American Association of University Women - AAUW
Whidbey Island


The bylaws of the Whidbey Island branch were updated, voted upon by the membership and approved by the state in May of 2012. A copy may be accessed by clicking here.

Branch Practices

Branch Practices supplement the bylaws. They provide guidance and clarity in the day-to-day activities of the branch. These practices have been put in place by Boards of Directors over the life of the branch and are collected here for ready reference. The Vice President is to manage a bi-annual review of these practices to ensure they continue to meet the operational needs of the branch.


Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting is held in May. The election of officers, votes on bylaws amendments, and other branch business is conducted. This as one of the general meetings, this gathering will usually include a program featuring guest speaker or presentation.

Annual Reports

Each elected and appointed officer, committee chair and editor is to submit a one-page Annual Report to the Board of Directors by June of each year. The report may be in print or electronic form and is to include key activities, committee members, if any, expenses/income, if any, and recommendations for the future mamagement of the positon. This report is to be included in the position Pass-Down Log provided to the leader's successor.


Archives shall be maintained by the President. Archival materials shall include:

Audit Committee

An Audit Committee of consisting of three members will be appointed by the president. The term is for three years with the longest serving member to be replaced prior to July each year. The next longest serving member of the committee shall assume the leadership role during her final year on the committee.

The committee is responsible for the fiscal integrity of the branch. The committee will audit the financial records annually and report audit findings at the September Board meeting. The audit shall include the comparison of income to deposits, justification of expenditures, timeliness of payments, utilization of CD’s, adherence to AAUW and government reporting.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is comprised of the elected and appointed officers of the branch each of whom has a vote on board decisions. The immediate past president and branch members who hold a state office are invited to attend board meetings as a non-voting member.

The Board is responsible for the integrity of the branch, that is the adherence of the branch to both the spirit and letter of branch bylaws and approved practices. The Board is to participate in the determination of bi-annual objectives and provide leadership support in the achievement of those objectives.

The Board holds the primary decision-making authority within the branch. The Board will reach out to the membership for a vote on the election of officers, an adjustment of branch dues, amendments to the bylaws and other actions that, in the opinion of the Board, will constitute a significant impact on the direction, composition or objectives of the branch. All decisions made must be in concert with and in support of the mission and values of AAUW.

Decisions on the Distribution of Funds: Funds raised by membership activities are allocated by the Board in keeping with the advertised purpose of each fund-raiser.

Decisions on the Management of Philanthropic Donations: Philanthropic donations, often given by the donor with conditions for distribution, are to be approved by the Board. Donor-stipulated conditions must fall within the AAUW mission and within our geographic arena. Further, they must be matched by our membership’s capability to provide the support required to manage the execution of the donor’s wishes.

Donations may be made by AAUW members, members of the community or organizations within the community. Donors may submit funds to the branch as one-time contribution or may elect to establish an annual donation and/or a legacy donation. Donors may discuss the options of annual and/or legacy donations with the Vice President of the Branch who will capture that donor's preferences and brief the Treasurer.

Decisions on New Projects, Events, Activities: Any new project, event, activity or special interest group is to be proposed to the board which may or may not endorse the initiative. Guidelines for approval are: the match of the initiative to the mission of AAUW and the objectives of the branch, the ability of the branch to fund the proposal should funds be a factor and the capability of the membership to execute the initiative.

Board of Directors Meetings

Board meetings in the months of September, October, November, January, March and May on dates selected by the president. The president may call an additional meeting of the Board at any time. Board members will also take part in the July Leadership Summit led by the incoming president.

Proposals and presentations to the Board may be placed on the agenda up to two days before the meeting by emailing the Branch president. The Board meeting schedule is published on the website's calendar. All Board meetings are open to attendance of the general membership.


Internal communication: The branch shall maintain and utilize a newsletter, a website, a published membership directory and an email list to provide information on branch business, events and activities

External communication: The branch shall utilize local newspapers and television channels to announce meetings and events to which the public is invited.

