Policies and Standing Rules (PSR)

Leaders

  1. Applying for Leadership
  2. Leader Accreditation
  3. Accreditation Review Committee
  4. Accreditation Appeals Procedures

Applying For Leadership

La Leche League International (LLLI) seeks the equitable accreditation of a diverse body of Leaders, inclusive of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental ability, socio-economic status, political views, gender identity, sexual orientation, family structure, or other protected status.

Introduction

LLLI, through the work of the Leader Accreditation Department (LAD), accredits Leaders to carry out the purpose and mission of the organization. Leaders represent many cultures yet share a common philosophy and one-to-one or group approach to providing breastfeeding help.

The credibility and authority of La Leche League (LLL) are due, in large part, to the fact that personal experience in breastfeeding for a year or beyond is a requirement for leadership. “Mothering through breastfeeding” describes a sensitive and responsive way of meeting a child’s needs. Collectively, LLL Leaders provide a variety of real-life examples of “mothering through breastfeeding” and ways that challenges can be overcome.

During the pre-application dialogue, the potential Applicant and Group Leader discuss whether the LLLI prerequisites to Applying for LLL Leadership have been met. When an application for leadership is accepted by the LAD, a triad is formed: the Leader Applicant, the supporting Leader, and the LAD representative.

Throughout the application period, the LAD representative communicates with both the Applicant and the supporting Leader.

Section A: LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership

To begin an application, the Personal Experience Prerequisites, Organizational Experience Prerequisites, and Personal Skills Prerequisites must be met.

The LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership (prerequisites) are written in broad terms, recognizing that individuals in a variety of circumstances can and do embrace LLL Philosophy and put it into practice.

The supporting Leader and LAD representative make every effort to facilitate a positive application experience. This includes helping the potential Applicant meet the prerequisites, such as attending at least four LLL meetings, obtaining a Leader recommendation, and working together to provide the Applicant with resources in an accessible language and format.

Personal Experience Prerequisites

Individuals refer to breastfeeding in different ways, such as suckling, nursing or chestfeeding. For this policy, LLLI defines all of these terms as referring to feeding a child directly from the breast.

Experience with breastfeeding and nurturing through breastfeeding, plus the personal experience with La Leche League via in-person or virtual Group meetings and website resources, give an Applicant a strong basis for helping others as a Leader.

A potential Applicant:

  • has breastfed, nursed, chestfed or suckled a child for 12 months or more,
  • has introduced complementary foods when baby showed signs of readiness, around the middle of the first year for a healthy full-term baby, and
  • has chosen attentive breastfeeding as the way to provide touch, comfort, warmth, protection, security, and responsiveness, as well as nourishment.

Special consideration is given to someone whose personal breastfeeding experience is outside the usual course of breastfeeding as described in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, due to medical, physiological, or anatomical issues impacting either partner in the breastfeeding dyad.

Some examples requiring special consideration are:

  • low milk supply because of breast surgery or insufficient mammary tissue,
  • induced lactation,
  • adoptive nursing,
  • temporary interruption of breastfeeding because of a serious medical condition; or the need to take a medication incompatible with nursing, or
  • inability of baby to latch, temporarily or permanently, due to conditions such as cleft lip/palate, prematurity, or genetic disorder.

For the Personal Experience Prerequisites to be met under the special consideration guidelines, the potential Applicant has demonstrated attentive breastfeeding as the way to provide touch, comfort, warmth, protection, security, and responsiveness, as well as nourishment.

The supporting Leader consults a LAD representative when the personal breastfeeding experience differs from the Personal Experience Prerequisites and might warrant special consideration.

Organizational Experience Prerequisites

A potential Applicant:

  • is a member of LLL or contributes as appropriate for the entity in which the application is being submitted
  • supports LLL Vision, Mission, and Philosophy
  • when possible, has attended at least four LLL meetings in person or online
  • demonstrates a clear understanding that leadership is volunteer work
  • has knowledge of the information contained in the most recent edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, if available in an accessible language and format
  • is willing to create time to fulfill the basic responsibilities of leadership and/or provide other service to LLL, as described in the LLL Policies and Standing Rules
  • is willing to complete the application work, and
  • has a recommendation from an LLL Leader.

Personal Skills Prerequisites

A potential Applicant:

  • has communication skills in the potential Applicant’s preferred language necessary to begin the application and preparation for accreditation,
  • demonstrates an accepting and respectful attitude toward others,
  • provides information and support without judgment, and
  • is willing to develop further communication skills as needed to fulfill the responsibilities of leadership.

Section B: LLLI Criteria for Leader Accreditation

During the application period the Applicant dialogues with the supporting Leader and LAD representative to learn more about breastfeeding management, leadership, and LLL philosophy.

The supporting Leader and LAD representative make every effort to provide resources in an accessible language and format for the Applicant.

To be accredited as an LLL Leader, an Applicant

  • meets the LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership,
  • demonstrates understanding and practice of LLL philosophy
  • completes all steps of the LLL Leader application work as described below in Breastfeeding Management Skills and Leadership Skills criteria, and
  • signs the LLLI Leader Statement of Commitment.

The following information describes the application work to be completed prior to accreditation.

Breastfeeding Management Skills

  1. Demonstrate accurate, current knowledge of and/or the ability to find information in up-to-date, credible resources, including the Breastfeeding Resource Guide, the most recent edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, or LAD-approved counterparts in an accessible language and format; be able to convey that information accurately; and commit to maintaining up-to-date knowledge pertaining to:
    • basic lactation management and problem-solving techniques,
    • basic lactation physiology,
    • how active participation in childbirth can facilitate the initiation and establishment of breastfeeding, and
    • the usual course of breastfeeding.
  2. Be aware of situations outside of the usual course of breastfeeding so that additional support and/or medical advice can be sought by the mother and/or parents if needed.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of how to use LLL information and resources as available and accessible. In addition to The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, the Breastfeeding Resource Guide, and the Leader’s Handbook, these may include:
    • LLL Professional Liaison Department,
    • Leader Today (or another LLL Leader publication),
    • Breastfeeding Today (LINK) (or another LLL publication for parents),
    • LLLI website or other LLL websites,
    • credible breastfeeding resources available on the Internet, and
    • other evidence-based resources.

Leadership Skills

  1. Complete the Checklist of Topics to Discuss in Preparation for LLL Leadership.
  2. Read and promote the contents of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, if available in an accessible language and format.
  3. Be familiar with the contents of the Leader’s Handbook, if available in an accessible language and format.
  4. Demonstrate the following:
    • awareness and understanding of the leadership skills necessary to assume the responsibilities of leadership,
    • understanding of the importance of acceptance and respect for individual choices regarding breastfeeding and parenting,
    • ability to communicate accurately and effectively when helping others,
    • commitment to continued development of effective communication skills that support others in developing their own expertise and confidence,
    • familiarity with LLL resources, particularly The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and the Leader’s Handbook, if available in an accessible language and format, and the ability to gather, organize, and retrieve pertinent information from them,
    • understanding and agreement to work within LLL guidelines for consulting, documenting, and reporting,
    • understanding and agreement to work within LLL policies as presented in the Leader’s Handbook, LLL Policies and Standing Rules, and as discussed in the Leader’s Handbook and other LLLI or LLL publications, and
    • willingness to work with and support people from a diverse variety of backgrounds in achieving their breastfeeding and/or leadership goals.
  5. Be committed to continuing development of leadership skills and attitudes as covered in the Leader’s

Handbook and as learned through:

  • reading
  • personal experience
  • attendance at LLL meetings in person or online as available
  • LLL conferences and workshops, and
  • discussion with supporting Leader and LAD representative.

These skills and attitudes are demonstrated in the application work such as the personal history, during LLL meetings, and during completion of the Preview of Helping Questions and Group Management .
Leaders use the Leader’s Handbook to help them implement this policy. (See resources below.)

Section C: Appeals

An appeal regarding accreditation as a La Leche League Leader can be made when

  • an application to become an accredited LLL Leader has been declined or
  • a Leader Applicant’s application has been stopped before accreditation.

When a Leader or LAD representative informs a potential Applicant of the decision to decline an application or when the LLLI Director of Leader Accreditation Department (DLAD) tells an Applicant of the decision to stop the application, they must also inform the person of the right to appeal and share the Leader Accreditation Appeals Procedures policy and the LLL Leader Accreditation Appeal form.

Resources available to the public

FAQ: Thinking about LLL Leadership?
LLL philosophy
LLL Policies and Standing Rules
LLLI Bylaws, Artcle II. Purpose
LLLI website

Resources available with Leader or Leader Applicant username and password

Leader’s Handbook, Chapter 5
Pre-Application Information for Leaders

(Feb 98; rev Oct 98; Aug 04; Jun 19; Sep 19; Feb 20; Nov 21)

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Leader Accreditation

LLL Leaders are accredited by LLLI and are recognized as LLL Leaders worldwide.
(Nov 82)

“Applying for Leadership” is adopted as LLLI policy and included in the LLLI Policy and Standing Rules Notebook as an Appendix.

“Applying for Leadership” includes:

  • LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership
  • LLLI Criteria for Leader Accreditation
  • LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership – Guidelines for Leaders

(Jun 85; rev Nov 85; completely replaced Feb 98; rev Oct 98; completely replaced Jun 19; rev Sep 19)

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Accreditation Review Committee

The Accreditation Review Committee (ARC) is composed of five to nine active or retired LLL Leaders.

The LLLI Personnel Committee will ask the DCE administrative bodies for nominations to the ARC and recommend suitable candidates to the LLLI Board. The members of the ARC will be appointed by the LLLI Board members at the Annual Midterm Session of the LLLI Board.

The Personnel Committee ensures that the ARC members they recommend to the LLLI Board are familiar with LLL policies related to Leader accreditation and LLL philosophy, have experience interpreting policies, and reflect the international nature of LLL. There is broad representation from a variety of DCEs.

Candidates for the ARC send an application form and at least one reference to the Personnel Committee at least one month before the Annual Midterm Session of the LLLI Board.

ARC members serve staggered 2-year terms starting November 1st. No member may serve more than two consecutive 2-year terms, or a total of 5 consecutive years, unless this requirement is waived by the LLLI Board of Directors.

The ARC will elect a chair within a month after the Annual Midterm Session of the LLLI Board. The Chair of the ARC will serve as liaison between the ARC and the LLLI Board Chair(s) and may hold this position for a maximum of three consecutive years.

An ARC member recuses themself from working on any issue in which they have a conflict of interest, or if the subject matter or parties to the appeal prevent the member from being fair and impartial. That ARC member recuses themself even if they feel able to be impartial. If there is doubt about the need for recusal, the LLLI Board has the final decision.

The Personnel Committee of the LLLI Board will seek and recommend candidates to the LLLI Board whenever necessary to replace any ARC member who resigns or is removed before the conclusion of a term. The LLLI Board will appoint the chosen candidate(s) who will then serve for the remainder of the original term or for a specified term.

After due consideration, the LLLI Board may remove a member of the ARC for failure to perform member duties or for non-compliance with the LLL Code of Conduct, LLLI Bylaws, or LLLI Policies and Standing Rules.

The ARC makes a report to the LLLI Board and the DCE administrative bodies about the number of appeals processed each year and any recommendations they have as a result of the appeals.

(Feb 98; Feb 99, Apr 16, Nov 21)

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Accreditation Appeal Procedures

LLLI seeks the accreditation of a diverse body of leadership. The aim of this appeals process is to ensure that any person who meets the LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership has the opportunity to become a Leader Applicant with La Leche League.

Introduction

An appeal regarding accreditation as a La Leche League (LLL) Leader can be made when:

  • An application to become an accredited LLL Leader has been declined or
  • A Leader Applicant’s application in process has been stopped.

Before a request or application to become an accredited LLL Leader is declined, the Leader to whom the request was made presents to the Leader Accreditation Department (LAD) representative for their Area or DCE the reasons for declining, referencing the specific prerequisite(s) or criteria that the potential Applicant has not met. The LAD representative for the Area consults with the LAD representatives in the Direct Connect Entity (DCE) where the potential Applicant would have been supported and/or the Director of the Leader Accreditation Department (DLAD).

If the application was declined by a LAD representative, the LAD representative presents the information described above to their LAD supervisor and to the supporting Leader for consultation as described above.

Any decision to decline to recommend a potential Applicant, to decline an application, or to stop an application in progress, reflects the La Leche League International (LLLI) Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership and LLLI Criteria for Leader Accreditation as stated in Applying for Leadership, LLL Policies and Standing Rules. The reason for declining is made in writing to the appropriate LAD representative, referencing the specific prerequisite or criterion that is not met. Only the DLAD can stop an application in progress.

