Bylaws


Article I. Mission/Purpose

The Giving Circle of HOPE creates change in Northern Virginia through engaged and collective philanthropy.

Section 1.01 Goals
The goals of the Giving Circle of HOPE (the “Circle”) are to:

(a) Make a difference in the community by contributing time, talents, and monetary resources
(b) Encourage community among ourselves and those we serve
(c) Educate and increase awareness of local needs
(d) Encourage self-sufficiency and well-being among those in need
(e) Promote volunteerism and effective philanthropy
(f) Build a network that is a catalyst for positive change
(g) Understand philanthropy as caring for, nourishing, developing, and enhancing “what it is to be human” on both the benefactors and the beneficiaries

Article II. Name

The Giving Circle of HOPE (Helping Other People Everyday) is the official name of the organization.

Article III. Financial Host

The Circle is a component fund of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia (CFNV) with all the rights and benefits therein; including 501(c)3 status, tax reporting, liability insurance, investment of funds, and legal representation.

Article IV. Membership

Membership is open to all people who wish to further the mission and goals of the Circle through financial support and/or participation in service projects. Members shall be defined as those who complete a registration form and file it with the Circle.

Section 4.01 Member categories
There are two member categories:
(a) Voting – Members who donate at least the minimum + administrative fee, per Section 4.05, annually to the Circle
(b) Service – Members who donate their time and talents (+ the administrative fee) to accomplish the mission of the Circle

Section 4.02 Responsibilities of membership
(c) Voting Members

1) Vote on matters regarding grant awards, confirm leadership, and ratify bylaws
2) Participate in educational and service programs sponsored by the Circle
3) Encourage other individuals to support and participate in the mission and goals of the Circle
4) Honor financial commitments to the Circle in accordance with section 4.04
5) Attend Circle Quarterly meetings and events

(d) Service Members

1) Vote to confirm leadership and ratify bylaws
2) Participate in educational and service programs sponsored by the Circle
3) Encourage other individuals to support and participate in the mission and goals of the Circle
4) Honor financial commitments to the Circle in accordance with Section 4.04
5) Attend Circle Quarterly meetings and events

Section 4.03 Benefits of membership
(a) Participate in a dynamic, philanthropic, and fun organization
(b) Offer input to the Circle’s goals and grant awards
(c) Explore and collaborate with others with shared values
(d) Make a greater impact with pooled monetary resources
(e) Add value and impact to service projects and special events
(f) Learn about non-profits and needs in the community

Section 4.04 Donation Amount and Administrative Fee
(a) The minimum donation amount for Voting Members shall be one dollar per day ($365 annually), to be paid no later than November 1.
(b) All members, Voting and Service, shall pay an annual $50 administrative fee to the Circle to be considered in good standing.
(c) All undesignated monetary donations will be added to the Circle’s general account.

Section 4.05 Voting
(a) Only those Voting Members whose contributions are current shall be eligible to vote on grants.
(b) Voting on grant applications shall consist of selecting a number equal or less than the number of grants to be awarded that year.
(c) Each Voting Member shall have one vote, regardless of the amount contributed.
(d) All members in good standing may vote to confirm Guiding Circle members and/or ratify changes to the Circle bylaws.
(e) Voting may occur in person, by proxy, or via email.
(f) Voting on grants will take place at the November voting meeting. Grant awards will be determined by a simple majority of those present plus email votes received by 9PM on the day of the meeting, as long as quorum is met.
(g) Quorum shall consist of 1/3 of the total membership.

Article V. Organization/Structure

The Circle will have an all-volunteer executive committee called the Guiding Circle, defined in section 5.01, and working committees called Sub-Circles.

Section 5.01 Composition of Guiding Circle
The Guiding Circle will consist of no more than 12 positions. Positions may be shared.

Section 5.02 Qualification off Guiding Circle Members
(a) Be a Voting Member
(b) Demonstrate leadership qualities
(c) Have values and skills helpful to the Guiding Circle
(d) Have enough time to be able to serve effectively
(e) Make a commitment to put the Circle high on the list of personal priorities

Section 5.03 Selection of Guiding Circle Members
Nominees may be selected by the Nominating Sub-Circle or by self-nomination. Selection of Guiding Circle members will be made by majority vote of incumbent members of the Guiding Circle and confirmed by vote of the membership per Article IV Section 4.05

Section 5.04 Terms of Service
Guiding Circle members will serve for two years and be eligible for one renewal per position. Terms will commence on January 1 following confirmation by the membership at the preceding November voting meeting.

