Chapter and Affiliate Agreement
Welcome to the network of chapters and affiliates with the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy was founded in 1982 to educate, organize and mobilize Virginia’s religious community around policies and practices addressing economic and racial injustice in the Commonwealth.
The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) believes that religious communities live out their faiths by exercising their voice and influence in the public sphere.
The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy assists people of faith in learning about issues, praying for those in leadership and those in struggle, and acting for justice in the Commonwealth. Each year, the board, chapter and affiliate and staff select a set of issues on which to focus to assure its effectiveness.
Although a good deal of the focus is on the General Assembly, work occurs throughout the year to learn more about the priority issues, talk with those most affected by the problems, meet with legislators and propose solutions. VICPP views itself as the faith voice in the public sector on issues surrounding poverty and the working poor. It also actively combats bias and discrimination in any form.
VICPP has two types of affiliates. Chapters are organizations that form primarily to support and further the mission of VICPP. Although the chapters can work on local concerns, they focus primarily on the issues that are selected statewide. Affiliates are organizations that existed before their relationship to VICPP, but want to affiliate with VICPP to further their faith voice in the public arena.
Chapters and affiliates enter into agreement with VICPP to strengthen the growing movement of people of faith working for economic and racial justice in Virginia. The agreement is a voluntary agreement – either side can negate the agreement at any point.
Shared Mission and Goals
VICPP and the Chapter or Affiliate represent that their primary organizational or program mission includes the following core components (although the language may vary):
- Educating and mobilizing the religious community on issues and campaigns to address economic or racial inequities in Virginia.
- Building relationships between diverse faith communities and standing with one another in times of struggle.
- Lifting a faith voice and perspective with Virginia’s policy leaders on issues of common concern.
- Honoring and respecting the differences among us while seeking unity on issues of common concern.
Tone and Approach
VICPP and the Chapter or Affiliate commit to having a faith-based tone and approach. In their work and approach, the organizations will:
- Involve and engage diverse leadership. VICPP seeks religious, ethnic, age and gender diversity in its leadership and spokespeople.
- Use peaceful and faith-based language.
- Remain bi-partisan, working across the political spectrum in the Commonwealth.
- Avoid taking positions on issues that are internally divisive within broad segments of the religious community.
Agreements of VICPP to Chapters and Affiliates
VICPP facilitates and supports activities of chapters and affiliates that are consistent with the shared mission and goals of the organization. VICPP will:
- Enable local affiliates and chapters to interact with the Board of Directors and have input in helping set the organization’s goals and issue priorities.
- Develop and provide educational resources on VICPP’s policy priorities.
- Outline strategies and ways chapters and affiliates can support policy priorities.
- Provide speakers for programs (as able).
- Maintain a website that promotes the chapters and affiliates.
- Promote the overall work of the chapters and affiliates through publications.
- Provide training for using the membership database.
- Organize an annual advocacy day in Richmond and encourage chapter support.
- Organize calls or meetings for chapters and affiliates to stay connected with VICPP priorities and initiatives and to learn from one another.
- Promote the overall work of the chapters and affiliates through VICPP staff support, which may include set intern hours, as time and resources allow.
- Grant to chapters and affiliates the non-exclusive right to the use of VICPP’s copyrighted materials, name, logos and other symbols developed by VICPP, without any fees.
- Train one or two people per chapter (not affiliates) to use the database.
Agreements of the Chapters and Affiliates
- Support VICPP’s annual advocacy priorities as its legislative agenda.
- Raise policy issues for consideration by the VICPP Board and Executive Director as appropriate.
- Seek VICPP Executive Director advice about issues beyond VICPP’s legislative agenda. For example, VICPP may be able to refer a chapter or member to other organizations that support a particular issue of local concern. Chapters should not take on issues that are outside of the mission of the organization.
- Send people to the annual chapter retreat.
- Recruit a leader or two to join the monthly chapter calls (weekly during the General Assembly).
- Recruit people to participate in key VICPP programs:
- Annual Meeting/Fundraiser
- Day for All People (January lobby day)
- Witness at the Capitol
- Promote the shared mission and goals within the affiliate’s geographic territory.
- Acknowledge the relationship to VICPP in public materials and websites.
- Train one person to be the database liaison with VICPP.
- Send regular updates for the website and weekly roundup.
- Ensure that names of people who attend local activities get into the database.
- Help update (and clean up) the database.
- Prepare for and organize at least one meeting per year with delegates and senators representing chapter members.
- Interact with VICPP in the same way as chapters listed above with two exceptions:o Affiliates are not asked to engage in membership database updates.o Given that affiliates formed prior to developing a relationship with VICPP, they may remain active in other policy issues they have supported, so long as it is clear that their advocacy on issues beyond the VICPP agenda is not under VICPP auspices and does not contradict VICPP’s policy positions and values.
Role of Board Members
Board members are important links between chapters and the Board of Directors. Although there are not chapters in all parts of the state, Board members are encouraged to:
- Serve as liaisons to their local chapters or affiliates providing a conduit for information between the Center and chapters.
- Support and participate in their local chapters’ or affiliates’ events.
- Support and participate in their local chapters’ outreach efforts, helping to identify and serve as an ambassador to key houses of worship contacts and helping to develop new key relationships.
- Support and participate in their local chapters’ outreach efforts to legislators or coordinate with local chapters on visits the board member may initiate with legislators.
- Host House parties to introduce the Executive Director to potential new donors.
- Identify who is not at the table in their region and work with the chapter and Center to recruit support from these underrepresented areas or faith groups.
- Recognize and support rising chapters for increased leadership roles in the Center.
Ending the Agreement
The purpose of the agreement is to nurture, strengthen and energize the growing collaboration between the affiliates and chapters at the local level and the statewide organization. Through this agreement VICPP seeks to cultivate a network that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Participation in the network is voluntary, and VICPP recognizes that affiliates and chapters may choose to end their association. VICPP may also ask certain chapters or affiliates to go their own ways. The Executive Committee of VICPP may ask a chapter or affiliate to disassociate from the network without cause and an affiliate or chapter may disassociate with VICPP without cause. Upon disassociation, the chapter will desist from using VICPP marketing material, name or resources.
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