These appeal procedures will be used only as a way to make decisions regarding interpretation of policy, including the LLLI Criteria for Leader Accreditation and LLL philosophy.

These appeal procedures will not be used to contest the existence or wording of any LLL policy. The process for recommending changes to the Applying for Leadership policy or any other LLL policy can be found in the Responsibility for Policy policy.

General Accreditation Appeals Procedure

  • A copy of this policy is part of the Leader’s Pre-Application Packet.
  • When a Leader or LAD representative informs a potential Applicant of the decision to decline an application or when the DLAD tells an Applicant of the decision to stop the application, they must also inform the person of the right to appeal and share this policy and the LLL Leader Accreditation Appeal form.
  • “Appellant” refers to the person appealing.
  • The appellant has 90 days after receiving this policy to complete and send the appeal form. If there are extenuating circumstances that cause a delay of longer than 90 days, the DLAD or Chair of the Accreditation Review Committee (ARC) will take these into consideration.
  • The appellant pays no fee to bring an appeal.
  • When the appeal is received, the DLAD or ARC Chair acknowledges receipt within one week. All communications used in an appeal must be documented, including email, telephone calls, video or audiotapes, online or in-person meetings. Copies of the appeal file will be kept by the DLAD for a period of five years.
  • LLLI is committed to prompt responses and a thorough review.

For an appellant whose application has been declined, the appeal has two possible stages of review: review by the DLAD and review by the ARC.

For an Applicant whose application has been stopped by the DLAD, there is one stage of review: review by the ARC.

Appeal Review by DLAD

  • The appellant sends the appeal form to the DLAD, stating the reasons for appeal review.
  • The DLAD creates an appeal review group of 4-5 LAD Council members which reflects the international nature of LLL.

The DLAD and this LAD Council appeal review group conduct a review, dialoguing with the appellant and consulting with the Leader(s) and LAD representatives who have been involved with this application.

  • With the appellant’s permission, The DLAD may consult, if necessary, with the LAD Council or LLLI Board of Directors concerning interpretation of the prerequisites or policy. All of the appellant’s personal identifying information will be withheld from that discussion.
  • With the appellant’s permission, the DLAD informs the relevant Area/DCE administrators of the fact of the appeal.
  • The DLAD reports the decision to the appellant and the LAD representatives and Leaders who have been involved with the application.
  • If the appeal is declined, the DLAD informs the appellant of the right to appeal again to the ARC and the procedure for doing so.
  • The DLAD includes general information about any appeals in their regular reporting to LLLI.

Appeal Review by the ARC

  • The appellant sends the Accreditation Appeals Form to the ARC stating the reasons for appealing.
  • The DLAD shares the appellant’s appeal file with the ARC Chair.
  • The ARC conducts a review, dialoguing with the appellant and consulting with the Leader(s) and/or LAD representatives who have been involved with the application, and with the LAD Council and LLLI Board about policies and prerequisites, as necessary.
  • All decisions of the ARC are based upon the materials in the appellant’s file and with discussions with only the Leader(s) and the LAD representatives directly involved with the application.
  • The decision of the ARC is final.
  • The ARC reports its decision to the appellant and the Leader(s) working with the appellant, and separately to the LLLI Executive Director, the DLAD, and all LAD representatives involved in the application and the appeal.
  • The ARC produces a bi-annual committee report for the LLLI Board that gives general information and themes. It does not share personal identifying information from appellants.
  • A person who has had their application for leadership declined or their application stopped is not prevented from re-applying if something changes and they meet the LLLI Prerequisites to Applying for Leadership and LLLI Criteria for Leader Accreditation. See Applying for Leadership.

(Feb 98; rev Feb 99, Apr 16, Nov 21)

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  1. Code of Conduct
  2. Collaborative Action
  3. Leader Accreditation Removal
  4. Leader Rights and Responsibilities
  5. Leader Statement of Commitment
  6. Milk Donation
  7. Social Media Policy for Leaders

See also:


The La Leche League Code of Conduct

La Leche League (LLL) is a worldwide organization with local entities in many countries around the globe. La Leche League International (LLLI) is the U.S. based not-for-profit organization with the responsibility to protect the worldwide organization’s brand, accredit Leaders, maintain cohesion and communication among the various Direct Connect Entities (DCEs) that comprise LLL, and maintain a visible global presence for LLL.

LLLI is composed of the LLLI Board of Directors, LLLI Board committees, LLLI Executive Director (ED) and staff, and various global forums directly responsible to the LLLI Board of Directors. LLLI consists of accredited Leader volunteers (“LLL Leaders”), volunteers who are not accredited Leaders (“LLLI volunteers”), and paid staff.

Purpose of the Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct applies to all LLL Leaders, the LLLI Board of Directors, Board committee and global forum members, to LLLI volunteers, and to all LLLI staff. It applies to all LLL Leaders’ activity and to the work of LLL social media administrators or moderators, whether in-person, written, or electronic, including activity on both internal and external social media spaces whenever Leaders identify themselves as Leaders. See Social Media policy for LLL Leaders and Social Media–LLLI Board Member participation.

Upon accreditation, and when annually renewing their commitment to LLL, Leaders sign the LLL Leader “Statement of Commitment” (“SoC”) agreeing to represent LLL in accordance with the most recently published version of the La Leche League Policies and Standing Rules (PSR) as posted on the LLLI website, which includes this Code of Conduct. The commitment to ethical behavior is inherent in the PSR and fundamental to being part of La Leche League.

LLLI Board members and members of LLLI Board committees and global forums who are not LLL Leaders are expected to adhere to the sections of this Code of Conduct that pertain to their work with LLLI.

The LLLI ED and all other paid contractors or staff members are also expected to adhere to the sections of this Code of Conduct that pertain to their work with LLLI and LLL.

Allegations that an LLL Leader has failed to uphold this Code of Conduct are addressed through the Area, Area Network, Direct Connect Entity (DCE), or LLLI Conflict Resolution Process, as appropriate.See the Resource Bank’s listing of Area contacts for their complaint processes and the LLLI Conflict Resolution Process.

LLL entities may modify the LLL Code of Conduct to include necessary additional requirements relating to local codes and laws. However, LLL entities’ own policies cannot contradict or be less ethically rigorous than the LLL Code of Conduct appearing in the PSR.

Allegations that an LLLI volunteer or the ED has failed to uphold this Code of Conduct are addressed through the LLLI Conflict Resolution Process.

Allegations that an LLLI staff member has violated this Code of Conduct are addressed to the ED using the Complaint Form.

The La Leche League Code of Conduct

  1. LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff adhere to the Mission, Vision, and Purpose of LLL, protect its brand, and, in their LLL roles, act in ways that are consistent with LLL philosophy.
  • 1.1 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff exercise good judgment and recognize the limits of their qualifications.
  • 1.2 Leaders, LLLI volunteers, LLLI staff understand and follow the LLLI Conflict of Interest policy as stated in the LLL Policies and Standing Rules (PSR).
  • 1.3 LLL Leaders who are engaged in paid professions and businesses which offer products or services of value to families make all efforts to separate their roles as LLL Leaders from these paid professions. Leaders do not use their LLL positions or LLL platforms to promote any non-LLL products or services. If Leaders are asked to recommend pertinent services, they offer a selection of services, preferably from an independent list, which need not be exhaustive and which may include their own product or service. Because some Areas have more rigorous restrictions, Leaders check with their local support to be sure they are adhering to Area practice and local laws.
  1. LLL Leaders comply with the administrative processes of all constituent units in which they volunteer.
  • 2.1 LLL Leaders fulfill their administrative responsibilities to the organization by keeping personal information held by constituent units up to date, fees current, and communicating regularly with the organization and with any designated support persons.
  • 2.2 LLL Leaders update their knowledge through regular participation in enrichment opportunities.
  • 2.3 LLL Leaders actively help eligible individuals find out about LLL leadership and support their preparation to become LLL Leaders.
  • 2.4 LLL Leaders maintain accurate and complete records of their Leader work, including all helping contacts, LLL Group finances, and administrative requirements and take all steps to ensure that LLL documents are maintained securely and retained in line with applicable local legislation.
  • 2.5 LLL Leaders respond promptly to any investigations or complaints against Leaders and cooperate with conflict resolution processes as requested.
  • 2.6 LLL Leaders follow ethical business practices and use contracts as described in the Financial Code of Ethics.
  1. LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff work cooperatively with others throughout the organization regardless of differences and disagreement.
  • 3.1 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff communicate and coordinate with others directly impacted by their work regardless of the Group, Area, Area Network, or DCE to which Leaders connect.
  • 3.2 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff respect the accreditation and/or skills, experience, knowledge, and contributions of their colleagues. They are mutually accountable to their Leader, volunteer, and staff peers.
  • 3.3 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff discuss differences of professional opinion, concerns and disagreements with respectful, open, civil communication and with fairness and honesty, in person, in writing, and in electronic spaces. See the Social Media Policy for LLL Leaders and Social Media – LLLI Board Member Participation. They take reasonable steps to recognize, identify, work through, and resolve conflict in a proactive manner, using Area, Area Network, and/or DCE support functions as appropriate. When a conflict and/or breach of this Code of Conduct cannot be resolved by the parties themselves, they use the relevant unit’s grievance or conflict resolution process. If these are not available to them, they use the LLLI Complaint Resolution Process.
  • 3.4 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff freely and fully exchange breastfeeding, chestfeeding, human milk feeding, and other LLL related information with their LLL colleagues while complying with the LLL Confidentiality policy (see 6.2).
  • 3.5 LLL Leaders encourage an environment of continuous learning and mutual accountability at Group, Area, Area Network, DCE, and International levels.
  1. LLL Leaders, LLLI staff, and LLLI volunteers understand how the World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assenbly resolutions impact their work. At minimum, this means that
  • 4.1 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff recognize and accept that they are considered “Health workers” for the purposes of meeting obligations under the International Code (Article 3).
  • 4.2 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff comply with Article 7 (health care workers)and Article 4.2 (educational materials) of the International Code.
  • 4.3 As representatives of La Leche League, LLL Leaders, LLL entities, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff never accept donations or inducements (financial or material) from manufacturers or distributors of products who do not meet their obligations under the International Code.
  • 4.4 LLL Leaders direct families who ask about the use of breastmilk substitutes to their healthcare professionals or provide resources with pertinent information. See the International Code 4.2. and Leader Handbook section on the International Code.
  • 4.5 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff convey to mothers and parents who use breastmilk substitutes or feeding devices that they are always welcome to seek LLL breastfeeding, chestfeeding, and parenting support. This could include LLL meetings, online and in person.
  • 4.6 As representatives of LLL, LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff never give families donations or samples of breastmilk substitutes, or any other product covered by the International Code. See the Financial Code of Ethics.
  • 4.7 At LLL presentations and events, LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers and LLLI staff do not allow advertisements or exhibits for any product that has been documented as being harmful to the breastfeeding dyad or the nursing relationship; any product that could undermine breastfeeding; any product covered by the International Code; any product incompatible with LLL purpose or philosophy; or any recalled product. See the  LLL Financial Code of Ethics.
  1. In their LLL roles, LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff do not promote personal opinions or causes. Where other causes overlap with breastfeeding or the LLL Mission, Leaders may provide LLL information and speak to the relevance of breastfeeding to that cause.
  • 5.1 LLL Leaders do not receive payment or personal donations for their basic responsibilities as Leaders as defined by the Definition of a Leader in the Leader Rights and Responsibilities policy, by the Code of Conduct 5.1, and by their entity’s own guidelines, if they exist. Donations towards the Leader’s Group, Area, Area Network, or DCE may be accepted. The entity accepting the donation keeps clear financial records noting the source and amount of the donation and how the donation has been used.
  • 5.2 Leaders may work cooperatively with others who support, promote, and protect lactation and the nursing relationship. See the Cooperative Action policy (For partnerships and sponsorships with commercial entities see the Financial Code of Ethics.)
  • 5.3 Leaders do not promote their own or anyone else’s personal, volunteer, commercial, or professional activities from their Leader platform. Leaders may disclose their LLL qualifications or experience as credentials within their personal, volunteer, commercial, or professional activities.
  • 5.4 Leaders do not use their Leader role to set up any type of milk sharing network. See the Milk Donation policy.
  • 5.5 In order to protect the reputation of LLLI, LLL Leaders do not act as representatives for any organization similar to LLL in providing volunteer, mother-to-mother/parent-to-parent breastfeeding or lactation support, nor do they provide volunteer administrative or Board member support for such organizations. LLL Leaders may be donors, members, or paid staff of similar organizations. See the Cooperative Action policy. (For partnerships and sponsorships with commercial entities see the Financial Code of Ethics.)
  1. LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff demonstrate high standards of respect, honesty, and trust.
  • 6.1 LLL Leaders and LLLI volunteers and LLLI staff uphold the standards and values set out in this Code and in the PSR.
  • 6.2 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff keep medical or other sensitive personal information confidential unless permission has been granted. This includes but is not limited to in-person interactions, electronic communications, and written documentation. See the Confidentiality policy. Information relevant to a complaint may be shared as part of confidential grievance procedures.
  • 6.3 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff behave in a manner that will not discredit the organization, cause unnecessary and continual conflict within the organization, or interfere with their effectiveness as Leaders or representatives of LLL, nor with the effectiveness of any other Leader or representative of LLL.
  • 6.4 LLL Leaders follow the laws of the country in which a Leader is volunteering as a Leader. If the laws of the country conflict with La Leche League policies and procedures, the laws of the country take priority.
  • 6.5 LLL Leaders are sensitive to the history, cultures, and customs of any country and community in which they are volunteering as Leaders.
  • 6.6 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff do not use their LLL role to engage in personal relationships or sexual activities that exploit others, or use their LLL position to elicit favors, sexual or otherwise, from others.
  • 6.7 LLL Leaders promptly disclose to the administrators of the entities to which they connect (Areas, Area Networks, or DCEs), any criminal charges or convictions against them related to offenses of harm to either children or adults. LLL Leaders who have any financial responsibility to LLL also disclose criminal charges or convictions against them related to financial misconduct.
  • Anyone with a role within LLLI must also make these disclosures promptly to the LLLI ED.
  1. While carrying out their roles in LLL, LLL Leaders LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff treat all persons fairly and without discrimination, intimidation, bullying, or any form of harassment, regardless of the Leaders’ opinions and life choices.
  • 7.1 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff respect the right of Leaders, mothers, and parents to follow their own judgment and instincts in raising and feeding their children. LLL Leaders offer information and support that is adaptable to a variety of family situations. LLL Leaders do not give specific advice.
  • 7.2 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff treat all mothers, parents, Leaders, administrators, volunteers, and staff in LLL with acceptance and dignity; they respect each person’s right to determine their own identity and needs. See the Inclusivity Statement.
  • 7.3 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff create open, trustworthy, and safe spaces. These spaces may be electronic, in-person, written, or social media spaces. Whether the space is open to the public or not, Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff maintain the degree of confidentiality required by each situation. See the Confidentiality policy.
  • 7.4 LLL Leaders are aware that there will be differences among Leaders, Leader Applicants, and families supported by LLL and remain aware of the potential for bias. Leaders maintain a high level of considerate and thoughtful attention in their interactions with those whom they support and with their LLL colleagues.
  • 7.5 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff avoid making assumptions about others and recognize diversity and individual choice.
  • 7.6 LLL Leaders, LLLI volunteers, and LLLI staff are sensitive to individual needs and cultural customs.