Section 5.05 Responsibilities of the Guiding Circle
(a) Provide the vision for the Circle
(b) Lead according to the Principles of Governance (see Appendix 1)
(c) Set policy for all Circle activities
(d) Select or approve educational and service programs
(e) Call and direct meetings of the Circle
(f) Manage accounting of contributions and expenses of the Circle
(g) Oversee all Sub-Circles
(h) Maintain records of Circle activities
(i) Review bylaws as needed and present changes to the membership for ratification
(j) Communicate about the Circle with members and the public
(k) Conduct all other business of the Circle

Section 5.06 Organization and Meetings of the Guiding Circle
(a) The Guiding Circle will meet monthly or as needed and shall record meeting minutes.
(b) Guiding Circle members will report on the activities of the Sub-Circles for which they have oversight responsibility.
(c) Decisions will be made by consensus or by simple majority vote. Each position shall have one vote regardless of the number of individuals occupying the position.

Section 5.07 Roles and Responsibilities
(a) Chair of Governance – Set agendas and preside at meetings, lead the Guiding Circle in creating and updating strategy and policy for the Circle, oversee the Nominating and Governance Sub-Circles
(b) Vice Chair of Governance – Share responsibilities with the Chair of Governance, ensure that an annual financial audit is conducted, succeed Chair at the end of his/her term
(c) Chair of Finance – Develop a financial strategy, prepare donation reminders, budgets and financial statements, keep records of contributions, communicate with the CFNV, oversee the Corporate Sponsors Sub-Circle
(d) Chair of Communications – Develop a communications plan and budget, oversee all internal and external communications, Circle Publications and materials, Public Relations Sub-Circle, Newsletter Editor, Website & Social Media Coordinator
(e) Chair of Records – Develop an Archive strategy and budget, ensure preparation, distribution, and filing of Quarterly, guiding Circle, and Sub-Circle minutes, maintain an electronic repository for all records, manage database
(f) Chair of Programs – Develop Education and Service strategy and budgets, support current service programs and help develop new opportunities for service and education, develop and implement an internal recognition program, oversee the Education Sub-Circle and Book Circle
(g) Chair of Membership – Develop and implement Membership Recruitment and Retention strategy and budgets, maintain non-financial member information, oversee Membership, Hospitality, and Sunshine Sub-Circles
(h) Chair of Grants – Develop and implement Grant strategy and budget, communicate with applicants and grantees, oversee Grantee Liaisons and Collective Grant, Impact Grant, and Endowment Grant Sub-Circles
(i) Chair of Outreach – Develop and implement Outreach strategy and budget, maintain relationships with community leaders, civic groups, nonprofit organizations, and other giving circles/philanthropic groups, foster collaboration and partnerships

Positions may be co-chaired.

Additional Sub-Circles may be designated and Sub-Circle responsibilities may be modified from time to time, as determined by the Guiding Circle.

Section 5.08 Advisory Circle

The Advisory Circle shall be comprised of all six Founders and other individuals invited by the Guiding Circle who have expertise or experience that will add value to the leadership of the Circle.

Advisory Circle members must demonstrate a strong commitment and active interest in the Circle and attend at least one Guiding Circle meeting or retreat per year.

The role of the Advisory Circle shall be to monitor the integrity of the Circle’s mission, goals, and bylaws, provide historical knowledge, assist with strategic planning, and give informed guidance.

Section 5.09 Liability of Guiding Circle and Advisory Circle Members

As an all-volunteer organization, all leaders (and members) serving in good faith have limited liability per the federal Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) and the Code of Virginia statute 13.1-870.

Article VI. Meetings

The Circle will meet at least four times a year, at such times, as the Guiding Circle shall determine. One such meeting will occur in November in order to vote on grant applications and/or confirm Guiding Circle members and/or ratify changes to bylaws.

