Changes in the Wind Update
By Rinda Just, Board President
Several months ago, Executive Director Holly Harris and I told you about a few changes that the board and staff were considering to make the Alliance a leaner, meaner machine. Well, those winds of change have cleared out a lot of old worn out things to make room for more effective advocacy. How will these changes affect loyal supporters like you?
These changes will help assure our supporters that the Alliance is maximizing their investment in the organization and its people. Working together, Snake River Alliance will serve as Idaho’s nuclear watchdog and clean energy champion by inspiring, educating, and advocating for and with our fellow Idahoans for generations to come!
New Website and Social Media Advocacy
We introduced our clean, easy-to-navigate website, along with a new logo that captures both parts of our mission: anti-nuclear and renewable energy advocacy. In addition to being more user-friendly, the new website makes it easier for the Alliance to accept donations, sell fundraising merchandise and tickets to events, and keep the website up to date.
We have also substantially increased and diversified our social media advocacy. Increasing our communications outreach is critical to our ability to advance the Alliance’s mission. You can find the Alliance on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Now we need your help, please amplify and share the Alliance’s posts through your personal social media accounts.
Saving Paper, Energy, and Money
The costs of paper, energy, printing, mailing, and staff time to put a paper document in your hands are substantial and unsustainable, so we are communicating with you primarily via email, the website, and our social media platforms. We understand that not everyone who loves the Alliance loves the internet, so if you need to receive Alliance communications in paper form, please contact the staff, and we will cheerfully print and mail them to you.
To make it easier on you, our supporters, and save staff time and resources, all Alliance memberships will be due to coincide with Earth Day. We realized that our members were frequently asking “when is my membership due” and “is my membership current?” We also recognized that our small staff was spending too much time every month trying to track down membership dues. To streamline this process, all memberships will now be renewed in the spring of every year. We will send out donation reminders in the coming weeks. And don’t forget, the easiest way to support the Alliance is to become a monthly donor, which can be done quickly and easily on the new website (https://snakeriveralliance.org/donate/). Of course, we are happy to accept payment by check in the mail or in person!
Bylaws and Policies
The Board has amended the bylaws and adopted policies and procedures to bring the organization up to date and into conformity with best practices.
With regard to the bylaws (https://snakeriveralliance.org/bylaws/), the most significant revision changes the way new board members are selected. The board has been “self choosing” because existing board members have been selecting new candidates, vetting them, and bringing them to you for a vote. As a practical matter, however, very few members ever participated in the voting process and only did so based on limited biographical information. Thus, the new bylaws codified the real underlying practice. The board will seek to fill positions with an eye to particular strengths that a potential member brings to the board; skills and experience, geographical location, generational and cultural diversity will guide our decisions.
The board also adopted policies to ensure that governance of the Alliance is stable, consistent, and adhering to best practices for nonprofit organizations. Among others, the board adopted a new employee handbook, a finance policy manual, a board policy manual, a confidentiality policy, a conflict of interest policy, and an executive compensation policy. Being a grassroots organization is great, but if you don’t have policy roots, governance is about as consistent as the waving grass.
Snake River Alliance board members and staff are constantly working to improve governance, and spend your money in ways that provide the most return on your investment. We are proud of what we have accomplished in the last several months. We look forward to the opportunity to reinvigorate our long-time supporters; and to engage new generations of Idahoans in our vision to create an Idaho where our people and our environment are free from the threat of nuclear waste and contamination, and our communities are healthy, strong, and prosperous because of our reliance on clean and renewable energy.