Breach of this Code of Conduct

Anyone who, in good faith, believes that an LLL Leader, LLLI volunteer, LLLI staff member, or unit of the organization has breached this code is invited to file a complaint by filling out the Complaint Form.

(Mar 21, Feb 22)

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Collaborative Action

LLL Leaders, LLLI staff, and LLLI volunteers have the option to take advantage of opportunities to collaborate with others whose purposes are compatible with the LLL mission.

Collaborative action is defined as any project undertaken by Leaders or LLL entities jointly with other individuals, organizations, or governments. Any collaborative action has as its focus furthering the mission of LLL and is carried out in accordance with this policy and any corresponding LLLI and entity guidelines. For projects that involve financial benefit to LLL, or partnerships and sponsorships with commercial entities, see the Financial Code of Ethics.

The mission of La Leche League does not prevent interaction with other organizations whose purposes are compatible with the LLL mission.

A Leader informs and gets approval from their entity before engaging in collaborative action.

Limits of Collaboration

LLL Expertise. An LLL Leader representing LLL/LLLI on a board, panel, task force, committee, or other similar group is authorized to speak for LLL only on subjects within the scope of the LLL mission and within the definition of a Leader’s role.

International Code of the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent resolutions (hereafter, the Code).

  • When engaged in collaborative action, Leaders and LLL entities follow the International Code of the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent WHA resolutions.
  • Leaders and LLL entities take care that in any collaborative action LLL does not appear to support or be influenced by individuals or non-governmental organizations that do not meet their obligations under the Code. Each situation will be different. If in doubt, Leaders and LLL entities should consult their local Code committee or the LLLI International Code and Conflicts Committee.
  • All funding sources will support or be consistent with the obligations of La Leche League’s commitment to abide by the International Code. (See Financial Code of Ethics)

Written Materials. Written breastfeeding information supplied as part of collaborative action is reviewed according to the processes of the Leader’s LLL entity. A mandatory disclaimer is prominently included in any jointly produced publication to the effect: “La Leche League [entity] provided the breastfeeding information contained in [publication]. All other information is outside LLL’s scope of expertise”.

Personal Benefit. Leaders do not receive payment or accept personal donations for their advocacy work as Leaders. Donations towards the Leader’s Group, Area, Area Network, or Direct Connect Entity (DCE) may be accepted if the entity being donated to has an appropriate process for recording donations. See Code of Conduct item 5.1.

Protecting Leader Contact Information. LLL entities do not share their contact information lists with other organizations. See Contact Information Lists.

Representing Other Organizations. To protect the reputation of LLLI, LLL Leaders do not act as representatives for any organization similar to LLL in providing volunteer, peer-to-peer breastfeeding or lactation support, nor do they provide administrative or Board member support for such organizations. LLL Leaders may be donors or members of similar organizations. See  Code of Conduct.

Documentation and Coordination
  • Reporting. Leaders who accept the responsibility of representing LLL in a collaborative action, consult and report on their activity where requested or required by their Area or DCE and keep clear records.
  • Use of LLLI marks (name and logos). LLLI retains the final authority over all use of the LLLI marks and combined marks, including the LLL name and local entities’ logos, in any collaborative action activity. See the Financial Code of Ethics and the Logo policy for further details.
  • Acknowledgment of LLL Participation. Leaders or entities engaging in collaborative action are identified as representatives of La Leche League in any acknowledgements given.
  • Signing a Document on Behalf of an LLL entity (LLL Area, Area Network, or DCE). When Leaders, LLLI staff or LLLI volunteers sign anything on behalf of La Leche League, they follow the guidelines of their LLL entity for authorization or review.

(Feb 82, May 89, Oct 90, Oct 91, Apr 94, Feb 95, Feb 98, Apr 16, Mar 22)

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Leader Accreditation Removal

The LLLI Board of Directors, in consultation with the Direct Connect Entity or Entities (DCEs) to which the Leader is connected, may impose sanctions or remove the Leader’s accreditation if the Leader does one or more of the following:

  • does not honor the Statement of Commitment;
  • does not support LLL philosophy;
  • breaches the LLL Code of Conduct or other LLL policies,
  • publicly discredits LLL; or
  • displays behavior that causes sustained conflict or interferes with the Leader’s own or others’ effectiveness as a Leader.

No LLL Leader will be sanctioned or have their LLL Leader accreditation removed by LLLI without consultation with the entities to which the Leader is connected.

An Area, in consultation with its DCE Council or Board, may sanction a Leader for one of the causes above or initiate a request to LLLI for removal of accreditation as a Leader.

In situations where LLLI is considering the sanction or removal of accreditation of a Leader, 90 days will be allowed for the issues to be resolved before sanctions are imposed or accreditation removed.

If immediate action is required, all involved parties will be informed of the reasons for immediate action. Opportunity for resolution will be given, and the final decision may be determined in less than 90 days.

The decision of the LLLI Board may be reviewed by the Global Leaders Committee (GLC).

(May 82; rev Feb 83, Jul 99, Oct 08, Mar 09, Apr 21)

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Leader Rights and Responsibilities

Definition of a Leader

A La Leche League (LLL) Leader is a volunteer who pursues the LLL Mission through Leader responsibilities as outlined in this policy. An LLL Leader acts in accordance with the most recently published version of the LLL Policies and Standing Rules as posted on the LLLI website. An LLL Leader is current in paying any required Leader fees, keeps up to date with Leader education about breastfeeding information and organizational changes, and communicates regularly with the organization. Individual Areas and Direct Connect Entities (DCEs) may define more specific expectations for Leaders in their entities, as appropriate to their cultures.

As a result of the LLL preparation for accreditation, a La Leche League Leader has the skills to fulfill these basic Leader responsibilities.

  1. Help one-to-one through online, phone, or in-person breastfeeding support
  2. Plan and lead LLL Group meetings
  3. Supervise the management of an LLL Group
  4. Keep up to date on breastfeeding information
  5. Help potential Applicants find out about LLL leadership and prepare to become Leaders.

Other work such as, but not limited to, presentations, collaborative action, advocacy, administrative work, participation on entity or LLLI committees, councils and boards, are additional opportunities for service and growth.

Entity guidelines, if they exist, determine whether those additional opportunities are volunteer or may be paid work. If there are no entity guidelines, these additional responsibilities are volunteer positions. See Code of Conduct 5.1.

Leader Responsibilities

In order to fulfill the LLL Mission, protect the La Leche League International (LLLI) brand, and maintain a cohesive LLL presence throughout the world, every Leader:

  1. Commits annually to the LLL Mission by signing the Leader Statement of Commitment, following the process outlined in their Area, Area Network, and/or DCE. Upon signing the Leader Statement of Commitment, the Leader agrees to act in accordance with the most recently published version of the LLL Policies and Standing Rules (PSR) as posted on the LLLI website, including the responsibilities described in this policy. The Leader may then use the designation “La Leche League Leader” and represent La Leche League. Signing may be done electronically, digitally, or on paper
  2. Has a primary connection to an Area or DCE officially connected to LLLI, for mutual support and accountability and for the right to be able to use the LLLI logo and any Combined Mark within the territory of the Area or DCE.A “primary connection” is the entity in which a Leader is counted for the purpose of the annual DCE Connection Contribution. Through this connection, the Leader is able to vote for, or serve as, a global representative to LLLI for their DCE. A Leader has only one primary connection. A Leader may have multiple secondary connections within the same DCE or among different DCE administrative units.
  3. Fulfills their administrative responsibilities to the organization by
    1. Keeping relevant LLL entities up to date with any necessary contact information
    2. Keeping current any required Leader fees or volunteer hour calculations, reporting statistics for meetings and helping contacts as required
    3. Communicating regularly with the organization and with any designated support persons. (See Code of Conduct 2.1)
  4. Maintains all requirements for being in good standing in every entity to which the Leader connects. Each entity determines its own requirements for a Leader to be in good standing, in addition to the requirements set by LLLI as described in the Leader Statement of Commitment
  5. Knows and complies with domestic laws relevant to the Leader’s volunteer work in each of the territories in which the Leader offers online or in-person LLL support.
  6. Establishes a connection or mutually satisfactory agreement with a DCE or an Area within the DCE that is responsible for any territory where the Leader wishes to advertise or offer online or in-person support to families.When seeking to advertise or offer online or in-person support to families who live or participate within the territory of a DCE or Area to which they are not formally connected, Leaders communicate with the relevant entity where they want to advertise or offer LLL support.  The Leader works with the entity to make a connection or a mutually satisfactory agreement that includes a process for coordinating with local Leaders, for reporting contacts and other data, for resolving conflicts that might arise, and for permitting relevant use of the LLLI trademarks and Combined Marks within the DCE’s territory.The Leader may request the assistance of their primary connection’s administrators to communicate with the additional DCE or Area, as necessary. See DCE Rights and Responsibilities.
  7. Uses the Combined Marks of only those entities to which they have a connection or with which they have an agreement that allows them to use another entity’s Combined Marks.When forming and naming their online spaces, projects, Groups, Areas, Area Networks, or DCEs, Leaders may not adopt any geographical place name without written permission of the DCE(s) assigned to that territory by their DCE Connection Agreement. If Leaders are operating in a region that has not been assigned to a DCE, they may seek permission from LLLI to use a geographical name or Combined Mark.Leaders doing LLL work in online spaces that advertise support to families in a particular geographic territory must have written permission from the DCE responsible for that geographic territory to use the LLLI Marks, the local entity’s Combined Marks, or the online space’s own Combined Mark.
  8. Complies with the most recent version of the Code of Conduct for Leaders, as published in the LLLI website.
  9. Communicates and coordinates with all other Leaders affected by their work regardless of the entity to which the Leaders connect, respecting differences in entity structures and procedures (see also Code of Conduct, article 3.1).
  10. Stays current on information about breastfeeding management and leadership skills by taking advantage of LLL continuing education and other learning opportunities such as publications, workshops, conferences, and online Leader Groups. (See also Code of Conduct article 2.1)
  11. Stays current on organizational changes and policy revisions at all levels of the organization, if available in an accessible language and format
  12. Keeps confidential medical or other sensitive personal information when the individual’s identity may be reasonably inferred and permission has not been granted, unless otherwise required by law or where the reporting of a danger to a person is specifically protected by law
  13. Appropriately uses and protects the LLLI Marks (logo and name) and Combined Mark (LLLI approved local variant of the logo and name), in accordance with LLLI guidelines.

