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New Organizational System Ready for Launch

Trisha Noack
LLLI PR Director
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 43 No. 3, July-August-September 2007, p. 64

Ingrid Biery was interviewed for this article. She is one of the many people who have served on the strategic plan workgroups that helped to develop the new tools that will streamline and simplify the systems La Leche League International uses to track and serve members, accept donations, and more.

Q. What's in this new organizational system, called Kintera, for Leaders?

A. The system, or Kintera, is a computerized organizational system that will help LLLI perform many functions, including keeping track of membership. The goal of having a new system is to simplify, update, and streamline record keeping for everyone in LLLI. One of the best things about it is that Leaders now have just one place to enter their information and from there it is available to all levels of LLL as your contact information. For example, if you move or change your email address, you enter that change yourself over the Internet from your own computer and it will change your information throughout the organization. There will be no more waiting for the Area or LLLI to catch up to the change.

Q. What if I'm not good with computers?

A. You will have support from a new person on your Area team, the Area Data Administrator (ADA).

Q. Does that mean that Leaders will be able to see the Area Council and other Area Leaders on Kintera?

A. Not at first, but the Area will have the very latest contact information and republish it as a directory as most Areas do now.

Q. How will I pay membership dues now?

A. Along with direct entry of member data will come direct payment to LLLI of dues and fees when you use a debit or credit card. Leaders, Groups, and Areas will be able to pay this way. Eventually Leaders will be able to go on and pay membership dues for members. This makes them the "enrolling entity." Everyone should remember that in the new system, we use the terms Leader and member. If a member mails her check directly to LLLI, the local share will be returned to the Area on a quarterly basis. Areas pay the Group their share.

Q. What should Leaders be doing to prepare for this change?

A. Easy things you can do are get a debit card for yourself or your Group account and check to see if your Area has found someone to serve as ADA. If not, consider volunteering. The ADA will help with the transition, beginning with checking and correcting the existing Leader data that has already been entered from the previous LLLI database.

Q. Will the whole system be up and running all at once?

A. No, features will be phased in.

Q. So, what features will Leaders have to look forward to?

A. There are new terms to learn. Leaders will call the place they originally connect to other Leaders their "primary connection." Groups will be able to create rosters, and there will also be full handling of International Divisions and Affiliate information.

Later there will be features such as the ability to send an email invite for LLLI membership or earmark a donation for a specific LLLI entity which will, again, simplify, streamline, and update how we all work.

Q. Are there going to be changes in the terms we use to describe Leader status and positions?

A. The term "Listed Leader" will no longer be used. Instead, each Group will have one contact person who does not need to be a Leader. LLLI will no longer use "reserve" status as an official designation. All Leaders who are current with dues and meet the definition of active leadership will be considered active. Leaders who don't pay their dues will simply be dropped after a grace period and will not appear on the Area roster. Areas may choose to use other status designations including "reserve," or "no Group affiliation," and may have anyone they like appear on their rosters as long as dues have been paid.

Q. Many Leaders worry about the safety of their credit card information in a system like this.

A. Whether credit card information is stored is up to the person registering. LLLI itself will not take the responsibility for this, however Kintera has invested in financial industry standard security and carries the associated liability insurance. The credit card information is not available to LLLI staff or anyone else and the storage of the credit card information is only available if the user requests it.

This new organizational system will be a tool that will help LLL volunteers and staff at every level and will work well as we move ahead to simplify and streamline how we operate.

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