Working Groups Procedure

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Working Groups focus on particular areas/topics, keeping Central traffic at a manageable level and encouraging participation in forming and progressing the objectives of Freegle. They are open to all Volunteers. The current Groups and their remits can be found at Working Groups.

2. Remit

Authority in Freegle is delegated from Members to the Board, with Central acting as a general discussion forum. Working Groups have devolved responsibility from the Board, as per their remits, to deal with specific areas of work. The Board, Central or Group members can ask a Group to consider a topic and come up with a recommendation. After discussing a topic, a Group may produce a proposal. The Document Approval Policy details how various documents are approved. Proposals for ways of working or projects should follow the same process as a written procedure.

3. Participation in Working Groups

All Volunteers using ModTools are automatically entitled to be members of Discourse. The choice is then up to individuals if they wish to view or participate in conversations on the Discourse groups including Working Groups. Where volunteers have a national role (eg. Board members or members of a national Team), they should always declare which ‘hat’ they are wearing in conversations.

4. Coordinator

Ideally, a Coordinator should be appointed to help the Working Group manage its work.

4.1 Coordinator Remit

The Working Group Coordinator is part of the Discourse Support Team, and is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Maintain a Task List for the priorities and work of the Group.
  • Draw up conclusions to discussions of Task List items, running polls where necessary and informing the Board as appropriate.
  • Ensure that group discussions stay within the remit of that Group.
  • Identify appropriate Group remit topics and issues raised on Central and bring those topics to the Group.
  • Notify Central via "Start of Topic" mails when new discussions start.
  • Compile reports for Board meetings and the AGM summarising activities of the Group.

4.2 Appointment of Coordinator

Appointment of a Coordinator is either by consensus (if there is one candidate on which the Group agrees) or a poll of Volunteers. A Start of Topic notice will be put on Central by Central Mods to alert volunteers of a forthcoming appointment.

5. Working Practices

The following working practices have proven effective and are suggested.

5.1 Task Lists

Each Group should maintain a task list in a Google spreadsheet. This Task List is managed by the Coordinator for that Group and an email address should have full editing rights. The links to each list can be found at Task Lists.

5.2 Working Group Polls

  • Discussions on matters within Freegle can often continue at length as we want to make sure that opinions are heard and everyone fairly considered.*
  • Polls are required for final decisions/recommendations, with a simple majority deciding the vote. These final polls should be live for at least 5 days and that length of time clearly announced.
  • If a discussion is particularly long a Group straw poll (or interim poll) can be useful. These interim/straw polls results are not binding, however they can often clarify where the Group as a majority stands on a matter and move a decision forward more efficiently.

5.3 Topic Notification Emails to Central

In order to avoid disenfranchising Volunteers, the Coordinator is responsible for sending Start of Topic Notification emails to Central for significant topics, and might consider also informing Central when a final poll is being run.

6. Links