Leader Rights

A La Leche League Leader who fulfills the responsibilities listed above may

  1. Through one-to-one, phone, online, in-person, or group conversation, provide breastfeeding, chestfeeding, human milk feeding, mothering through breastfeeding, or responsive parenting information to support families in making their own feeding and parenting decisions (See also Code of Conduct article 7.2)
  2. Offer online or in-person support within any LLL territory, provided the Leader has a connection to or mutually satisfactory agreement with an Area in a DCE that is responsible for that territory as designated in their DCE Connection Agreement as described above
  3. Take an active role in helping others learn about LLL leadership and prepare to become Leaders
  4. Create new parts of the system (including but not limited to Groups, Areas, Area Networks, or DCEs) according to the processes designated by LLLI and the DCE(s) to which the Leader connects
  5. Vote for or serve as a global representative through the processes determined by their primary DCE
  6. Take on other LLL or LLLI work and represent their Direct Connect Entity (DCE) on global forums
  7. Work in collaboration with other organizations that do not contradict LLL philosophy and that meet their obligations under the International Code of the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant WHA resolutions. Leaders may not give breastfeeding help for another similar breastfeeding support organization (See Code of Conduct, article 5.4)
  8. Advocate, as a Leader, to promote breastfeeding, chestfeeding, human milk feeding and/or mothering through breastfeeding principles to public officials, heads of state, and other recognized government groups at any time, subject to the local laws relevant to advocacy and the legal status of LLL. Such advocacy is especially appropriate when action is pending anywhere that may affect lactation, breastfeeding, or mothering through breastfeeding
  9. Sell or rent products for the purpose of fundraising for LLL provided that:
    • the manufacturer meets its obligations under the International Code,
    • the Leader renting or selling the product abides by local laws and the sales policies of their Area, Area Network, or DCE, including any requirements for product liability insurance, and
    • the Leader acts in accordance with the Financial Code of Ethics.

Leader Retirement

A Leader retires by informing the entity(ies) to which the Leader connects. A Leader who does not annually indicate their agreement with the Statement of Commitment by signing, or some other means designated by their Area, Area Network, or DCE, may be declared retired by their Area, Area Network, or DCE.

If a Leader is no longer willing to represent LLL in accordance with the LLLI Bylaws and LLL Policies and Standing Rules, that Leader is obligated under the Leader’s signed Statement of Commitment to resign.

Leader Reactivation after Retirement

To be reinstated after retiring as a Leader, the retired Leader contacts the relevant Leader support person, or other relevant entity (Area, Area Network, or DCE) administrator for guidance. In the process, the retired Leader discloses the reasons for retirement.

The process of reactivation will include familiarization with current information about breastfeeding and LLL.

Disciplinary Removal of a Leader from a DCE, Area Network, or Area

An Area, Area Network, or DCE may remove a Leader’s connection to that DCE, Area Network, or Area for cause related to violations of LLL policy or violations of the Leader’s signed agreement with the Area or DCE. Areas and Area Networks comply with the removal policy of their DCE.

Leaders cannot do LLL volunteer work without a primary connection. A Leader whose primary connection has been severed may seek to connect elsewhere. In that process, they disclose that they were not in good standing with their previous connection.

Disciplinary Removal of a Leader’s Accreditation

Only the LLLI Board of Directors may remove a Leader’s accreditation.

The LLLI Board of Directors may remove a Leader’s accreditation only after consultation with all of the entities to which the Leader is connected. [See Leader Accreditation Removal policy] Only LLLI can remove a Leader’s accreditation.

Leader Re-accreditation after Disciplinary Removal of Accreditation

Only the LLLI Board of Directors can re-accredit a Leader whose accreditation has been removed.

After a period of twelve months, a Leader who has had their accreditation removed may ask the LLLI Board for re-accreditation. When the former Leader asks LLLI to have their accreditation reinstated, they acknowledge that they understand why their accreditation was previously removed and provide assurance and evidence that they are willing and able to abide by the PSR. The former Leader follows the accreditation renewal process as required by LLLI. LLLI determines requirements for re-accreditation on a case by case basis

If the former Leader is re-accredited, they then make a primary connection to an Area that is willing to accept them. They may also make any number of secondary connections.

(Nov 76; Oct 09; April 22)

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Leader Statement of Commitment

A Leader commits annually to the following Statement of Commitment, following the process outlined in their Area, Area Network, and/or DCE.

I am personally committed to furthering the mission of LLL and to supporting breastfeeding as presented in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and other LLLI publications. I understand and agree that in using the designation “La Leche League Leader,” and in representing La Leche League, I will comply with the most recently published version of the La Leche League Policies and Standing Rules as posted on the LLLI website. I will resign from this position if for any reason I find that I can no longer represent La Leche League in accordance with this agreement, and I will discontinue use of the designation “La Leche League Leader.”

DATE (Signature)

(Oct 09; Dec 19; Aug 20; Apr 21, Feb 22)

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Milk Donation

The first priority of LLLI is to help mothers to breastfeed their babies at the breast. A second priority is to help mothers when it is necessary for them to express and safely store and handle their own milk for their babies. When their own mother’s milk is unavailable, babies may need human milk donated by other mothers. According to the World Health Organization, donor milk is the best option following one’s own expressed milk.

It is always important for the Leader to encourage the mother to talk with her own and the baby’s health care providers about their particular situation. If the baby or mother is hospitalized and breastfeeding is not possible, the Leader would recommend that the mother dialogue with medical staff regarding possible hospital policies related to obtaining and using the mother’s own milk or donor milk.

When a mother contacts a Leader seeking to acquire donated milk or to discuss personal options, the Leader’s role is to respond with information and support, including information about the benefits and risks of such practices as induced lactation, relactation, wet-nursing, or cross-nursing. This discussion may include formal, commercial, or informal (peer-to-peer) forms of milk sharing, which are practiced in various ways around the world.

If a mother is interested in donating her milk or in receiving donated milk, the Leader should urge the mother to investigate various ways of donating and acquiring human milk. The mother should be encouraged to make an informed decision that is best for her and her baby and meets cultural expectations. A Leader may provide contact information for non-profit human milk banks, other regulated collection centers, and formal/medically supervised or informal milk-sharing networks. Protocols for the careful and safe collection and handling of human milk are the responsibility of milk banks and networks, and the Leader should encourage the mother to evaluate these protocols. It is not the responsibility of LLL Leaders or LLLI to license, recommend, or assess milk banks or networks, but to share information with mothers.

A Leader should never use her position as an LLL Leader to set up any type of milk-sharing network.

As with other breastfeeding-related topics, Leaders are expected to keep up-to-date with current best practices and information for their locations.

(Aug 76; rev Oct 92, Mar 07, Mar 11, Mar 15)

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Social Media Policy for Leaders

Social Media Policy for LLL Leaders

This policy applies to any online conversation, whether public1, or in an internal LLL space2, in which a Leader’s affiliation with LLL is clear. This means when a Leader is presenting themselves as a Leader, such as by stating they are a Leader, using an LLL logo, or by identifying themselves as a Leader on their social media profile. It is not intended to apply to consensual private conversations, though it is understood that comments made privately could be later quoted by an individual in a lawsuit.

If you identify yourself as a Leader when posting on any social media platform3 please observe the following points:

Respectful Communication. Use respectful dialogue aligned with LLL values and practices when communicating. Material or comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, or hateful to another person or entity, including LLLI or its Direct Connect Entities, volunteers, employees, contractors, partners or competitors, are not permitted.

We welcome discussion, including questions and disagreement, about issues affecting Leaders and LLL in internal LLL groups. It is expected that such discussion will be respectful of others, and an effort made to listen to and understand all points of view; it should be noted that discriminatory language of any kind is not acceptable.

Please bear in mind that not all LLLI Board members use social media, or don’t use it frequently, and questions, concerns and suggestions you want the Board to see should be emailed to board@llli.org.

Respect Others’ Privacy: Only share your support discussions or questions that have been asked you if you have explicit consent to do so. Do not disclose other people’s personal information, including identifiable details about individuals you have supported, or are supporting. Do not share discussions, comments or screenshots even if the person who made the comment is not named or otherwise explicitly identified.

Make Your Role Clear: When identified as a Leader in a public space do not promote personal opinions or interests. When sharing LLLI Policies and information, quote appropriate documents and resources. Link to LLLI publicly shared information. If none, then wait till official channels make announcements.

Presenting Information About LLL: Ensure that any information about LLL products and services you provide is factually accurate and is not confidential or does not contain proprietary information. You may promote LLL products using the name of LLLI, but not other products that would seem to indicate LLLI endorsement, unless this has been publicly announced by LLLI. Link to the announcement.

Respect Copyright and Intellectual Property: Respect copyright, privacy, financial disclosure and other applicable laws. Respect intellectual property rights of published materials and get written permission from the author or owner before using them. Post images you have obtained through your LLL work or role only after explicit, signed consent has been received.

Guidelines

Leaders are encouraged to:

  • Help promote LLLI and LLL events on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social media sites, such as by linking to the LLLI website on Facebook, retweeting LLLI and LLL Tweets, or posting photos from meetings (subject to privacy issues regarding the identity of individuals and informed consent). You are further encouraged to comment / like any LLLI posts on Social Media relating to these types of events.
  • Share/ comment on, positive public LLLI communications / news releases / developments, on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and any other sites where these may be seen.

Show care with:

• Posting or commenting on policy, guideline-related, or current affairs topics directly relating to actions/statements/stances of LLLI. Supporting posts or passing on information are helpful LLL publicity. However, negative or inflammatory posts are not. They draw negative attention to LLL. Redirect those comments to your LLL Leader support administrators and/or to the LLLI Board.

Avoid:

• Making statements on social media that could be deemed as controversial, especially in regards to matters relating to any part of LLL.
• Getting involved in heated debates on social media, such as the LinkedIn Members Forum or Twitter, that involve direct actions of any part of LLL or LLLI in the media.
• Writing any potentially inflammatory and/ or disrespectful posts relating to public statements/ stances of any part of LLL. See Respectful Communication.

Note:

The policy limits the potential liability of the organization, its Leaders and staff and is a requirement of the LLLI media insurance policy.

Failing to adhere to this policy could have severe consequences for LLLI and all of LLL, especially in terms of reputation and potential legal liability if a Leader were to share confidential information or make inflammatory or discriminatory statements while identified as a Leader. This policy does not supplant any possible legal requirements in any given country, or the Terms of Use of the social media platform being used.

Social Media for Personal Use

If your association with LLL is clear in your personal posts, as well as observing the points above, be attentive to the following:

When offering your personal perspective on a matter related to LLL, be mindful that your commentary and opinion does not cause damage to LLLI, a DCE or their commercial interests.

Think twice before posting: privacy does not exist in the world of social media. Consider what could happen if a post were to become widely known and how that may reflect on both the poster and LLL. Search engines can turn up posts years after they are created, and comments can be forwarded or copied without your knowledge or consent.

Do not use LLLI’s name or logo, or any other LLL images or iconography, to promote your personal blog, group or business.

Your Social Media Profile

It is understood that Leaders may use the same profile for personal use and their LLL role. It is not appropriate to use a political or cause-aligned profile picture, cover photo or description on a profile which you use for providing breastfeeding support in your Leader role. Showing your own sexual orientation, race or religion on your profile is not prohibited. Using a political party, candidate or campaign badge for your profile in an LLL group supporting families, or where you identify yourself as a Leader, is not permitted by the policy, because it is mixing causes, in the same way wearing such a physical badge in an in-person LLL meeting would be.

You might need to set up a second profile to avoid this (some platforms in some countries have restrictions on second profiles).

Leaders are required to use a disclaimer if they are referring regularly to LLL-related issues. It is understood that when using a Social Media Platform such as Twitter, disclaimers on every post are not possible or appropriate; however, a general disclaimer could be added to your Twitter profile stating: ‘Views all my own.’

An example of when a disclaimer would be appropriate is at the end of a blog post published by a Leader on a website. An example of a disclaimer is: “The views expressed in this post are mine only and do not necessarily reflect the views of La Leche League.”

