MF/PL's Organizational Structure


As a membership-based organization, the membership has the ultimate power in the organization. All decisions should be made and implemented based on the direction of the membership.

The membership meets once a year in person (with the ability to participate remotely for members unable to attend in person). At the annual membership meeting:

  • The leadership committee is responsible for running the meeting
  • The leadership committee is responsible for reporting on progress in implementing the previous year's goals
  • The membership identifies the broad goals for the coming year
  • The membership elects the new Leadership Committee to implement these goals

Decision making process

The membership meeting votes for leadership committee members from a selection of nominated candidates with the top 15 vote getters filling the leadership committee. A quorum equal to 10% of total membership is required for the vote to be valid. Broad goals are collaboratively chosen by participating members in a fashion decided on by the outgoing Leadership Committee (e.g. collaborative democracy workshop).

Leadership Committee

The Leadership committee meets face-to-face once a year, schedules phone calls as needed, and communicates by private email list.

The Leadership Committee's responsibilities are to:

  • translate the broad goals identified by the membership into program areas
  • direct the implementation of the programs
  • choose one or more directors to liaison between the staff and the leadership committee and to provide accountability for staff actions
  • evaluate the staff and the director(s)
  • approve all additions to the staff and remove staff if they are not carrying out the direction of the LC
  • stop any staff activities or work that is deemed to be inconsistent with the mandate of the LC

Decision making process


  • Submission: Any leadership committee member can submit proposals to the full LC for approval. All proposals must have at least one LC member as a sponsor. Proposals may be submitted for a decision at the annual leadership committee meeting or by email sent to the LC email list.
  • Content: Proposals should include a brief description of the program, a estimate of resources that will be required to implement it, and a deadline for votes which must be a minimum of 72 hours after the proposal has been circulated to the LC.
  • Delays: Any LC member can delay a vote up to 5 days with a request for further discussion, either by email or by phone call, however, only one delay may be requested per proposal.
  • Amendments: LC members may proposed modifications to any proposal. The proposal sponsor can decide whether or not to adopt them. Any proposal that is modified resets the 72 hour deadline for votes.


  • Quorum: The Leadership Committee requires a quorum of 50% for decisions to be valid.
  • Process: Votes may be made by email, phone, or in person. A good-faith attempt will always be made to reach unanimity. If the LC is not unanimous, then proposals must be approved by more than 2/3 of the leadership committee members who vote. Abstentions are allowed and count toward quorum.
  • Timing: Proposals are considered approved if 2/3 of the LC members approve it or if 2/3 of quorum approve it by the end of the vote deadline. If neither condition is met, then the proposal is not approved.
  • Re-submission: proposals that fail due to lack of quorum may be re-submitted unchanged. This restarts the proposal as a new submission. If a proposal is not approved because it was disapproved by 1/3 or more of the voting LC members, it may not be re-submitted to the same LC until substantive changes are made that are intended to address the concerns of the disapproving LC members.


The LC should only approve a proposal if they believe:

  • the proposal carries out the goals identified by the membership and
  • the proposal can be implemented given the organization's available resources.


Staff members are expected to attend and participate in LC face-to-face meetings, email discussion and phone calls, but only LC members may vote. Other MFPL members may attend LC face-to-face meetings but not participate. Any LC member may request a private session restricted to just LC members to discuss sensitive topics (such as personnel).


MFPL staff make themselves available on regular, weekly basis to perform labor for the organization and participate in weekly staff meetings. Staff may be volunteers or be paid.

The staff meets weekly (in-person and by phone) and via a publicly archived staff email list (WHERE?).

The staff's responsibilities are to:

  • perform the day-to-day operations of the organization
  • implement the program areas as defined by the LC
  • recruit additional staff and nominate staff additions to the LC

The director(s) is responsible for:

  • The overall security of the organization
  • report progress and problems to the LC on a monthly basis

The staff may create teams to help accomplish its tasks (e.g. the support team) which may include members not on the staff. Every staff team must have at least one staff member.

Decision making process

The staff makes decision by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, the LC appointed director(s) makes a final decision. The director(s) are ultimately accountable to the LC for staff decisions.

Last modified 9 years ago Last modified on Feb 7, 2013, 3:04:26 PM