Within the Administrative Council budget there is a line for volunteer support which provides limited funding to support childcare for events and meetings and to support mileage, toll and parking reimbursement for Friends involved in the council and for substructures that do not have their own budgets. This funding is meant to help make participation in the yearly meeting accessible and is not available to everyone or for every meeting or event. Substructures in the care of the Administrative Council must speak with the council about availability of funding. Prior approval by the council and strict adherence to the request procedures are required for reimbursement. Details and processes for accessing financial support approved by the council may be found in the Electronic Appendix on the PYM website. Only councils may approve the use of funding for contracted services.
Fundraising: Everyone involved in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is asked to be part of our culture of giving. Council members are asked to be active fundraisers and encourage others to make contributions generously as meetings and as individuals. However, actual fundraising solicitations need to be coordinated with the appropriate staff. No structure may fundraise on behalf of the yearly meeting or for any structure, substructure, program, or particular cause in the yearly meeting without explicit permission from the Administrative Council.
News: Councils can publish stories through all standard PYM communications channels. The channels and the process for submitting content to them are kept current in the Electronic Appendix.
PYM Calendar: Any scheduled council events may be, and should be, published on the calendar on the PYM website. It is the responsibility of the council to submit the information to be posted. Submission practices are kept current in the Electronic Appendix.
Website: Councils are provided space on the PYM website.
Social Media: Councils may use the PYM social media accounts in collaboration with staff and following the rules laid out under Guidelines for Appropriate Use of Social Media, which will be available in the Electronic Appendix.
Print Materials: Councils may develop print publications such as flyers for sharing publicly. Print materials need to conform to the PYM visual identity guide and style guide and be reviewed and approved by communications staff. Print communications that do not follow the style guide of PYM may not be distributed. Councils may work with staff to professionally design brochures, flyers, and publications. Extraordinary requests might require additional budget approval. Guidelines and procedures for print items are available in the Electronic Appendix.
Contact Information: Councils are not given direct access to contact information of Friends in the yearly meeting. All direct communications to broad PYM audiences are managed through the PYM office and its channels.
Councils have access to a private section of the PYM website (called a “multisite”), accessible only to members of the group. This multisite will be the container for all logistical information that the group will need to function well. Members will be able to add events to the group’s internal calendar, upload documents, see an archive of Google Group messages, find quick links to recommended external services for internal collaboration (video chat, doodle polls, etc.), and read how-to guides on best practices and rules for use of communications technology.
PYM staff creates and maintains a private Google Group for each council. Selected members of the council are added as group managers, and are responsible for ongoing administrative tasks, like approving new requests to join the group. PYM staff will retain ownership of the Google Group to ensure long-term stability in case of group turnover
If Councils wish to communicate in additional ways, they must speak with the communications staff and presiding clerk or the clerk’s delegate to ensure that plans are in alignment with other communications and processes.
Councils may not create independent websites. They may not sign up for any third-party apps or group collaboration tools beyond those recommended in the resources section of their private multisite, and must follow PYM guidelines when using social media.
Sensitive or personal identification information may not be stored in the cloud without approval of the communications staff.
All communications that are published in any way through PYM:
- May be reviewed and edited by the PYM communications staff. See the editing process in the Electronic Appendix online for more information.
- Must conform to the PYM style guide for graphics and copy.
The following logistical supports are available to councils within defined parameters:
- meeting space for meetings at Friends Center or Arch Street Meeting House during open hours, as available
- conference calls
- development of simple online registration forms
- mailings – up to 100 pieces
- flyer design
- arrangement of and payment for childcare
- printing and copying
- space for events at Friends Center or Arch Street Meeting House
- receiving and disbursing funds
- editing documents
- reimbursing expenses
Details and processes for accessing the support may be found in the Electronic Appendix on the PYM website.
The following are ways in which staff is not available to support councils:
- setting up or managing preparation or follow-up for meetings of council members
- arranging communications among council members
- developing agendas, recording minutes, or writing news or other documents
Typically these services are not available by staff: designing programs, staffing programs, developing or finding content or speakers. If a council is developing a program and is interested in support, the clerk or other contact should contact the Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life to explore appropriate and available supports.
Requests from substructures to bring a concern or request to the agenda of a council, to the PYM clerk or to the agenda of annual or continuing sessions, are received by the clerk of the council or their delegate.
The council is responsible for seasoning concerns and identifying the appropriate person, entity, or session in which the concern will be heard.
Councils can represent themselves in the context of their role as part of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, but they are not permitted to state positions or opinions on behalf of the yearly meeting to external or internal people or institutions as representative of the yearly meeting’s position.