Friendship Group Toolkit

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Who We Are

YWCA Australia is a leading national feminist not-for-profit organisation working towards a future where all women, young women and girls in all their diversity are safe, equal and respected.

In 2018, YWCA in Australia became one national organisation, with over 300 staff delivering programs and services across more than 15 locations throughout the country. YWCA Australia is part of the World YWCA, a global membership movement of women and young women who have been leading social and economic change in 125 countries, for over 150 years.

Vision
All women, young women and girls are safe and respected, with equal access to power, opportunity and resources

Purpose
To be a strong, unified, national feminist organisation of women, young women and girls, working to achieve gender equality

Values
Feminism
Inclusion
Innovation
Integrity
Excellence

Goal
Positively impact the lives of more than 2 million women, young women and girls throughout Australia by 2023.

Priorities

Safety
Increase women’s safety and well-being through advocacy, programs and services

Leadership
Create spaces for young women to become leaders and drive positive change

Housing
Support women with affordable housing choices and homelessness services

Sustainability
Create a purpose aligned, robust social business to optimise our impact

Advocacy Positions

  • Housing: YWCA Australia advocates for and provides increased access to safe and affordable housing options for women, young women and girls. Housing is a human right and a fundamental basis to the realisation of gender equality.
  • Safety: YWCA Australia advocates for policies and legislation that prevents violence and promotes gender equality. We offer a range of programs across Australia which enable women to improve their safety, well-being and economic resilience.
  • Leadership: YWCA Australia advocates for women, young women and girls to develop their own leadership identity in order to achieve societal transformation. Women in all their diversity have rights to equal participation in decision-making and leadership in society.

Introduction

YWCA Australia has a long and proud tradition of grassroots membership engagement, from ‘Girl Citizen’ and ‘Young Wives’ clubs in the early 1900s, through to women’s clubs for older members and networking groups for young professional women today.

YWCA continues our tradition of capturing, retaining and growing our local voice with the establishment of Feminist Local Action Groups (FLAGs) and Friendship Groups. These groups have been developed after extensive consultation with our members and existing local clubs and groups, and will inform and support the ongoing work of YWCA Australia across the country.

This Toolkit is a guide for you to get involved with a Friendship Group and further your engagement with YWCA Australia as a valued member. Check out the summary below of our FLAGs and Friendship Groups.

Friendship Groups

Build and maintain the social connection social connection and friendship of YWCA members.

  • Member led
  • Meet regularly around social or sporting activities
  • Run local events with guest speakers
  • Undertake general fundraising activities
  • Located in a local community/region
  • Engage with local offices
  • Can apply for annual funding of up to $100 for events

Feminist Local Action Groups

Advocate, fundraise and support the work of YWCA Australia.

  • Member led
  • Advocate, fundraise and promote membership
  • Contribute to national and local campaigns
  • Have geographic or virtual locations
  • Engage with local and national offices
  • Can apply for annual funding of up to $1000 for campaigns or events

Friendship Groups

Get involved!

Friendship Groups have a long history within the YWCA movement in Australia. Originally forming as social, sporting or community action groups, they have evolved over time to now support members to maintain social connections and long-term engagement with YWCA.

Friendship Groups meet regularly for social, sporting, fundraising or advocacy purposes.

Click on the tabs below to read more on each topic

How to get involved in a Friendship Group or start your own

Register Online: by emailing us at [email protected]

  • To register by phone: call (02) 9285 6286
  • Fill in any relevant forms and return them to us via email or post to: YWCA Australia, 5/66 Wentworth Street, Surry Hills NSW, 2010. You will find these forms on our website or contact us and we’ll post them to you.
  • You will need to comply with our Code of Conduct and all Fundraising, Branding and Reporting Guidelines.

From here you can join an existing Friendship Group or start your own.
We can put you in touch with existing groups in your area, or use your your own networks to register a new Friendship Group.

Friendship Groups can organise social or fundraising activities and be provided with support and resources where required.

You will need to renew your Friendship your Friendship Group status annually.
This can be coordinated as a collective renewal by a nominated person in your Friendship Group.

Stay connected with YWCA Australia

Friendship Groups operate autonomously, with support and engagement from YWCA Australia as required. As a Friendship Group, you will communicate with each other to determine when, how and where you meet, and what events you organise.

This way, you can tailor your activities to the needs and interests of your Friendship Group. YWCA Australia will be there to support you and stay connected with you through:

Communications Team: To provide support on membership, fundraising and advocacy activities

Local offices: Your nearest local office will provide local support and engagement opportunities

Engagement Opportunities: Friendship Groups will be offered opportunities to hear from YWCA Australia employees, regional managers, executive directors and board members. Friendship Groups can stay connected with us by attending YWCA Australia events, connecting as a member, or even joining a Feminist Local Group!

Friendship Group Resources

Resources are available on the YWCA Australia website or you can request paper copies by contacting our Communications Team – check out our contact details page. Here is a list of the resources you may need to use as part of Friendship Group compliance:

Registration & Annual Renewal Form: This form includes the names and contact details of the members of your group. To be completed and returned to the Communications Team when a new Friendship Group formed, and each year as part of the Friendship Group annual renewal process.

Annual Financial Reporting Form: To be completed at the end of the financial year only if your Friendship Group collects or manages funds on behalf of YWCA Australia.

Calendar of Events: Optional spreadsheet to be used to input your Friendship Group’s events for the year.

Guidelines

It is important that your Friendship Group complies with YWCA Australia guidelines and use the Toolkit as instructed.