Members shall use stationary featuring the AAUW logo for branch correspondence. Members may access branch stationary in the Administration section of the website's Member Center.

Elected Officer Installation

Elected Officers are installed at the Installation Brunch usually held the second Saturday in June. The staggared two-year terms mean only a few officers are new to the Board each year. However, all elected officers are asked to stand and take the Installation Oath which is delivered by a past president at the Installation Brunch. A copy of the oaths for all officers may be accessed by clicking here.


Appropriate use of the Branch membership email list: The email list will be used only for essential, official branch communications. Officers may send out information on AAUW local, State and National AAUW events, policies, and issues should those messages be relevant to that officer’s role in the branch.

Leaders and members of Special Interest Groups may email fellow group members with information relevant to the purpose of that group. Chairs of events, programs and specialized functions may send email messages to the teams and committees attendant to those events and functions.

Emails to the general membership may be sent only by the President, the Vice President or their designated agent and will be limited to calls for member input or participation, the advisory of critical personal circumstances suffered by individual members, and the notice of events at sister branches.

Inappropriate use of the email list: The branch email list may not be used for jokes, poems, stories, or "chatting”. It may not be used in support of partisan issues or candidates within AAUW, in the community, county, state or national campaigns. Further, it may not be used for selling any services or products, promoting any member's personal business interests, promoting other organization’s events, or promoting or advising of activities that are not sponsored by the Whidbey Island branch or one of its sister AAUW branches.

Financial Practices

The branch shall maintain two separate accounts, one for administrative funds and a second for scholarship and scholar/artist recognition funds. The President and VP Finance shall be bank signatures; only one signature is required for checks under $500.

The Board of Directors shall in October adopt an annual budget prepared by the VP Finance. Officers, Event and Committee Chairs will submit a budget or statement of anticipated expenses to the VP Finance on or before the 15th of September.

Changes in estimates, should they occur during the year, are to be presented to the Board at the first Board meeting after the determination of the changes. Members shall obtain board authorization of non-budgeted requests prior to expenditure. The board may approve changes in a previously adopted budget. No members may expend funds that are not budgeted except that the president may authorize emergency expenditures.

Committees and projects may be requested to seek funding from sources in addition to dues. The branch shall be responsible for gains or losses from branch-sponsored activities.

Members shall present requests for expense reimbursements to the VP Finance using the branch Expenditure Reimbursement form within 30 days of the expenditure

Friend of the Branch

Friend of the Branch is an honorary designation by the Branch to members of the community who are recognized for their contributions to and/or their exemplification of AAUW's mission. The Branch has not yet activated this practice.

Leadership Responsibilities

Objectives: Prior to the September meeting, the president shall solicit input from the membership to assess needs, identify possible projects and draft objectives through any of a variety of ways which may include as informal discussions, neighborhood coffees, surveys, board retreats and/or special board meetings. The president, with assistance from two or more Board members, shall consolidate input and propose bi-annual Objectives for presentation to the Board at the September of even-numbered years. The proposed objectives are discussed and possibly modified prior to approval. Objectives are revisited and updated in September of odd-numbered years.

Action Plans: Each Officer and Chair shall develop an action plan for the execution of her responsibilities. The plan will include a budget, a list of actions to be taken and a timeline as well as the staffing required. The action plan will be reviewed with the president, or in the case of those on the Communications Team, with the vice president. Each Officer and Chair shall meet her responsibilities as outlined in her respective job description and execute the action plan to the best of her ability.

Pass Down Logs: As described in the Pass-Down Log section of these Branch Practices, each Officer, Chair and Editor as well as the Historian shall maintain a Position Resource Directory that will assist future managers of their respective functions.

Leadership Summit

Held each summer by the incoming president, this is a summit of the breadth of branch leadership including elected and appointed officers, editors and the chairs of community outreach and fund-raising and branch support committees. Leaders of individual functions share their achievements, lessons learned and visions for the future of the Branch. On-going practices and upcoming events that are inter-dependent and require leadership cooperation are identified allowing critical parties to establish contact. Pass-Down Logs, as described in these Branch Practices, are presented to successors among the leadership at this event.