1 Definition of ‘Public space’

A public space is any social media space which individuals who are not Leaders can access, such as a local breastfeeding coalition’s WhatsApp group, a closed lactation consultants’ Facebook group or a Facebook page visible to anyone with a Facebook account.

2 Definition of ‘Internal LLL space’

An internal LLL space is any social media space used exclusively by Leaders (and Leader Applicants where relevant) for LLL work – not a social media group where Leaders who are friends might chat or arrange a night out.

3 Definition of ‘Social Media’

Social media platforms include any website or application that enables users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

Social media tools include (without limitation):

  • social networking sites eg Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+.
  • video and photo sharing websites eg Instagram, YouTube, Flickr.
  • micro-blogging sites eg Twitter.
  • weblogs, including corporate blogs, personal blogs or blogs hosted by traditional media publications.
  • forums and discussion boards such as LinkedIn Groups, Yahoo! Groups or Google Groups.
  • online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia.
  • chat platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram or Messenger.
  • any other websites that allow individual users or companies to use simple publishing tools.

(Revised October 2018)

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Organizational Standards

  1. Confidentiality
  2. Contact Information Lists

Confidentiality

Balancing Transparency and Confidentiality in La Leche League

Both transparency and confidentiality are important to the health of any organization.

Transparency involves the organization’s responsibility to keep its members fully and honestly informed of issues relevant to the membership.

Confidentiality is needed in La Leche League

  • in working with families,
  • in working with Applicants,
  • within Direct Connect Entity (DCE) administrative units, and
  • in Board discussions and voting.

In LLL, the balance between transparency and confidentiality is achieved in the following ways.

Confidentiality for Leaders

The LLLI PSR (https://llli.org/leader-pages/policies-standing-rules/), which all Leaders must follow, states that a Leader shall keep confidential the medical and personal identifying information of the mothers, children and families with whom they work, unless otherwise required by law, or where the reporting of a danger to an adult or child is specifically required by law. Personal identifying information is any information that permits the identity of an individual to be reasonably inferred either directly or indirectly.

Therefore, before Leaders reach out to other Leaders for help in supporting a person, they must ask permission to share any information that would enable others to identify the person whom the Leader is supporting. Under no circumstances should a Leader reveal information about a person’s medical condition or legal issues without written permission. (Email, Messenger, or text all suffice as written permission.) Evidence of permission should be saved in the Leader’s log in case any future questions arise about whether permission was granted.

Confidentiality in Working with Applicants

Supporting Leaders and LAD representatives should keep confidential both that an Applicant is working towards accreditation and the details of application discussions.

It is not advisable to mention an Applicant’s status to Group members. This practice keeps the Applicant from being put on the spot to answer questions before feeling adequately prepared. It also protects the Applicant from being seen as a representative of LLL. This practice also avoids any potential for difficulties in the case that the Applicant does not become a Leader.

Within LAD, discussions with Applicants should be kept confidential from everyone not directly involved in supporting the application. Those supporting the application may be the ACLA and the CLA, the R/ALA and, if necessary, the DLAD. When supporting Leaders or LAD representatives need to consult with others regarding an Applicant’s situation, the Applicant must be informed about whom the supporting Leader or LAD representative wants to consult and then give written permission for the supporting Leader or LAD representative to share that information with those persons. In order to protect the Applicant’s privacy, no names or unnecessary details should be shared.

Confidentiality within DCE administrative units

Each DCE Council or Board is expected to have its own policy that balances its needs for transparency and confidentiality. Transparency is preferred in most instances; however, it is important to preserve the Council/Board members’ freedom to speak their minds about all issues without fearing repercussions, pressure, or retaliation from other members of the organization.

Confidentiality regarding LLLI Board Discussions and Votes

It is considered best practice in board governance to keep discussions and voting confidential. To encourage thoughtful, productive and innovative work from members involved in policy-making work, confidentiality helps ensure that not every single word and action are exposed to scrutiny. Confidentiality provides an environment of respect, trust and candor that allows Board members to openly share difficult information and opposing viewpoints, critically examine the issues, and challenge one another’s conclusions.

LLLI Board members are elected by the Leaders of their DCEs. They therefore represent and are obligated to present the perspective, wishes, and positions of their respective DCEs. Nevertheless, their duty as LLLI Board members is to prioritize the good of the global LLL organization over the good of one or more parts of the organization, which sometimes involves voting contrary to the viewpoint of their DCE. Privacy provides Board members the freedom to vote in the way that they believe to be the right decision for the sustainability and future of the organization.

The goal of openness, communication and accountability from the LLLI Board can best be achieved without revealing an individual Board member’s vote or identifying specific positions of particular Board members.

For these reasons, the LLLI Board will keep all Board members’ specific votes and personal discussion points confidential, even after the Board member is no longer serving on the Board. Former Board members are expected also to maintain confidentiality on particular people’s positions and votes.

Board members are free to explain the general arguments or points of view that were considered in the decision making. They cannot, however, reveal specific members’ positions or statements that were made during the discussions that led to the decisions, not even their own, and not even after they have left their Board positions.

Transparency in LLLI Board Work

Keeping the exact votes and precise words of Board members confidential doesn’t mean that Board members can’t let their DCE Councils/Boards and Leaders know what the LLLI Board is working on and what issues are being discussed. Board members can achieve transparency by

  • Communicating how — and why — decisions have been made
  • Sharing issues that are under discussion
  • Sharing with their Councils or constituents their current positions on the issues before the Board decision is made.
  • Describing and explaining the views of others without revealing any personal information that would allow someone to identify those others.

In order to preserve individual Board members’ ability to speak freely and to think innovatively and creatively, these practices of transparency should be carried out without mentioning other Board members’ names or identifying what perspectives any other Board member might hold.

Whistleblower Policy

Confidentiality does not preclude someone from “whistleblowing”—that is, reporting policy, financial, or legal infractions committed by any administrator or member of the organization. Every DCE should have clear and widely disseminated Whistleblower and Grievance policies. LLLI’s Whistleblower policy can be found at (https://llli.org/leader-pages/policies-standing-rules/)

(August 2020)

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Contact Information Lists

La Leche League contact information lists, which may include, but are not limited to, personal information such as names, email addresses, phone numbers, or postal addresses, are not to be used for non-La Leche League activities. Such lists are handled in accordance with the relevant country’s data protection laws and regulations.

(Jun 84; rev Nov 85, rev July 21)

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  1. Financial Code of Ethics
  2. LLLI Cost Sharing

See also:


Financial Code of Ethics

This policy applies to all LLL entities and Leaders, including LLLI, when seeking sources of funding. This policy does not supplant any possible legal requirements in any given country. This policy is a minimum requirement for all LLL entities.

LLLI fully supports the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and Relevant WHA Resolutions subsequently issued (referred to all together in this document as the ‘International Code’). All funding sources must be consistent with the obligations of La Leche League’s commitment to abide by the International Code.

1. Funding sources

LLLI, LLL entities, and LLL representatives may seek a diverse range of funding from:

  • memberships
  • individual donations/contributions
  • cost sharing contributions
  • grants from acceptable charitable foundations, governments or public agencies
  • appropriate commercial sources (see below)

2. Compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastfeeding Substitutes and Subsequent WHA Resolutions.

  • To protect the LLL reputation and credibility in support of breastfeeding and maintain sufficient autonomy and independence from non-LLL influences in order to work within the purpose, mission, and philosophy of LLL, all funding sources will support or be consistent with the obligations of La Leche League’s commitment to abide by the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant WHA resolutions subsequently issued (referred to all together in this document as the ‘International Code’).
  • LLLI and LLL entities do not enter into sponsorship or endorsement or licensing agreements with any corporation that violates the International Code nor do they accept advertisements or exhibits from such corporations. The term ‘corporation’ includes subsidiaries and parent companies of known International Code violators. New contracts will specify that breaches of this provision that occur or become apparent during the term of the contract will result in the contract being terminated.
  • Written agreements and contracts governing sponsorship will include the stipulation that for the duration of the contract the external party is and will remain compliant with the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant WHA resolutions (International Code) pertinent to the International Code.
  • When considering an advertisement or exhibit, corporate sponsorship, endorsement, or licensed product agreement for any product, cause or service covered by the International Code [link] or related to the LLL mission or philosophy statements; the contracting Leader(s) will consult with the entity administration and the entity’s own Code Committee or the LLLI International Code and Conflicts of Interest Committee.
  • Before choosing a funding source, LLL representatives will research its products and ownership structure, using our international networks and any relevant publications in print and on the World Wide Web. If they have any questions about a particular company, Leaders, LLL entities, and LLLI Board and staff will submit requests to review proposed funding sources to their entity’s Code Committee for review or to the International Code and Conflicts of Interest Committee in order to assure that all possible Code issues or conflicts of interest have been carefully examined.

Leaders and employees working on funding issues support each other by sharing information and will be mutually affirming and accountable world-wide.

3. Donations/contributions

LLLI and LLL entities will respect legal requirements governing donations in their locality.

Within the terms described above, LLLI and LLL entities may accept donations/contributions from individuals and from commercial sources and retain the option to decline a donation.

Reasons for declining a donation may include

  • possible loss of not-for-profit status;
  • administrative cost or difficulty
  • other unacceptable consequences for LLLI or the LLL entity.

LLLI or the LLL entity will decide how to acknowledge a donation.

4. Contracts with external parties

Leaders and entities are welcome to develop business relationships with external parties that benefit both LLL and the other party, as long as all of the stipulations of this policy are met.

Advertisements and Exhibits

LLLI and LLL publications and events may include advertisements and/or exhibits.

The following will not be advertised nor exhibited:

  • any product that has been documented as harmful to the breastfed baby, nursing parent, and/or nursing relationship
  • any product that could undermine breastfeeding;
  • any product incompatible with LLL purpose or philosophy (see LLL Philosophy
  • any recalled product

All advertisements and/or exhibits will be covered by a written, legal contract that protects LLLI or the LLL entity from liability.

  • Acceptance of advertisements and/or an exhibit arrangement does not constitute an endorsement. Statements to this effect will be made in publications and in event and exhibition programs. All contracts will include a summary of relevant Finance policies.

Contractual Relationships with Commercial Companies

When considering a relationship with a commercial company, the contracting Leader will keep in mind that any relationship lends La Leche League’s credibility to the company, and that even a donation in kind is a trade – the gift for advertising exposure for the company. Factors to keep in mind include:

  • advertising is a relationship and needs to be governed by a contract
  • written contracts should contain
    • time limits
    • early termination provisions
    • termination for cause provisions
      • if the other party engages in conduct that (in the opinion of the LLL entity or the International Code and Conflicts of Interest Committee) violates the International Code
      • if the company is purchased by a group that violates the International Code
      • if the product is recalled

5. Sponsorships or endorsements by, or licensed product agreements with a commercial company for LLLI, DCEs, or other units of LLL.

Corporate sponsorships, endorsements, and licensed product agreements are relationships of mutual benefit to LLLI and the other person or organization, where the name and/or logo of a company might appear with the name and/or logo of LLLI. This includes the LLLI logo incorporated into the logo of an LLL entity.

Corporate sponsorships, endorsements, and licensed product agreements will be in writing and include (but not be limited to) clauses enabling LLLI or the relevant LLL entity to end the relationship should any violations of the International Code or other conflicts of interest arise. These clauses will specify end points at agreed-upon intervals and provide for termination of the contract if changes occur in the company that may undermine breastfeeding as defined by LLLI. See LLL Logo and Name Protection.

6. Endorsements, Sponsorships, and Licensed Product Agreements.

The La Leche League International Board of Directors has the sole and exclusive authority to permit any act that expresses or implies sponsorship, endorsement, authorization, or approval by LLLI of any person, service, or item. Contracts of expressed or implied LLLI endorsements or sponsorships are to be negotiated and signed by the Board Chair/co-Chairs or designee and the LLLI Executive Director.

Entities wishing to accept an endorsement or establish a licensed product agreement that grants the external party the right to use any of the LLLI trademarks or combined marks must submit the “Authorization for an Endorsement or Licensed Product Agreement” form to the LLLI Executive Director before entering into negotiations with the external party. [Link to form that can be submitted through the Website to the Executive Director]

The Executive Director, in consultation with the LLLI Board and Code and Conflicts Committee as necessary, will approve or disapprove the endorsement or agreement within seven business days of receiving the authorization form. If the proposed collaboration is approved, the Executive Director will send the entity a letter granting them the right to enter into negotiations for use of the LLLI trademarks or combined marks, as the entity sees fit, within the parameters for use of the trademarks set forth in the PSR and DCE Agreements. For the purposes of record keeping, the final contract with the external body will be shared with the LLLI Executive Director within seven business days of being signed.

