call to Conference materials as well as in the onsite Governance Office.
Agenda For Governance Dialogue
The final agenda, with times specified for discussion of each item, shall be composed by the Rules Committee and distributed to the delegates at Governance Dialogue.
Speaking For A Topic
To initiate the dialogue and frame the issue, a member of the submitting group [as listed on the topic submission form] shall speak first, and shall remain at a microphone to participate in the dialogue.
Colored Cards Used At Governance Dialogue/Business Meeting
The use of the color-coded cards enables the Chair to alternate those speaking for, those speaking against and those asking for information or clarification.
|The cards used at Dialogue (D) and during a Business Meeting (B)|
Introducing a Main or Subsidiary Motion
- Previous Question
Making a general comment
Responding to a statement or question
Making a statement
Asking a question
|YELLOW||Request for Information (asking for information on a pending motion)||x|
Undebatable motions that must be decided immediately, before business can proceed.
- Point of Order
- Parliamentary Inquiry
- Division of the Assembly
Additional Information You May Find Useful
The following documents can be found on the Governance Library page of the AJLI website:
- 1. Electronic Voting Instructions And Other Voting Methods*
- 2. Glossary Of Parliamentary Terms
- 3. Motions You Just Might Need To Use
- 4. How To Write An Advisory Resolution
- 5. External Policy Resolution Proposal Template