Policy Circles across the nation are started by women who have a mind of their own, who believe in everyone’s capacity for choosing what is best for themselves, their family and their community. The Policy Circle women believe in the Athenian oath:
“We will never bring disgrace on this our City by an act of dishonesty or cowardice. We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the City both alone and with many. We will revere and obey the City’s laws, and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught. We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public’s sense of civic duty. Thus, in all these ways, we will transmit this City not only, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”
About The Policy Circle
Also check our About page here.
Is The Policy Circle part of a national organization?
- The Policy Circle is a grassroots initiative and not part of a national organization. We do use information and data from national and local sources to compile our Policy Briefs and state-specific information.
Policy Circle women at times are political candidates and take a stand on issues. Is the Policy Circle funding them?
Civic Engagement is a core value of The Policy Circle, we are happy to see educated members engage in the political process. However, The Policy Circle is a 501(c)3 and does not endorse or fund candidates or political campaigns.
As outlined in The Policy Circle’s Core Principles and Membership Agreement, The Policy Circle member-only website should be used for education on candidates and the issues. The membership website cannot be used to publish fundraising events, candidate endorsements or to solicit members to advocate on specific legislation. Click here for more information on candidate interactions.
So, what is the Policy Circle trying to do?
The founders of the Policy Circle believe in a woman’s capacity for thought leadership. The Policy Circle is platform for women to learn about civics and build confidence in themselves to take action the way they want. The mission and vision is women across the Nation are connected and engaged in their communities, openly share their views and take a leadership role in public policy dialogue on what human creativity can accomplish in a free market economy.
What is the proposed financial structure?
- Our goal is to be self-sustaining through membership donations. Donations will go to ongoing website maintenance and development, Policy Brief research and a small staff.
Is fundraising involved?
- While we encourage each member to donate annually to support the mission, fundraising is not a responsibility of the Circle Leaders or Circle Members.
Is The Policy Circle just a loose formation of like-minded women or is there a corporate/non-profit set-up?
- The Policy Circle is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Our tax ID number is 47-2843650.
How do I donate to the Policy Circle?
- If you wish to donate to the Policy Circle:
- You may donate online by clicking here.
- You may send a check to our offices at: The Policy Circle, 1189 Wilmette Avenue #210, Wilmette, IL 60091
Is a Circle a Chapter?
No. Circles are not chapters, they are just a discussion group without a formal structure. The Policy Circle recognizes that women have a mind of their own. They are free to learn about the issues and decide for themselves how to engage.
Other organizations like The League of Women voters in your area is a Chapter that is structured as a 501(c)4 and a 501(c)3. The (c)3 focuses on voter registration and educational initiatives. The (c)4 can spend money on local issue advocacy like a referendum to raise property taxes for schools and they can also invest in Political Action Committees to advocate and lobby for local bills or issues. At the National level, the League of Women Voters D.C. office defines the policy positions for the organizations and distributes them to local League of Women Voters chapters which then communicate those positions to its local members and local community at large.
The Policy Circle however, does not define policy positions or dictate actions of members or Circles. The Policy Circle is truly grassroots – women decide for themselves what they want to learn about, discuss, and what actions to take. #mindofmyown
Becoming a Member
Why do we want you to register?
- We are really excited to build a private community of smart engaged women learning from each other. That can’t happen without members.
- If you are registered, you will always be up to date with meetings and other info.
What can I do once I am logged in?
- Keep on learning! Have access to the Policy Briefs
- Keep on learning – part 2! We are working hard to have the best data aggregated for each state. Changing the conversation begins right outside our door. Be informed.
- What’s the buzz? Share articles, post news and see events within your circle, your state or across the nation
- Are you passionate about a specific issue? Find other Policy Circle members who share your interest and follow that issue as a group.
What about fundraising and membership fees?
- Our vision is that The Policy Circle organization is member supported and self-sustaining, so we will ask members for an annual minimum contribution of $100. Of course, we are also hoping to get larger supporters who believe in our mission, scope and model. The Policy Circle is a nonprofit, the funds are used to support and build the technology, the content, and to grow the circles nationwide.
If there is a Policy Circle in my neighborhood? What occurs at meetings and how do I join?.
A Policy Circle in a neighborhood is not a formal organization it is like a book club about public policy.
Women prepare for their Policy Circle discussion by reading a selected policy brief. At the meeting, everyone is invited to share their views and understanding and then determine, if they want, how to be part of the policy making process. Briefs have a point of view, but all members are encouraged to react, question, and discuss to shape their own mind. Women in a Circle will decide to fulfill their civic duties the way they believe.
The Policy Circle proposes a curriculum that makes up a Year of Conversation, but each Circle is different, each Circle will decide what issues to study.
The Policy Circle is about the power of conversation in face to face meetings. If you hear of a circle in your neighborhood, just reach out to your neighbor and learn more.
Becoming a Circle Leader
Tell me about being a Circle Leader
Circle Leaders are the heart of the organization. As a Circle Leader you
- Have an affinity for the principles of free enterprise. It is NOT necessary to be an expert as we are all learning together.
- Organize, but not necessarily host, 5-6 conversations per year.
- Are responsible for your Circle’s personal page. At the very least post conversation dates/times. Leaders also share articles, write original posts (and encourage Circle members to do the same). Have fun building your community, we will help you every step of the way.
- Share tips and experiences with other Circle Leaders in a private online forum as well as occasional gatherings. No need to reinvent the wheel when we can learn from each other.
- Mentor new Circle Leaders as your group grows and new Circles form.
- Don’t do it alone, co-lead with one or two other women.
Who do they report to?
- As a grassroots organization, we have very little hierarchy. There will be a State Chair that will help organize statewide events and be there to assist Circle Leaders in setting up their circles and help in any way.