April, 1982 Home   Newsletters

May-June, 1982

July-August, 1982

President's Message (Arlene Woo)
Dollars for League
Membership Update
Development Plan Hearings - City Planning Commission
Barbara Farwell's Report to the Annual Meeting (Barbara Farwell)
League Hosts Open House at New Hotel Street Office
Sign Up for State Council !!
New Officers and Directors
It's Election Year ! (Marian Wilkins)
Juvenile Justice Project
Viewpoint - Court Rules Reapportionment Unconstitutional (Ardis Shaw)
International Relations Cmte Meets (Dottie Gullicksen)
News Bits
Attention Fund Raisers

Barbara Farwell's Report to the Annual Meeting

We meet tonight at a time when many are wondering if volunteerism has a future. All of us here know all too well the increasing difficulties facing volunteer organizations like the League: we have too few members and do too much work, and our sources of income are limited. Can we survive?

I believe we can, and will, survive. I'm optimistic about League. I'm optimistic because I think we have a good organization with tremendous strengths. Our basic structure, and our methods of study and action, are sound. We have credibility and we are respected. And in Honolulu, we have a lot going for us.

While nationally League membership is declining, Honolulu's membership has remained stable. That means that we are replacing those members we lose.

Of course, we would prefer to keep every member, and increase our numbers. But remaining stable is an indication that we are still attracting people. For the future we must continue to attract new members, while doing a better job of retaining present members.

In Honolulu we are also trying to serve our members in new ways. Recognizing that our membership is shifting from predominantly unemployed women to employed women and men, we have begun to consider new ways of presenting programs and meetings, and new ways of enabling people to participate in League. We can no longer rely on the old unit system that so many of us have enjoyed. Rather, we must turn to general meetings in the evenings, or on Saturdays, conducted in conjunction with breakfasts, or luncheons, or potluck suppers. Perhaps our units will evolve into study committees that function much as units once did. At any rate, change comes slowly, reluctantly, and often painfully, but in this League at least we are willing to put aside old ways that are no longer workable and search for new was to work within the League structure.

One change we have made is in hiring an office manager -- a paid employee who is taking over functions previously performed by volunteers. This is another reality we have had to face; while most work is still done by volunteers, there are jobs that can be centralized in our office. Our office manager has made us more efficient by taking over many record-keeping and coordinating functions, thus freeing volunteers for planning and implementing.

Some of the limitations in our future may be financial. In the past few years we have been lucky; we have had lucrative vote counts. But we are lagging in developing other sources of income. Our corporate and direct mail drives must be on a professional -- not ad hoc -- level. And we must be willing to explore new avenues of fundraising. Each year we draw more and more on our reserves; sooner or later the well is going to run dry.

Despite the difficulties of change, despite the depressing economic scene, I believe League has a future. The members of this League are the greatest - dedicated, hardworking, loyal. It has been a pleasure to work with you all, and to serve you as president. The incoming Board has talent and enthusiasm, and I know they will have your support. For myself, and for members of the outgoing Board, I thank you for the wonderful experiences of the past two years.

Barbara Farwell

Sixty members, spouses, and friends enjoyed a stimulating discussion, following the meeting, of the media's responsibilities in election coverage and sunshine laws and government. Bob Sevey and Bev Keever were guest speakers and League member, Diane Hastert, moderated.

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