If the endorsement or licensed product agreement is not approved, the ED will contact the entity to explain why and, if the entity still wishes to pursue the collaboration, advise the entity on what conditions must be met for the collaboration to be approved.

(Oct 06, rev Nov 12, March 15, Oct 20)

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LLLI Cost Sharing

LLL entities, currently European Area Network (EAN), International Area Network (IAN), Ligue La Leche, LLL Alliance, LLL Canada, LLL Great Britain, LLL New Zealand, and LLL USA, make an agreed upon annual contribution to LLLI to help cover costs.

This amount is based upon two criteria:

  • The number of Leaders in the LLLI database with a primary connection to an Area within each of these entities as of October 31 of the previous calendar year
  • The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of the individual countries where Leaders reside (Source: World Bank)

To facilitate budgeting, by September 30, LLLI provides each Area with a worksheet of their Leader data as of September 30, and the DCEs verify that data by October 31.

By December 1, the LLLI Executive Director, the LLLI Board Finance Committee, and the DCE administrators use these estimated numbers to review the cost-sharing formula to be applied during the upcoming fiscal year.

By the end of December each year, the Executive Director shares with the entities the result of the calculation for the upcoming fiscal year.

The DCEs ensure that a final update is performed of their Leader data as of January 31. LLLI provides Areas with a worksheet by January 10 to facilitate this update.

LLLI then sends invoices for cost sharing to the DCEs for their annual contributions in four equal installments at the beginning of April, July, October, and January each fiscal year.

After LLLI and the entities agree upon the amount, it is the responsibility of each entity to ensure that the full amount is paid.

(Apr 16, Oct 20)

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  1. LLLI Complaint Resolution Process
  2. Whistleblower

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LLLI Complaint Resolution Process

The purpose of the LLLI Complaint Resolution Process is to ensure that complaints raised from within La Leche League or by the public are resolved fairly and promptly, with the goal of a respectful resolution. This process addresses conflicts involving La Leche League International and issues including, but not limited to, compliance with the LLLI Bylaws and the LLL Code of Conduct and LLL Policies and Standing Rules. All complaints are addressed by a Complaint Resolution Team (CRT) appointed by the LLLI Board.

LLL Leaders respond promptly to any investigations or complaints against Leaders and cooperate with complaint resolution processes as requested. [See Code of Conduct item 2.5]

  • Complaints arising at a local level should be addressed or resolved at that level: Area, Area Network, Direct Connect Entity (DCE). If the local complaint resolution process has been followed, and the complainant believes that the process does not align with LLL policy or procedures, the complaint may be escalated to the LLLI Complaint Resolution Team
  • Complaints arising at the local level about a member of the Leader Accreditation Department (LAD) regarding their LAD role are addressed or resolved at that level of LAD. For some Direct Connect Entities (DCEs) this may be the Area level; for others it is the DCE level. If needed, complaints starting at the Area level may be moved to the Area Network (AN) or DCE level.
  • If the complaint is not resolved at the DCE level, any party to the complaint may consult the Director of the Leader Accreditation Department (DLAD).
  • If the complaint resolution process of the local entity or DCE has been followed in earlier attempts to resolve the conflict, and the complainant believes that the process does not align with LLL policy or procedures, the complaint may be escalated to the LLLI Complaint Resolution Team. The Complaint Resolution Team consults the DLAD if the DLAD has not already been consulted
  • For complaints about the Leader accreditation process and/or applications under the Leader Accreditation Department (LAD) see the Accreditation Appeals Procedures
  • Complaints between two or more DCEs which are not settled between them may be referred to the LLLI Complaint Resolution Team
  • Members of the public may access the LLLI Complaint Resolution Process to make a complaint at any level. These are received by the ED and referred on to the most appropriate place
  • Grievances and complaints about LLLI committees, LLLI Board members, or LLLI staff are sent to the LLLI person or group most directly responsible. If this has already been done and the complainant believes that the responsible LLLI person or group is refusing to address the situation or that the response does not align with LLL policy or procedures, the complaint may be referred to the appropriate committee chair or the LLLI Board, whichever is the next local level
  • If the complainant believes that the LLLI Board is refusing to address the situation, they may file a complaint with the CRT
  • If the complainant believes that the LLLI Board decision does not align with LLL policy or procedures, they may take their complaint to the Global Leaders Committee.
  • A DCE Council may also decide to refer a complaint to the LLLI Complaint Resolution Team if they believe they are unable to address it adequately
  • Complaints about LLLI Board actions and decisions are referred to the Global Leaders Committee, not to the Complaint Resolution Team.
  • Any complaint made to the police or legal system in any country about an LLL Leader, LLL entity, LLL staff member, or LLL volunteer supersedes this Complaint Resolution Process, until the legal process is complete
  • If legal action is threatened by anyone who is making a complaint or has a complaint made against them, this Complaint Resolution Process is suspended until such time as the legal action is ended, abandoned or otherwise resolved

For additional clarification, see the Complaint Process Flowchart.

Complaint Resolution Team

The LLLI Board establishes and maintains a Complaint Resolution Team consisting of seven to nine Leaders or former Leaders. Current LLLI Board Members are not eligible to serve on the Complaint Resolution Team.

Candidates for the Complaint Resolution Team are required to undertake training provided by LLLI and to have experience in conflict resolution and/or mediation, as well as extensive LLL experience. Effort is made to create a diverse Complaint Resolution Team representing the composition of LLL.

In consultation with the LLLI Board, the Complaint Resolution Team may engage a professional outside mediator or create a position of a professional Advisor to the Complaint Resolution Team to assist with a case under consideration.

Each member of the Complaint Resolution Team:

  • Commits to being fair and impartial
  • Has LLL administrative experience at an Area level or higher in the LLL administrative structure, or extensive LLL experience
  • Has conflict resolution or mediation experience
  • Undergoes training provided by or approved by LLLI, including bias training and training in addressing claims of harassment and discrimination
  • Maintains confidentiality in the Complaint Resolution Process
  • Recuses themselves from working on any issue in which they have:
    • a conflict of interest
    • a personal or financial interest that may prevent the exercise of impartial judgment, including a relationship with any parties to the conflict
    • instances in which any party to the conflict is from the member’s LLL Group or Area
    • circumstances in which the subject matter of the complaint prevents the member from being fair and impartial
  • A Complaint Resolution Team member recuses themselves in these situations even if they believe that they are able to be impartial.

Nominations from each DCE for the Complaint Resolution Team are requested by the LLLI Personnel Committee before the Mid-Year session. Complaint Resolution Team members are appointed by the LLLI Board at this session. The LLLI Board endeavors to select as diverse a group of Complaint Resolution Team members as possible.

Complaint Resolution Team members serve staggered three-year terms starting November 1st. No member serves more than two consecutive three-year terms, or a total of seven consecutive years, unless this requirement is waived by the LLLI Board of Directors. In the event of a Complaint Resolution Team member being involved in investigating an active complaint at the time that their term on the team ends, the LLLI Board of Directors has discretion to extend the end of that member’s term until the complaint is resolved.

The Complaint Resolution Team elects a chair within a month after the Mid-Year session of the Board. The Chair of the Complaint Resolution Team serves as liaison between the Complaint Resolution Team and the LLLI Board Chair(s) and may hold this position for a maximum of three consecutive years.

The Personnel Committee of the Board seeks and recommends candidates to the LLLI Board whenever necessary to replace any Complaint Resolution Team member who resigns or is removed before the conclusion of a term. The Board appoints the chosen candidate(s) who then serve(s) for the remainder of the original term or for a specified term.

After due consideration, the LLLI Board may remove a member of the Complaint Resolution Team for failure to perform member duties or for non-compliance with the LLL Code of Conduct, LLLI Bylaws, or LLL Policies and Standing Rules.

Initiating the Complaint Resolution Process

A complaint is initiated by completing a Complaint Form.

LLLI Complaint Resolution Procedures

  1. Complaints about an LLL Leader or administrative entity (Group, Area, Area Network, or DCE)
    • The Chair of the Complaint Resolution Team confirms receipt of the Complaint Form to the complainant immediately upon receiving it
    • The Complaint Resolution Team decides whether the complaint is addressable by the Complaint Resolution Team or best addressed by other means such as complaint resolution processes of DCEs, Area Networks, Areas, or by other action of administrative volunteers or employees of LLL entities
    • In making their decision, the Complaint Resolution Team may consult with the LLLI Board of Directors
    • If the complaint is deemed to be best addressed elsewhere, the Complaint Resolution Team forwards the complaint to the appropriate place and informs the complainant
    • If the complaint has been referred to the Complaint Resolution Team after a completed process within a DCE, the Complaint Resolution Team accepts the referral only if the complainant alleges that the responsible entity is refusing to address the situation or that the response does not align with LLL policy or procedures. See the Complaint Process Flowchart.
  1. For complaints within the purview of the LLLI Complaint Resolution Team, the Complaint Resolution Team assigns a designated reviewer of the complaint from within the members of the Complaint Resolution Team to facilitate the process and to document steps taken.
  2. As promptly as possible, the Complaint Resolution Team reviews the complaint and determines what additional information is required and what steps should be taken. The designated reviewer contacts all relevant parties, sending them appropriate documentation and clear guidelines for the next steps.
  3. The Complaint Resolution Team gathers information and may interview the complainant and other relevant parties, while respecting the privacy and confidentiality of all. Agreement is made about recording of interviews and compilation of notes. During the investigation, the designated reviewer communicates periodically with the person who brought the complaint to let them know the process is continuing.
  4. Complaint Resolution Team members discuss the grievance and determine a proposed resolution or mediation.
  5. After reviewing all documentation and information received, the Complaint Resolution Team compiles a written report containing a summary of the complaint, the Complaint Resolution Team’s findings of fact, and recommendations. Complaint Resolution Team recommendations may include:
    • A specific outcome, solution, and/or course of action for the affected party or parties to the complaint
    • A recommendation to the LLLI Board or other LLL entity for further action.
  • If an issue arises that involves interpretation of policy, the Complaint Resolution Team may refer the question to the Bylaws committee and/or the LLLI Board.
  1. The Complaint Resolution Team report and recommendation comes to the LLLI Board for discussion and approval before being communicated to the parties.
  2. The report and recommendation are shared with the complainant and other affected parties to the complaint. In line with the LLLI Document Retention policy, this report is retained permanently.

Complaint Resolution Resources

The Resource Bank for conflict resolution contains tools, model protocols, and conflict resolution information including but not limited to materials developed by LLL Communications Skills Departments and materials shared by other LLL entities. The Resource Bank is available for use by the LLLI Complaint Resolution Team and by all individuals and entities within LLL, including the LLLI Board, DCEs, Area Networks, Areas, and employees. It is intended that the resources are shared both to and from the LLLI Complaint Resolution Team and LLL entities.

The LLLI Board may designate a Resource Bank Coordinator (RBC) to manage and maintain the Resource Bank.The Resource Bank Coordinator is responsible for updating and revising the Resource Bank as needed.

(Nov 12, rev Aug 17, rev Jan 21, rev Oct 22)

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Whistleblower

Introduction

La Leche League International (LLLI) requires its representatives, both employees and volunteers, to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. Representatives of LLLI must practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling their responsibilities, and must comply with LLL policy and all applicable laws and regulations.

Reporting Responsibility

This Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage anyone who suspects that a participant in any LLLI department or activity has committed a financial infraction or violation of law to raise these concerns within the organization. The purpose of this policy to allow LLLI to correct internally any suspected violations of the financial procedures or laws that govern LLLI operations.

External systems of justice remain available should the complainant consider that making use of them is warranted.

Retaliation

No person will be discharged, threatened, or discriminated against in any manner for disclosing or threatening to disclose to an LLLI or LLL representative any activity, policy, or practice of LLLI that the person perceives to be violations of law and/ or other regulations.

Reporting Procedure

LLLI has an open-door policy and suggests that LLL and LLLI representatives share their questions, concerns, suggestions, or complaints with the LLLI Board. If the reporting person is not comfortable contacting the Board or is not satisfied with the Board’s response, then the reporting person must document the concern in writing and send the statement to the Executive Director, Chair of the LLLI Audit Committee, or Chair of the Board. If any of these persons is the subject of concern, the complainant should contact one of the above who is not involved, or another Board member if the Chair of the Board is the subject of the concern.

The Executive Director and Chair(s) of the Board are responsible for ensuring that all complaints about illegal conduct or financial impropriety are investigated and resolved.

Accounting and Auditing Matters

The Executive Director, the Chair of the Board, or the Treasurer of LLLI shall immediately notify the Audit Committee and the Board of Directors of any concerns or complaints regarding corporate accounting practices, internal controls, or auditing, and shall work with the committee until the matter is resolved.

