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LLLI Board of Directors Meeting

October 26-29, 2006
Schaumburg, Illinois, USA
 

Rosemary Gordon
Secretary, LLLI Board of Directors
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 43 No. 2, April-May-June 2007, pp. 44-46

Abstract: The LLLI Board of Directors met October 26 - 29, 2006 and took action on the following topics: reviewed the Strategic Plan, approved a Code of Ethics: Funding and a Code of Ethics: Leaders with Personal, Professional and Commercial Interests, passed the audited financials for the fiscal year 2005-06 and reaffirmed our support of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant WHA resolutions.

Additionally, LLLI has entered into a contract to sell the property at 1400 North Meacham and the sale is expected to be closed by the end of January 2007. Some of the funds from the sale of the current property have been used to purchase a new building in Schaumburg, and the remainder will be used to build the organization's reserves as recommended by the LLLI auditors.

Strategic Planning

The LLLI Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) updated the LLLI Board of Directors on the SPC Workgroup status, key findings and recommendations. The Board agreed to move forward with the plan, which outlines core strategic objectives for the organization with measurable target outcomes for each objective. The strategic objectives are:

  • Focus on mother-to-mother support
  • Build volunteer network and reach currently underserved populations
  • Build LLL credibility to be first referral from health care professionals and health agencies
  • Build LLL awareness among mothers, mothers-to-be and the general public
  • Transform LLLI into a global organization

This plan provides a common direction for the LLLI community to focus resources on activities which best position LLL for future success in advancing the LLLI mission.

The LLLI Strategic Plan will be on the Community Network and website in the coming week. More detailed information about the strategic planning process, participants, recommendations and implementation will be communicated at that time.

The LLLI Board commends Barbara Emanuel and LaJuana Oswalt, the LLLI Executive Leadership Team, for their continuing hard work and fully supports their implementation of the strategic plan.

The following policies were deleted from the Policies and Standing Rules Notebook:

  • "Strategic Plan
    The La Leche League International Strategic Plan is approved as presented to the Board of Directors at its annual meeting, April 23-25, 1993, by the Strategic Planning Committee."
  • Appendix 25, "LLLI Strategic Plan"
  • "Goals, LLLI
    Appendix 25 – LLLI Strategic Plan"

(For more information about the Strategic Plan, see "Strategizing for the Future of LLLI," Leaven, Jan-Feb-Mar 2007, page 20.)

Action Committee

The LLLI policy:
WHO Code
"LLLI fully supports the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes and reaffirms the stand taken by the LLLI Board of Directors in 1981 and 1988."
is re-worded as follows:
"LLLI fully supports the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions relevant to the International Code, passed before October 2006."

Rationale

LLLI has fully supported the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes since its adoption in 1981. Since then, the World Health Assembly has passed resolutions to clarify aspects of the International Code, approximately every two years. In keeping with other important international organizations, LLLI policy now includes support for the subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions relevant to the Code up to the present date.

This means that LLLI officially supports:

  • exclusive breastfeeding for six months (this is included in the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, which LLLI already supports);
  • the fact that follow-on milks are not necessary;
  • financial support for health professionals that does not create a conflict of interest. This includes LLL Leaders in their volunteer capacities;
  • the International Code as a minimum standard;
  • the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and the objectives of the Innocenti Declaration (LLLI endorses the Baby Friendly Initiative and was involved in the drafting of the Innocenti+15 statement); and
  • no free or low-cost supplies of products within the scope of the Code in any area of the health care system.

Audit Committee

The audit of LLLI finances for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2006 was completed by Mann. Weitz & Associates. The audited financial statements were accepted. The fiscal year once again ended in a large deficit greater than $180,000. The complete financial statements and an article on these will be available soon in a LEAVEN article.

(See "Annual Audit and a Look at LLLI Finances," Leaven Jan-Feb-Mar 2007, page 18.)

Since Mann.Weitz is providing financial advice and services to LLLI, a new audit firm will have to be identified for the fiscal year April 1, 2006 - March 31, 2007. A search will be made and a new auditor recommended and appointed.