Management Documents

Membership Directory

The branch Membership Directory shall be published annually. It shall provide the AAUW statements of mission, values and diversity along with Branch, State and National contact information. In addition, for each member, it will provide contact information, educational background, a biographical summary and other data as determined by the Membership Directory Editor. Additional features may be included per the Editor’s discretion. In accordance with AAUW policy, the Membership Directory is distributed only to branch members and may be used only for AAUW purposes.

Entries for members who have joined since the previous Directory's publication will be based on the information provided on their Membership Applications and will include the photo submitted to the Membership Directory Editor. Cut-off for new members additions will be one month before the announced publication date.

Membership Responsibilities

Membership in the Whidbey Island Branch of AAUW brings the benefits of commitment to a shared mission and the collegiality of energetic women who engage in a wide range of interests. In addition to the annual payment of national, state and branch dues, membership brings the responsibility to participate in critical branch activities. Participation broadens the input of ideas, enriches programs and ensures we conduct our business in a democratic and productive manner.

We are an active and dynamic lot. We have family, professional, and community responsibilities; many of us travel extensively and some of us have mobility challenges. In this context each is urged to accept the obligations of membership which ask her to:

And, to the extent possible:

Named Honorees

Named Honorees are members who are recognized for having made significant contributions to the Branch. Each year in January, the State AAUW Funds Chair notifies the Branch of the number of Honorees they may select. This is based on Branch financial contributions to EOF and LAF during the preceding year.

Nominations: At the February general meeting the EOF Committee invites the general membership to nominate via email, one to three members for special recognition of their exceptional contributions to the Branch. The invitation is also printed in the February 1 newsletter. Previous recipients of this honor and the sitting president of the branch are ineligible for nomination.

Selection: The first week of March ballots are distributed to all elected officers by email. Alternatively, a paper ballot is distributed to all elected officers at the March Board meeting with the vote taken during the course of that meeting.

Recognition: By April 1, the Branch EOF Chair forwards the names of the Branch’s Honorees to the State AAUW Funds Chair. The State then forwards certificates to the Branch for presentation at the Awards Ceremony during the June elected officers Installation luncheon. The Chapter/Branch Named Honorees are also recognized at the State website.


The branch newsletter, "The Islander", is the primary vehicle for informing members about AAUW priorities and programs. It is published ten times a year on or about the first day of the month omitting July and August. The newsletter shall be distributed by email to all members who have computer capability and by surface mail to those who do not have such capability. The newsletter will also be posted on the branch website.

The President and VP of Programs shall be responsible for a monthly message. In addition, “The Islander” shall include, but is not limited to:

Nominating Committee

A Nominating Committee consisting of three members is appointed by the President in February. It is desirable that at least one member be a Past President. Further, it is desirable that there be a breadth of geographic representation on the committee.

The committee is responsible for soliciting individuals to fill the election positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, VP of Finance, Vice President(s) for Membership, and Vice President(s) for Programs as their terms expire.

It is advised that the committee determine if there are current position holders who are willing to repeat for a second term of office. A branch office holder cannot serve more that two terms in the same position without a year break before serving again in that position. The committee should strive for a balanced Board of Directors such that it contains both experienced and new members.

The committee is to present the slate of candidates to the Board of Directors in March. The slate is to contain the names of nominees for open positions as well as the names of those holding positions that are not up for election.The slate is to be published in the April 1 edition of the newsletter and is to be announced at the April general meeting. This provides the required lead-time for the election to be held at the Annual Meeting in May

Pass-Down Log

A Pass-Down Log is created and maintained by the holder of each elected and appointed position and each event chair in the branch. The purpose of the log is to provide information and guidelines that will be helpful to one's successor. Contents are to include the position's Annual Report as described in these branch practices. Additional content will vary by position and may include descriptions of key events, timelines, previous expenses/budgets, key contacts and references, documents that have been useful and helpful hints.