Acting in Good Faith

Anyone reporting a concern must act in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the matter raised is a financial infraction or violation of law. The act of making allegations that prove to be unsubstantiated, and that prove to have been made maliciously, recklessly, with gross negligence, or with the foreknowledge that the allegations were false, will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense.

Confidentiality

Violations or suspected violations may be reported on a confidential basis by the complainant. Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.

Handling of Reported Violations

Confirmation of receipt of the report should be made promptly to the complainant by the person handling the complaint. All reports will be investigated promptly, and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation.

(Mar 09, rev Nov 12, Jan 14, July 20)

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  1. LLL Logo and Name Protection

See also:


LLL Logo and Name Protection

Introduction

The La Leche League (LLL) brand is the face of La Leche League. It demonstrates what can be expected from LLL and differentiates LLL from all other organizations that offer similar information and services. The brand is part of the identity of LLL – a reflection of who we are as an organization. The brand includes a visible name and logo. All LLL entities should use components of the La Leche League International (LLLI) Marks (name and logo) to build consistent brand awareness and to ensure that their names and logos are protected.

Definitions:

“LLLI” means La Leche League International, consisting of the LLLI Board, LLLI Board committees, LLLI staff and Executive Director (ED), and global forums, such as the LAD Council and the Conflict Resolution Team (CRT).

“LLL” means La Leche League, consisting of LLLI and all Direct Connect Entities (DCEs).

“LLLI Marks” mean the following names and marks: “LA LECHE LEAGUE”, the NURSING MOTHER DESIGN (Lisa Logo) adopted in 1983, and all and any combined marks in any language, including the LLLI Logo Identity.

Lisa Logo:

“LLLI Logo Identity” means the combined mark used only by La Leche League International.  

Example 1:

Example 2:

“Combined Marks” means a mark, trademark, or corporate name that includes any permitted portion of the LLLI Marks. The Combined Marks are only marks that include the Lisa Logo or “La Leche League” in any language. Combined marks are created by LLLI and by DCEs connected to LLLI by way of a DCE agreement.

Ownership

La Leche League International (LLLI) owns all and any LLLI Marks, including but not limited to: “LA LECHE LEAGUE”, the Lisa Logo, and all and any combined marks, including the LLLI Logo Identity (see DCE Rights and Responsibilities point 11.a and DCE agreement).

Registration

LLLI Marks are registered through the national trademark offices of relevant countries. The LLLI ED maintains the La Leche League International list of Registrations and Applications (the list).

The LLLI ED and the LLLI Board of Directors (the LLLI Board) periodically propose additional countries where the LLLI marks should be registered. 

Under the supervision of the LLLI ED, the list is maintained by the LLLI trademark attorney. The attorney renews registrations when they come due and registers the LLLI marks in new countries per the approval of the LLLI Board.

If an LLLI mark is registered by a local or national La Leche League entity, the registration must indicate that LLLI is the owner of the trademark and its registration.  

La Leche League International Website and Social Media Content protection

LLLI websites that use the name of La Leche League International purchase and register their domain names in the name of La Leche League International and establish their hosting service contracts in the name of La Leche League International as well.

LLLI includes copyright notices, where appropriate, on the LLLI web pages, along with relevant prohibitions on copying, modifying, distributing, or other actions that are of concern. 

LLLI takes reasonable steps to seek removal of any LLLI Marks from websites and social media groups that are not affiliated or no longer affiliated with LLL or with LLLI.

LLL entities and Leaders report apparent misuse of the LLLI Marks or LLL brand on the internet to their entities and/or to LLLI.

The right to use LLLI Marks within La Leche League

LLL DCEs have the right, through their DCE agreements, to use the LLLI Marks set out below, including any Combined Mark listed in their agreements.

DCEs then pass the right to use the LLLI Marks in their agreements to the entities for which they are responsible and to the Leaders connected to that DCE. (See DCE Rights and Responsibilities point 11.)

“LA LECHE LEAGUE”

LLL entities and Leaders are entitled to use these LLLI Marks only in their LLL roles, in accordance with the LLL mission and policy and their DCE agreements.

LLL DCEs and the LLL entities and Leaders for which they are responsible are not authorized to use the LLLI Logo Identity (as defined above) or the name “La Leche League International” to represent themselves, nor do they use the names and marks of other La Leche League entities to which they are not connected to represent themselves.

New or updated marks 

DCEs approve and regulate any new or updated combined marks within their territories as defined by their DCE agreements, consulting with the LLLI ED as necessary. New names or logos may use the LLLI Marks: “LA LECHE LEAGUE” in any language and the Lisa Logo.

New names or logos/marks for any DCE are approved and regulated by the LLLI ED, in consultation with the LLLI Board of Directors, and are added to the DCE agreement upon approval.

Each LLL Leader and LLL entity is responsible for protecting the LLL brand and contributing to a positive reputation for LLL See DCE Rights and Responsibilities, Leader Rights and Responsibilities, under Responsibilities, item 13, Code of Conduct, Item 1 and 5.5, Financial Ethics, Collaborative Action, Social Media Policy for Leaders.

Use of the LLLI Marks by entities outside of La Leche League

Non-LLL organizations, businesses, or publications cannot use any part of the LLLI Marks without the express, written permission of the relevant LLL entity (in accordance with the DCE Agreements, DCE Rights and Responsibilities, Finance policy, and the Collaborative Action policies). For multi-national use of the LLLI Marks, such organizations should contact the LLLI ED.

Contact details for local/national LLL entities can be found on the LLLI website.

Infringement

Local or national

In the event that an LLL entity becomes aware that any part of the LLLI Marks or a confusingly similar mark is used by another local or national organization, business, publication, or an individual, that LLL entity immediately informs the local or national organization, business, publication, or individual of their infringement and asks them to desist from the infringement. 

In the event that there is no response or an unsatisfactory response to being alerted of the infringement, the LLL entity immediately informs the LLLI ED who, in consultation with the LLLI Board, takes necessary steps to address the infringement.

International/online infringement 

In the event that an LLL entity becomes aware that any part of the LLLI Marks or a confusingly similar mark is used by another international organization, business, publication, or individual, that LLL entity immediately informs the LLLI ED who, in consultation with the LLLI Board, takes necessary steps to address the infringement.

Requirements for correct use of the LLLI Marks

LLLI Logo Identity

The LLLI logo with the name (“La Leche League International” or “LLLI”), the Lisa Logo, and web address, in the color green [pantone # ], is the primary identity for LLLI, and is used only by the LLLI Board, LLLI staff, LLLI committees, and global forums immediately accountable to the LLLI Board. Specific guidelines for its use are available in the LLLI Logo and Brand Guidelines [Link]. 

Nursing Mother Design (the Lisa Logo)

LLL entities may use the name “La Leche League” in any language and the Lisa Logo (the LLLI Marks) and incorporate them into their own design, (a Combined Mark), as long as:

  • The entire logo is kept intact with the visible registration mark [Link to size requirements in Guidelines], the double oval ring, and  a buffer of clear space around the logo. 
  • Lisa logo should be clearly visible as a distinct logo. 
  • Lisa logo is not altered, stretched, or skewed. 
  • Gradients and patterns are not used within or behind the Lisa Logo.
  • Does not include religious or political symbols, and is not confusingly similar to a logo or image that belongs to another, non-LLL organization.

When using the LLLI Marks as prescribed above, there are no color restrictions for the logo or name nor font restrictions for the name “La Leche League”. 

Any DCE wanting to incorporate the Lisa Logo in a combined mark in their territories or for the DCE itself, in such a manner that does not meet the requirements above, must have express written permission from the LLLI ED. If permitted, the combined Logo that does not meet the above requirements, must be included in the applicable DCE agreement. 

(Oct 92; rev Feb 99, rev Oct 15, rev Apr 16, Nov 23)

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  1. Accessibility and Cultural Sensitivity
  2. Concept Explanations
  3. Inclusivity Statement
  4. LLL Philosophy
  5. Mission Statement
  6. Vision/Purpose

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Accessiblity and Cultural Sensitivity

La Leche League is committed to respect and support the diversity of Leaders, mothers and families who participate in our events or seek information about breastfeeding, chestfeeding, or human milk feeding. (Inclusivity Statement and LLL Code of Conduct. See especially item 7.1)

In order to reflect this commitment, LLL Leaders and staff always consider the following when planning events or meetings:

  • time zones, seasons, major national and religious holidays, and dietary requirements of participants
  • geographic accessibility
  • sensitivity to local cultural customs, language, and population, as guided by local volunteers
  • accessibility to the physical meeting site, event materials, and presentations
  • provision for offsite attendance via the internet or other electronic means
  • translation facilities as feasible and appropriate for the languages used by the participants

In addition, the LLLI Board, LLLI Committees, and LLLI global forums make every effort to support translations for LLLI publications to enable wider participation in LLLI Board, committees, and global forums for non-English speakers.
(May 81, Jan 22)

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Concept Explanations

These explanations describe in greater detail our understanding of each concept. The concepts are shown in bold, with the explanation of each following.

Mothering through breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby.

Breastfeeding provides a complete way of meeting a baby’s primary needs, which include touch, comfort, warmth and protection, as well as food. Putting the baby to the breast satisfies all of these needs. As the breastfeeding relationship continues, the intimate interaction between the pair deepens, creating a reciprocal framework which both increases the capacity to understand the baby and enhances the baby’s responses.(1) The hormone prolactin is produced in response to the baby’s suckling and further encourages sensitivity to the baby’s needs. The hormone oxytocin assists in milk ejection and enhances trust, nurturing, relaxation, bonding and healing. When breastfeeding, the baby’s saliva communicates with cells in the breast to customize the milk’s properties to meet the baby’s current immunological needs and to optimize the baby’s microbiome.(2,3) Research shows that the physical mother-baby connection is integral to sensitivity to the baby, and that maternal sensitivity occurs even during sleep.(4,5,6) “Mothering through breastfeeding” beautifully and automatically satisfies a baby’s primary needs all at the same time.

(Apr. 1994, rev Mar. 2019, rev Apr. 2021)

1. La Leche League International, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 2010.
2. Moossavi, S., et al. (2019). “Composition and Variation of the Human Milk Microbiota Are Influenced by Maternal and Early-Life Factors.” Cell Host & Microbe 25(2): 324-335.e324.
3. Azad, M. B., et al. (2013). “Gut microbiota of healthy Canadian infants: profiles by mode of delivery and infant diet at 4 months.” Canadian Medical Association Journal.
4. Wiessinger, D., D. West, L.J. Smith and T. Pitman, Sweet Sleep, La Leche League International, 2014.
5. McKenna, J. J. and L. T. Gettler (2015). “There is no such thing as infant sleep, there is no such thing as breastfeeding, there is only breastsleeping.” Acta Paediatr.
6. Blair, P. S., et al. (2020). “Bedsharing and Breastfeeding: The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol #6, Revision 2019.” Breastfeed Med.

Human milk is the natural food for babies, uniquely meeting their changing needs.

Human milk is the unique and unduplicated food for babies. It contains all of the nutrients needed for optimal human growth and is easily digested and eliminated. The composition of human milk continually adapts to meet the baby’s changing needs. The milk varies throughout the breastfeeding relationship, from birth to weaning, from morning to night, and even within the course of a single feeding.(1)

Human milk provides more than nutrition. Beginning as colostrum, it works with the infant’s developing immune system to provide protection against a wide array of illnesses and allergens, a benefit that extends well beyond infancy.(2) The baby receives optimal immunological benefits, and the baby’s microbiome is optimized, when directly breastfed by the mother.(3, 4, 5) Sucking at the breast promotes normal oral configuration, eye development and hand-eye coordination. Furthermore, the psychological effects of breastfeeding are invaluable: frequent opportunities for touching, holding, and eye contact serve as important stimuli for the child’s development. According to the World Health Organization, “for those few health situations where infants cannot, or should not, be breastfed, the choice of the best alternative — expressed breast milk from an infant’s own mother, breast milk from a healthy wet-nurse or a human-milk bank, or a breast-milk substitute fed with a cup, which is a safer method than a feeding bottle and teat — depends on individual circumstances.”(6)

Human milk is a key factor in the healthy development of babies and young children at all economic levels around the world.