Personnel Committee

Although a Conflict of Interest policy was added to the Policies and Standing Rules Notebook in July 2003, it was never added to the LLLI Employee Handbook. Since this policy applies to staff as well as to volunteers and to the LLLI Board of Directors, this oversight has now been remedied.

Finance Committee

The Board of Directors of La Leche League International approved the renewal of the sweep line of credit which is a Variable Rate Nondisclosable Loan from Bank Financial, F.S.B. with a rate of 0.25% below prime as published periodically in the United States Midwest Edition of the Wall Street Journal.

In accordance with the La Leche League Bank Accounts and Transfer of Fund Policy in the La Leche League International Policies and Standing Rules Notebook, the La Leche League Board of Directors authorized the Executive Director to open up to 8 accounts in Midwest Bank and Trust Company. These may include an operating account, accounts for restricted donations, payroll account, money market account for conference funds and certificates of deposit.

Rationale

Non-profit organizations are legally required to provide Board resolutions to open new bank accounts. Midwest Bank and Trust Company assisted LLLI during recent real estate transactions. They will now provide our primary banking services.

Code of Ethics

The Board adopted the following policy: Code of Ethics: Leaders with Personal, Professional, or Commercial Interests.
LLL Leaders shall respect their trusted positions with mothers. Leaders shall not seek to profit financially from mothers through their interactions with them as LLL Leaders. When representing La Leche League, LLL Leaders shall not promote their personal opinions or interests outside of the scope of LLLI philosophy.

Some LLL Leaders may be engaged in paid professions and businesses which offer products or services of value to mothers. LLL Leaders shall make all efforts to separate their roles as LLL Leaders from these paid professions. An LLL Leader who is also a paid professional or businesswoman shall offer choices to mothers, in addition to her own products or services, when appropriate and possible.

As a result of this policy being adopted, Appendix 21, "Guidelines for Leader/Lactation Consultants" was deleted from the Policy and Standing Rules Notebook

Rationale

A work group of Professional Liaison Leaders reviewed the former policy for relevance at the request of the LLLI Board of Directors. This policy addresses a wider range of situations rather than just those involving Leaders who are also lactation consultants.

For more information about this policy, see "Exploring the New Policy Code 'Code of Ethics: Leaders with Personal, professional or Commercial Interests,'" Leaven Jan-Feb-Mar 2007, page 22.)

The Board also adopted the following policy: Code of Ethics: Funding
Introduction

This policy applies to activities supported by the LLLI budget, to all LLL entities, and to Leaders, LLLI Board members and LLLI and LLL employees when acting in their official capacity for LLL (hereafter referred to as LLL representatives). This policy does not supplant any possible legal requirements in any given country. This policy is a minimum requirement for all LLL entities.

LLLI fully supports the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (See Appendix 33) and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions relevant to the International Code, passed before October 2006 (referred to all together in this document as the "International Code").

LLLI and all LLL representatives will protect the LLLI reputation as a responsible, reliable provider of accurate, up-to-date information and mother-to-mother support for breastfeeding and will maintain sufficient autonomy and independence in order to work effectively on the LLLI mission.

1. Variety of funding sources
LLLI, LLL entities and LLL representatives may seek a diverse range of funding from

  • memberships
  • individual donations/contributions
  • grants from acceptable charitable foundations, governments or public agencies
  • acceptable commercial sources (see below).

LLLI, LLL entities, and LLL representatives shall choose sources of funding carefully. Before choosing a funding source, we will research its products and ownership structure, using our international networks and any relevant publications in print and on the World Wide Web. Leaders and employees working on funding issues will support each other by sharing information and will be mutually affirming and accountable world-wide.

2. Funding and protection of LLLI reputation
Representatives of LLLI shall consider the effects on our reputation before accepting any kind of funding from outside sources.

LLLI, LLL entities, and LLL representatives may accept funding from commercial sources and from not-for-profit organizations whose aims do not conflict with LLLI purpose, philosophy and principles.