Pass-Down Logs are updated annually by their respective officers and chairs. The transfer of Pass-Down Logs may take place at any time of leadership change, however, it most often happens during the Summer Leadership Summit.

Programs and Social Activities

Programs and social activities are provided for the enrichment, education and camaraderie of the members and shall be consistent with AAUW vision and policy.

General meetings which host many of the branch programs and social activities are open to the public.

Special Interest Groups

Special Interest Groups are self-managed. The leader of the special interest group works with her group to establish meeting times, locations and activities. The leader is to place notices for meetings with the branch newsletter and website editors. In accordance with AAUW policy, eligible prospective members may attend no more than two interest group meetings as guests; membership is then required.

New Special Interest Groups may be formulated or disbanded by their memberships. The leader of a new group is to advise the Board of its formulation. The Board will intercede only if the activity of the new group is in conflict with the policy of the branch of the mission/values of AAUW. The group leader is expected to advise the Board of Directors should the group disband.

Student Recognition & Scholarship Programs

The Whidbey Island Branch recognizes and supports young women students in a series of local programs to include:

The president shall shall appoint Co-chairs for each of these four programs.

The branch Board of Directors shall determine, by the November Board meeting, the funds available to be used for scholarships, STEM recognition stipends and Showcase of the Arts prizes.

Scholarships The award(s) from the general scholarship fund shall be known as American Association of University Women, Whidbey Island Branch Scholarships(s). Specific scholarships shall be named in accordance with the donors’ written agreements.

The Academic Scholarships Co-chairs shall appoint a minimum of six (6) Whidbey Island branch members, representing each of the school districts on Whidbey Island, to the Academic Scholarships Committee which shall, in turn, select the scholarship recipients. The Visual & Performing Arts Co-chairs shall appoint a committee of at least three judges to select the recipients of the Art scholarships. Co-chairs may be included in these counts.

Committees shall begin to function in November to familiarize itself with its responsibilities and materials. The Committee Co-Chairs shall advise schools of scholarship amounts and provide application packages in early January. It is advised that the two pairs of Co-chairs coordinate their messages so that each school receives one communication on the array of scholarships available to students.

Academic scholarships shall be awarded to women seeking an education at an accredited college or university. Applicants may include:

Visual & Performing Arts scholarships shall be awarded to women seeking education at an accredited School of the Arts. Applicants may include senior class students of Oak Harbor, Coupeville and South Whidbey high schools.

Committees shall consider the applicant’s character, academic record, financial need, extra-curricular activities, and service to school and community. An alternate shall be selected for each scholarship award. Selections will be made no later than the first week in April, to ensure that the recipients and their guests may take part in the April Scholars Recognition Reception.

Proof of enrollment shall be required before funds can be disbursed. Disbursement shall be directly to the accredited college or university or school of the arts at which the recipient is enrolled. If the recipient does not submit information for payment by December 1 after notification by certified mail, the scholarship will be awarded to the alternate.

STEM Recognition The branch shall annually recognize and award a stipend to high school junior women for excellence scholarship in science, technology and mathematics (STEM) at each of Whidbey Island's three high schools - a total of nine women. In some cases a single student is selected in more than one category.

Students to be recognized are selected by the math, technology and science teachers in their respective schools. Coordination with the schools is to begin in late January to ensure that the recipients and their guests may take part in the April Scholars Recognition Reception.

Showcase of the Arts The branch shall hold an annual Showcase for the Arts at which the artwork of students (men and women) from junior and senior classes of all three Whidbey Island high schools is displayed and juried.

High school art teachers are asked to select and submit student artwork in the four categories of wall art, wearable art, pottery/sculpture and photography. Co-chairs create a panel of at least three jurors who will award first, second, third place prizes and one honorable mention in each category. A stipend is included with each first, second and third place prize.