Spellbinders Governing Structure


Rights and Responsibilities of Chapters:

  1. To act in accordance with the PPP
  2. To provide for the training of volunteer storytellers in accordance with the PPP
  3. To establish its own membership qualifications and standards in accordance with the PPP
  4. To establish its own program guidelines, ongoing member enrichment and evaluation in accordance with the PPP
  5. To establish its own process of governance and decision making in accordance with the PPP
  6. To participate in selecting the Spellbinders  Council of Trustees
  7. To use the trademarked Spellbinders name, logo and materials in accordance with copyright law and the PPP
  8. To use the SRC for guidance and direction to enrich storytelling practices and Chapter management
  9. To communicate best practices, stories and highlights of activities to other Chapters and the Resource Center
  10. To adhere to such organization-wide operating procedures as may be adopted by the Council in accordance with the autonomy of Chapters reflected in the PPP
  11.  To secure financial and other resources to meet its own needs
  12. To pay any dues and fees the Council may establish
  13. To keep accurate and current records of its members, financial transactions and activities;
  14. To indemnify and hold the Trustees, Spellbinders, its employees, agents and representatives harmless from any costs, attorneys’ fees, damages or liabilities arising out of or in any way caused by the Voting Member’s breach of any provision of the Charter, Bylaws or Operating Procedures

Council of Trustees

Roles and Responsibilities of the Council of Trustees:

  1. To uphold the best interests of the organization as a whole
  2. To develop and execute action plans aligned with the PPP
  3. To honor, support and empower the Chapters in upholding the vision and values of the PPP
  4. To be informed about the activities and needs of its Chapters
  5. To develop financial and other resources for the organization
  6. To ensure fiscal accountability for the organization
  7. To certify and welcome new Chapters
  8. To annul the certification of any chapters that no longer meet the certification requirements or violate the PPP
  9. To ensure sound administrative management of the organization
  10. To ensure sound practices and sufficient opportunities to certify and update Trainers
  11. To encourage the flow of intra-organizational communication in the pursuit of best practices

Composition of the Council of Trustees:

The Council of Trustees is the official governing body of Spellbinders. Chapter Representatives comprise at least 55% of the Council of Trustees. The remainder of the seats is held by At-Large Trustees.  These Trustees are advocates for Spellbinders and may offer a specific area of expertise (legal, accounting, storytelling, fundraising) that is important to the operation of Spellbinders.  These At-Large Trustees may or may not be Spellbinders storytellers. The Council of Trustees comprises no less than seven and no more than 15 individuals with a preference for an odd number of members.

Selection process for the Council of Trustees:  Chapter “delegates” elect Chapter Representatives to the Council of Trustees at the Annual Meeting

  • All Chapters are allotted two delegates
  • Chapter delegates are determined by the Chapter in accordance with the PPP by a method of their choice
  • Proxy votes and votes in absentia are allowed
  • Council of Trustees At-Large Members are elected by the Council of Trustees based upon needed areas of expertise
  • Any Chapter member can volunteer his/her candidacy for the Council of Trustees although the process might be modified in later years to use a nominating committee.

    Categories of Affiliation

    There are four categories of being affiliated with Spellbinders®:

  1. Chapters
  2. Trustees
  3. Employees
  4. Friends

Chapter Members and Chapters:  Chapter members belong to Chapters, which are the basic unit of membership in the organization.

To qualify as a Chapter (or maintain its status as such), Chapters must ratify the Charter, which primarily consists of the Preamble, Purpose and Principles (“PPP”) and this Organizational Design, and have at least six active volunteer storytellers.

Chapters that fail to do so would no longer be considered members in good standing and would not be permitted to use the Spellbinders name and logo, or copy the materials. The rights and responsibilities of Chapters are detailed in the sections that follow.

Qualifications to become a member of a Chapter may be established by each Chapter, as long as those qualifications are in accordance with the PPP. Chapter members could include: a) active storyteller members, b) inactive storyteller members who are not currently active in telling stories but wish to support and/or remain associated with a Chapter, and c) relocated storyteller members who were once active storyteller members in a particular Chapter, but since moved away and are now active storytellers in a new locale that doesn’t have its own Spellbinders Chapter.

Chapters, regardless of how or whether they are incorporated, have the same Rights and Responsibilities.  Chapters may be:

  • under the umbrella of a separate legal entity such as a school, library or senior center;
  • independently incorporated;
  • a distinct and separate legal entity from Spellbinders (doing business as “Spellbinders Resource Center”), but use the Spellbinders Resource Center as a fiscal sponsor, adhering to additional legal and financial reporting.  Chapters must apply and be approved for this status and comply with all applicable reporting; or
  • in rare cases, and by the approval of the Council of Trustees, a project of the Spellbinders Resource Center.

Trustee:  Trustees comprise the Council of Trustees (“Council”), which serves as the governance body of Spellbinders, and is a successor to the original Board of Directors.  Its roles and responsibilities, composition and selection process are detailed in later sections.

Friend:  A “Friend” of Spellbinders is an individual or organization that wishes to be affiliated with Spellbinders but not as a storyteller Chapter member.  Spellbinder Friends may be donors or may otherwise wish to support, be informed of and/or participate in the work of Spellbinders.  They would signify their endorsement of the PPP and any other criteria established by the Council, in order to be designated a Spellbinders Friend.  Friends would not belong to Chapters and would not have the rights and responsibilities of Chapters.

Employees:  Employees may be hired by the Spellbinders Resource Center or by Chapters.  The Council is responsible for hiring the Spellbinders Executive Director, who in turn, is responsible for hiring other employees of the Resource Center.  Chapters establish their own process for hiring employees, if any.