LLLI or the relevant LLL entity shall be the final decision-maker as to content and context of all LLLI or LLL entity programs, publications and messages.

3. Support of the International Code
Written agreements and contracts governing sponsorship will include the information that LLLI fully supports the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions relevant to the International Code, passed before October 2006.

LLLI shall not enter into sponsorship or endorsement or licensing agreements with any corporation that violates the International Code nor accept advertisements or exhibits from such corporations. The term 'corporation' includes subsidiaries and parent companies of known International Code violators (see 1). New contracts shall specify that breaches of this provision that occur or become apparent during the term of the contract will result in the contract being terminated.

4. Donations/contributions
LLLI entities shall respect legal requirements governing donations in their locality. LLLI will provide opportunities for individual donors to opt out of any lists shared with a third party.

LLLI and LLL entities may accept donations/contributions from individuals and from commercial sources and shall retain the option to decline a donation.

LLLI or the LLL entity shall decide how to acknowledge a donation.

5. Sponsorship by a commercial company for LLLI
Sponsorship describes a relationship of mutual benefit to LLLI and the sponsor, where the name and/or logo of a company appears with the name and/or logo of LLLI. This includes the LLLI logo incorporated into the logo of an LLL entity.

Sponsorship agreements shall be in writing and shall include (but not be limited to) clauses enabling LLLI or the relevant LLL entity to end the relationship . These clauses shall specify end points at agreed-upon intervals and provide for termination of the contract if changes occur in the company that may undermine breastfeeding as defined by LLLI.

(see also: Contracts, Sponsorships, Endorsements, Authorization or Approval by LLLI)

6. Endorsements and licensing agreements
LLLI Board of Directors is the only body that may authorize an endorsement or licensing agreement by any part of LLL of any product or company.

7. Advertisements and Exhibits
All LLLI and LLL publications may include advertisements. LLLI and LLL events may include exhibits. Acceptance of advertisements and/or of exhibits does not constitute an endorsement. Statements to this effect shall be made in publications and in event and exhibition programs. All contracts shall include a copy of this Code of Ethics: Funding policy.

The following shall not be advertised nor exhibited:

  • any product that has been documented as harmful to the breastfed baby;
  • any product incompatible with LLLI purpose or philosophy (see LLLI Bylaws and PSR Appendix 1).

A written, legal contract that protects LLLI from liability shall cover all advertisements and/or exhibits.

8. Consultation for health-related advertisements, exhibits and sponsorship agreements
When considering an advertisement or exhibit for any product, cause or service related to health, or sponsorship from a company known for its health-related products;

the contracting entity shall consult with at least two Leaders. These consultation Leaders shall be chosen by the local entity using these criteria:

  • relevant expertise
  • ability to take an objective view of the proposed advertisement, exhibit or sponsorship; for example their expenses (or salary in the case of employees) comes from a budget separate from that affected by the proposed contract.

As a result of this policy being adopted, the following policies were deleted from LLLI Policies and Standing Rules Notebook:

Advertisements in LLLI Publications

Advertisers, Commercial

Appendix 15 Guidelines for Advertisers

Donations of Money, Goods and Services, acceptance by LLLI

Exhibitors

Exhibits, Commercial or Educational

Exhibits, Non-LLL

Appendix 16 Guidelines for Exhibitors

Rationale

Funding is vital to the future of LLLI and all parts of the organization. Maintaining the integrity of our message is also critical. This policy is designed to help everyone in the LLLI community deal with the challenges of funding LLL activities in an ethical manner. This policy consolidates and clarifies guidance relevant to funding. In addition this policy addresses the challenges and opportunities brought by cause-related marketing. The policy was developed by a work group which included Leaders from various parts of the world, LLLI staff members and some LLLI Board members. The draft policy was further reviewed by La Leche League representatives worldwide.

More information will be provided in a future issue of LEAVEN.

(For more information, see "Our Money and Our Mission: The New Policy 'Code of Ethics: Funding,'" Leaven Jan-Feb-Mar 2007, page 23.)

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the LLLI Board at LLLIBOD at llli.org.

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