If you have any further ideas for tools or guidelines that will assist your Friendship Group please email us at [email protected]

Your individual membership: As a member of a Friendship Group you will also need to be a YWCA Australia member. In addition, you will be considered a YWCA Australia volunteer, so you will need to comply with our Volunteer Policy and complete volunteer registration forms for our records.

Insurance: As per our Volunteer Insurance Policy, you will be covered under YWCA Australia’s Public Liability Insurance and Professional Indemnity Insurance when engaged in activities on behalf of YWCA Australia.

Upon request YWCA Australia will provide you with a letter outlining the cover of your insurance, as well as a copy of the Insurance Policy, so you can provide this where necessary.

There are some exemptions to this cover, so when organising events and activities it is important you refer to YWCA Australia’s Volunteer Policies before you undertake such activities. If your Friendship Group is already covered under an existing insurance policy, please provide YWCA Australia with a copy.

National Events, Fundraising & Advocacy Campaigns: YWCA Australia may issue national event, fundraising and advocacy campaigns for Friendship Groups to consider for engagement at a local level. We are developing an Advocacy Toolkit and Fundraising Toolkit to assist you, and where possible we will provide you with other support such as marketing materials or administrative support for fundraising/ticket sales.

Your Friendship Group can support national events or campaigns, and we encourage you to fundraise for YWCA Australia to support our programs and advocacy work, and build our membership.

New members can sign up here: ywca.org.au/become-a-member
Donations can be made here: ywcaaustralia.raisely.com
Fundraise for YWCA Australia here: fundraise-for-ywca-australia.raisely.com

YWCA Australia and any Friendship Group that uses YWCA’s name in any way, must abide by State and Territory laws to ensure that funds raised are spent according to the purposes under which the funds were raised.

If you are fundraising for YWCA Australia, please refer to our Fundraising Toolkit available on our website.

Any group that is fundraising using the name of YWCA Australia, must be raising funds for the work – the programs, services and advocacy areas – of YWCA Australia. A letter from YWCA Australia will need to be obtained from the Communications

Fundraising initiatives will be issued with specific fundraising guidelines and tools to comply with any such requirements. Some initiatives may require additional local support to ensure fundraising compliance is met.

Events & Campaign Guidelines

All events and advocacy campaigns must align to the YWCA purpose and strategic priorities.

Where you are involved with an event or campaign you will liaise with the Communications Team, to ensure your event or campaign reflects YWCA Australia and our goals. Talk to us about any additional requirements such as staff time, in-kind support or funds management support for your events or campaigns.

If you are running an Advocacy campaign please refer to our Advocacy Toolkit available on our website.

Collecting and handling Money

All funds collected and managed over $500 will need to be reported to YWCA Australia using the Financial Reporting Form.

If your FLAG is raising and managing funds for your own purposes (such as an event), you may wish to open up your own bank account. You will need to make sure you:

  • Meet as a group and make a motion to open a bank account
  • Nominate and list the signatories (e.g. the President and Treasurer) and sign the minutes from that meeting
  • Take 100 points of ID into the nominated bank and open the account
  • Name the bank account ‘YWCA + Group Type + Location’
  • (e.g. ‘YWCA FLAG Perth’)
  • If your fundraising activity requires tax-deductible receipts, it will need to be approved by and reported to YWCA Australia (by using the Financial Reporting Form).

If you are fundraising to support a YWCA Australia-led campaign or program, we can help you set up a Raisely crowdfunding campaign. You can also make donations or deposit income directly into YWCA Australia’s account:

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
Account Name: YWCA Australia
Bank: NAB
BSB: 082 057
Account No: 83 508 3684
Description: “Name of Group”

Brand Guidelines

All Friendship Groups are required to operate in accordance with the brand guidelines and align with YWCA Australia’s vision, values and purpose.

In the event that any YWCA Group conducts itself in a manner which brings the YWCA name into disrepute or is deemed to be not in the interests of
YWCA Australia or aligned to our brand, purpose, vision and values, we reserve the right to take one or more of the following actions:

  • Request removal of specific material, images and wording.
  • Request the Group issue an apology.
  • Disassociate the Group thus removing the ability for the said group to use or associate itself with YWCA Australia.

Social Media Guidelines

YWCA Australia has a primary account for most social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube).

Friendship Groups may promote their activities on YWCA Australia’s social media, by liaising with the Communications Team (email [email protected]).

All proposed content will be considered in relation to organisational context, ongoing social media priorities and scheduling, so be sure to include sufficient details and lead in time.

All social media activities conducted by Friendship Group members that refer to YWCA (on both organisational and personal pages) must abide by YWCA Australia’s social media policy and processes.

YWCA Australia encourages Friendship Groups to establish online groups such as a closed Facebook Group to facilitate ongoing connection, communication and administration. If you need help to support or establish an online group, please contact the Communications Team.

Globally, YWCA has provided Safe Spaces to women and girls in the heart of local communities for over 160 years and the concept has been used to improve the services and programs, reaching over 25 million women, young women and girls in over 100 countries around the world.

YWCA in Australia has been creating Safe Spaces for women, young women and girls since the 1870’s. Safe Spaces can be literal spaces of safety that offer shelter and care to those in need, but can also be environments and ways of working that are designed to facilitate trust, confidentiality, dignity and respect.

YWCA Australia is committed to embedding Safe Spaces philosophy and practice into all programs and services. We expect our local groups to support us in this by ensuring everyone feels safe and can meaningfully participate to the best of their abilities.

Contact information

The Communications Team will be your first point of contact and support:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (02) 9285 6286