Article VII. Administrative Expenses

The Guiding Circle and Sub-Circle leaders may incur costs for supplies and services necessary to the operation of the Circle. These expenses may include, but are not limited to, website registration and maintenance, paper, printing, postage, room rental, refreshments, and materials for service projects. Reimbursement will be made from the Administrative Fund (collected in accordance to Article IV Section 4.04) to the extent that funds are available. Reimbursement for service program supplies may not exceed $350 annually per program.

Article VIII. Awarding of Grants

The Circle will award four types of grants:

1) Collective grants – awarded annually
2) Impact grants – awarded periodically
3) Endowment grants – awarded bi-annually
4) Flashes of Hope grant – awarded annually to cover chapter fees as long as the chapter remains an active service program of the GCH

Section 8.01 Procedure for Awarding Grants
(a) The Grant Sub-Circle will receive and review collective grant applications and make recommendations to the general Voting membership per procedures and guidelines set forth by the Chair of Grants, Grants Sub-Circle, and Guiding Circle. Collective grants shall be awarded by vote of the Voting members per Article IV Section 4.05. Collective grants may be awarded in an amount up to the balance of the funds in the Circle’s account as long as a minimum of $1,000.00 is maintained after disbursement of the grants.
(b) The Impact Grant Sub-Circle will receive and review grant applications and select an Impact grant recipient per guidelines set forth by the Chair of Grants, Impact Grant Leader, Impact Sub-Circle, and Guiding Circle.
(c) The Endowment Grant Sub-Circle will receive and review grant applications and select a Break-the-Cycle grant recipient per guidelines set forth by the Chair of Grants, the Endowment Grant Sub-Circle, and Guiding Circle.

Section 8.02 Criteria for Awarding Grants
(a) Applicant organization must be tax-exempt under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
(b) Applicant organization must have an organizational budget of not more than $2 million.
(c) Applicant organization must meet the Circle’s mission to create positive change in Northern Virginia by directly benefiting people in need, where “need” refers to people who have low income, are disadvantaged or are under-served.
(d) Applicant organization must serve populations in the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun or Prince William, or the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, or Falls Church.
(e) Applicant organization must be approved by the CFNV.
(f) The following are excluded from consideration:

1) Projects or programs that promote a particular religious or political ideology
2) Endowment or capital projects and campaigns
3) Dinner galas, advertising, and other special fundraising events
4) General operating expenses of an organization
5) Intermediary funding agencies

Article IX. Endowments

Current and future designated gifts to the Circle will be managed according to the guidelines submitted to the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia (CFNV).

Appendix 1: Principles of Governance

1) Serve as a Team – Communicate with trust, candor, respect and honesty. Seek consensus and speak with one voice.
2) Be Mission Driven – Uphold the mission and goals, articulate a compelling vision, and ensure the congruence between decisions and core values.
3) Be Strategic – Allocate time to what matters most and continuously engage in strategic thinking to hone the Circle’s direction.
4) Be Open‐minded – Seek and explore new ideas, perspectives, and viewpoints. Engage in constructive debate, leading to sound and shared decision making.
5) Take a Holistic View – Balance the interests of the organization as a whole with the needs and interests of individual programs and members.
6) Create Transparency – Allow members to access appropriate and accurate information regarding finance, operations, and results.
7) Lead with Integrity – Do the right thing at all times under all circumstances. Establish standards and disciplines to support this.
8) Practice Good Stewardship – Strike a balance between bold vision and plans and the Circle’s resources. Be judicious with expenses.
9) Focus on Results – Regularly evaluate the Circle’s programs and alignment with the mission. Value standards of efficiency, effectiveness, and excellence.
10) Build a Solid Governance Structure – Invest in structures and practices that transcend individuals and thoughtfully adjust to changing circumstances.
11) Learn Continuously – Strive to improve, grow, and find new ways to achieve the Circle’s mission. Encourage creativity.
12) Plan for Future Sustainability – Energize through planned turnover, thoughtful recruitment, intentional cultivation of future officers, and inclusiveness of members.
13) Collaborate With Others – Leverage relationships to build community and maximize results. Avoid duplication of efforts.
14) Honor Core Values – Put a priority on service, a warm and welcoming atmosphere, high standards, and group leadership.