Meeting Online Gives Members More Options
There are three active and Federated virtual clubs in the nation: The Kings Highway Republican Women’s E-Club of Virginia (President Janet Gorn), emPOWERED Republican Women of Ohio (President Carol Ann Kalwa-Pickron) and MI Republican Women’s Club of Michigan (President Kim Hoppe). The NFRW Membership Committee under the leadership of Caroline Smith of Nevada has been working to provide state presidents with the virtual club membership option.
A virtual club is part of a State Federation of Republican Women and assembles, meets, conducts business, trains, and presents virtually. As with all federated clubs, the virtual club has bylaws, an elected president and officers, and dues-paid membership with full voting rights. Virtual clubs use a variety of 21st Century technology (like Google Forms, Facebook, Twitter, SurveyMonkey, Zoom, Free Conference Call, GroupMe, PayPal, Square, DropBox, etc.) to connect women across the state who wish to join the army of Republican Women but are unable to participate in traditional clubs.
Outside of how the women meet or engage, there is no difference between virtual clubs and traditional clubs. At the State Federation level, there is no difference. Virtual clubs have specific language in their bylaws that give them the ability to meet and vote electronically. Annual State Federation and NFRW dues are collected, and virtual club members enjoy their voting membership. The Virtual Club has monthly or quarterly meetings, events, and annual meetings. Technology allows the use of email, phone, or other applications to engage Republican Women across the state. Based on the technology, speakers and training may be presented via conference call or visually through a tele-media.
Virtual clubs allow Republican Women the opportunity to participate in the State Federation on their terms. Members connect with the State Federation and National Federation of Republican Women resources and sisterhood. According to Virginia FRW President Ellen Nau, and the RWF of Michigan President Linda Lee Tarver, membership drives in the virtual club are easy and quite effective! Republican women living within the boundaries of a traditional club have the option of joining that club or being a member of the virtual club. In Michigan, most of the state’s elected Republican Women enjoy membership in the virtual club. Most notably, the MI RWC membership includes RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Michigan’s Secretary of State, Michigan’s Senate President Pro Tem, and the list goes on.
Starting a virtual club is simple! Find a club president and club officers who are closet “techies” able and willing to use modern technology. Members do not have to have technology skills, but leadership should. These 10 women do not have to live in proximity of each other. In fact, the farther away the better. The Republican women of the state should form the new virtual club with specific language in the bylaws that allow for virtual meetings, virtual voting, and virtual communication. After the State Federation and NFRW approves the club bylaws and charter, statewide membership begins. The cost of membership in the virtual club is typically lower and more affordable than a traditional club since meetings are online, there is little to no travel, and no cost for meals or speaker fees.
CAPTION: Michigan's virtual club, MI Republican Women, was chartered in 2016. Pictured are Michigan Federation President Linda Lee Tarver and Club President Kim Hoppe.
MORE INFORMATION: Learn more about virtual clubs