(Apr. 1994, rev Dec. 2014, rev Mar. 2019, rev Apr. 2021)

(1) Briana Tillman, “Breast Milk ‘s Circadian Rhythms,” Leader Today, 1 Oct 15.
“https://llli.org/breast-milks-circadian-rhythms-2/”
(2) Miriam Labbok et al, “Breastfeeding: maintaining an irreplaceable immunological resource,” “www.nature.com/reviews/immunology.com” July 2004;
Goldman et al, “Immunologic components in Human milk during the second year of lactation,” Acta Paediatr Scand 72:461-462, 1983
(3) Azad et al, “Gut microbiota of healthy Canadian infants: profiles by mode of delivery and infant diet at 4 months,” Canadian Medical Association Journal, Feb 11, 2013;
(4) Hassiotou et al, “Breastmilk is a Novel Source of Stem Cells with Multilineage Differentiation Potential,” www.StemCells.com, 2012;30:2164-2174
(5) Kakulas, Milk Genomics: https://milkgenomics.org/article/even-to-the-brain-yes-breastmilk-stem-cells-do-transfer-to-organs-of-offspring/
(6) Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. Geneva: World Health Organization UNICEF, 2003.

Alert, active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start.

Events during labor and childbirth can impact the breastfeeding experience. Improved birth outcomes occur when a supportive companion is present during childbirth and provides comfort measures that reduce pain, fear and anxiety. Research shows that minimizing interventions and drug use during birth supports the baby’s ability to initiate effective breastfeeding immediately after birth. Although some interventions, such as a cesarean birth, may be lifesaving, it is important to be aware that interventions can significantly affect breastfeeding in the early days. These may affect the baby’s ability to suck, swallow and breathe normally, interfere with immediate skin-to-skin contact, delay the initiation of an adequate milk supply, and impact maternal health and early mothering behaviors.

Understanding the physiological process of labor and childbirth, how childbirth is managed, and how interventions may impact breastfeeding can help in planning for giving birth. Preparation for birth and breastfeeding may include attending a class, reading books, talking with someone knowledgeable on these topics, and/or attending La Leche League meetings. Knowledge can help with confidence and informed decision-making during the birth and can contribute to getting breastfeeding off to a good start.

(Mar. 2019, rev Apr. 2020)

1. Beck, C. T., & Watson, S. (2008). Impact of birth trauma on breast-feeding: a tale of two pathways. Nurs Res, 57(4), 228-236.
2. Bohren, M. A., Hofmeyr, G. J., Sakala, C., et al. (2017). Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 7, Cd003766.
3. Brimdyr, K., Cadwell, K., Widström, A.-M., et al. (2015). The Association Between Common Labor Drugs and Suckling When Skin-to-Skin During the First Hour After Birth. Birth, 42(4), 319-328.
4. Pérez-Escamilla, R., et al. (2016). “Impact of the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative on breastfeeding and child health outcomes: a systematic review. Maternal & Child Nutrition.
5. Smith, L. J., & Kroeger, M. (2010). Impact of birthing practices on breastfeeding (2nd ed.). Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett.
6. World Health Organization (2018). WHO recommendations: intrapartum care for a positive childbirth experience. Geneva, World Health Organization: 200.

Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying breastfeeding relationship and reliable milk supply.

The term “early and often,” rather than an arbitrary time limit, describes how milk production and the breastfeeding relationship are naturally established. Encouraging immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact after birth and 24-hour rooming-in helps get breastfeeding off to a good start. Frequent nursing in the first minutes, hours, and days is important for initiating milk production, and feeding the baby on cue helps increase and maintain milk production. The hormones that are released during breastfeeding enhance bonding and attachment between mother and baby, support recovery from birth for both, and promote normal growth and development of the baby.

Special circumstances may impose separation during the early weeks, presenting challenges to the establishment of the breastfeeding relationship. However, with support, persistence, plenty of skin-to-skin contact and frequent removal of milk via milk-expression, the mother-baby bond can be encouraged, reliable milk production can be achieved, and often exclusive breastfeeding can be established.

(Apr. 1994, Mar. 2019, June 2020)

1. Widstrom, A. M., Brimdyr, K., Svensson, K., et al. (2019). Skin-to-skin contact the first hour after birth, underlying implications and clinical practice. Acta Paediatr, 108(7), 1192-1204.
2. World Health Organization. (2018). Implementation Guidance: protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding in facilities providing maternity and newborn services: the revised Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Geneva:http://www.who.int/nutrition/bfhi/en/

Breastfeeding is enhanced by the loving support of the baby’s father, a co-parent, a partner, and/or close family members who value the breastfeeding relationship.

Fathers, co-parents, partners and/or close family members are usually the first circle of support for the breastfeeding dyad.(1) Support can consist of baby-care, mother-care, and advocacy for the breastfeeding relationship to family, friends and healthcare providers. Baby-care may include bathing, changing diapers, and soothing and/or playing with the baby. Mother-care may include ensuring the availability of healthful foods and beverages, handling household tasks, and encouraging the mother at times of stress and doubt. Advocacy may include providing encouragement and protection for the breastfeeding relationship by fending off unsolicited and unhelpful suggestions from those who may be well-meaning but uninformed. Relationships between the baby and the father, the co-parent, the mother’s partner, and/or close family members do not replace the breastfeeding relationship but complement it and can be an important element in the child’s development from early infancy.

(Feb. 1992, rev Mar. 2019, rev Oct. 2019)

1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, 2011.

In the early years, the baby has an intense need to be with his mother which is as basic as his need for food.

A baby’s need for warmth, love, security, responsiveness and nourishment is met through attentive breastfeeding. The intensity of the baby’s need is strongest in the early weeks and months, although it continues throughout the early years, changing according to the individual child’s temperament, personality and feelings of security. Breastfeeding provides a way for the pair to connect and reinforce their loving relationship.(1,2,3,4) The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding states: “Mothers and babies form an inseparable biological and social unit; the health and nutrition of one group cannot be divorced from the health and nutrition of the other.”(5).

(Feb. 1985, rev Dec. 2016, rev Mar. 2019, rev Apr. 2021)

1. Smith, J. P. and R. Forrester (2017). “Maternal Time Use and Nurturing: Analysis of the Association Between Breastfeeding Practice and Time Spent Interacting with Baby.” Breastfeed Med 12: 269-278.
2. Hrdy, S. B. (1999). Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection. New York, Pantheon Books.
3. Ruddick, Sara. (1995) Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace. Boston: Beacon Press.
4. Montagu, A. (1986). Touching: the Human Significance of the Skin. New York, Harper & Row.
5. World Health Organization & United Nations Children’s Fund. (2003). Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. Geneva: World Health Organization.

For the healthy, full-term baby, human milk is the only food necessary until the baby shows signs of readiness for complementary foods, about the middle of the first year after birth.

For the full-term, healthy baby, human milk alone provides optimal nutrition for growth and development until about the middle of the first year. Research has shown that exclusive breastfeeding for six months fortifies the baby’s immune system against infection.1 Every baby is unique, and so when deciding whether to introduce other foods and/or drink, it is important to focus on awareness of the baby’s specific nutritional needs and signs of readiness, rather than upon the baby’s age or outside factors.

Physiological and behavioral signs of readiness for other foods and drink generally include, but are not limited to, the following changes in the baby:

  • ability to sit up unsupported, facilitating eating and swallowing
  • loss of the tongue-thrust reflex and emergence of chewing patterns
  • hand-to-mouth coordination, bringing food to the mouth in conjunction with anticipatory opening of the mouth
  • increase in the desire to nurse that does not subside after several days of intensive nursing.

A breastfed baby is accustomed to being in charge of how much to eat and recognizing the body’s signals for hunger and satiety.2 By encouraging the baby to be actively involved in self-feeding and paying attention to signs that the baby has had enough, parents can help ensure continued self-regulation of food intake. If all other signs of developmental readiness are present but a baby exhibits constipation, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort or other negative gastrointestinal symptoms following the introduction of complementary foods, this may indicate that the baby is not quite ready to advance from exclusive breastfeeding, or may need a greater portion of human milk in the diet. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding as part of a mixed diet until two years of age or beyond. 3

(Apr. 1993, rev Mar. 2019, rev Sept. 2019)

1. “Exclusive breastfeeding for six months best for babies everywhere,” World Health Organization statement, 15 January 2011.
2. Li, R., et al. (2010). “Do Infants Fed From Bottles Lack Self-regulation of Milk Intake Compared with Directly Breastfed Infants?” Pediatrics: peds.2009-2549.
3. “Guiding Principles for Complementary Feeding of the Breastfed Child,” World Health Organization, 2001.

Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.

Good nutrition starts with breastfeeding. A breastfed baby is in charge of how much to eat and becomes accustomed to recognizing the body’s signals for hunger and satiety. As the baby is introduced to foods that members of the family are eating, nutritious choices will complement human milk. La Leche League does not promote any specific diet. Parents can be role models for wise food choices.

(Feb. 1984, Dec. 2014, Mar. 2019, Mar. 2020)

Ideally the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the child outgrows the need.

Weaning begins when a child receives nourishment by means other than breastfeeding, and is completed when all breastfeeding ceases. As a child matures, changing physical and emotional needs are increasingly satisfied through means other than breastfeeding.

Natural weaning is the gradual end of the breastfeeding relationship and is usually initiated by the child after one year of age. Natural weaning ideally includes:

  • sensitivity to the child’s individual needs and readiness
  • flexibility in responding to the unpredictable course of natural weaning
  • understanding of and trust in the fundamental stages of a child’s development.

Duration of breastfeeding varies widely by cultures.(1) The child continues to benefit nutritionally, immunologically, and emotionally as long as breastfeeding is maintained.(2, 3) The World Health Organization encourages breastfeeding for two years or beyond.(4)

(Oct. 1992, rev Mar. 2019, rev Mar. 2020)

1.Dettwyler, Katherine, “When to Wean: Biological versus Cultural Perspectives,” Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 47, Number 3, 712–723 © 2004, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
2. Goldman, A. S., R. M. Goldblum, and C. Garza. 1983. “Immunologic components in human milk during the second year of lactation.” Acta Paediatr Scand72 (3):461-2.
3. Gribble, Karleen D., “’As good as chocolate’ and ‘better than ice cream’ : How toddler, and older, breastfeeders experience breastfeeding,” Early Child Development and Care, Vol 179, No. 8, December 2009, 1067-1082.
4. World Health Organization, and United Nations Children’s Fund. 2003. Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. Geneva: World Health Organization.

From infancy on, children need loving guidance, which reflects acceptance of their capabilities and sensitivity to their feelings.

Loving guidance is a form of positive parenting that research shows will support a child in growing to be a loving, caring, self-disciplined adult. Loving guidance reflects awareness of, sensitivity to, and respect for developmental needs, capabilities, and individuality. It uses discipline/teaching methods and attitudes that foster learning while maintaining the child’s self-esteem. Harsh or restrictive physical or verbal methods, or a lack of parental attention, concern, or intervention are inconsistent with the philosophy and goals of loving guidance.

(Oct. 1986, rev Mar. 2019, rev Mar. 2020)

Cross-references

Philosophy, La Leche League International
Available at: https://llli.org/about/philosophy/

PSR: La Leche League International’s Philosophy

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (most current edition)
Sweet Sleep (most current edition)

Revised and Approved by the LLLI Board of Directors, March 2019

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Inclusivity Statement

We at La Leche League International have all nursed our babies. If you want to do the same, whoever you are, whatever your story is, we’re here to help.

LLLI is committed to serving everyone inclusive of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental ability, socio-economic status, political views, gender identity, sexual orientation, family structure, or other protected status.

LLLI seeks the equitable accreditation of a diverse body of Leaders.

(May 2018)

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LLL Philosophy

LLLI believes that breastfeeding with its many important physical and psychological advantages is best for baby and mother and is the ideal way to initiate good parent-child relationships. The loving help and support of the father enables the mother to focus on mothering so that together the parents develop close family relationships which strengthen the family and thus the whole fabric of society.

LLLI further believes that mothering through breastfeeding deepens a mother’s understanding and acceptance of the responsibilities and rewards of her special role in the family. As a woman grows in mothering she grows as a human being and every other role she may fill in her lifetime is enriched by the insights and humanity she brings to it from her experiences as a mother.

The purpose of LLLI is distinct. The purpose as stated in the Bylaws does not prevent interaction with other organizations with compatible purposes but La Leche League will carefully guard against allying itself with another cause, however worthwhile that cause might be.

The basic philosophy of LLLI as expressed in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is summarized in the following concepts:

  • Mothering through breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby.
  • Human milk is the natural food for babies, uniquely meeting their changing needs.
  • Alert, active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start.
  • Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying breastfeeding relationship and reliable milk production.
  • Breastfeeding is enhanced by the loving support of the baby’s father, a co-parent, a partner, and/or close family members who value the breastfeeding relationship.
  • In the early years, the baby has an intense need to be with his mother which is as basic as his need for food.
  • For the healthy, full-term baby, human milk is the only food necessary until the baby shows signs of readiness for complementary foods, about the middle of the first year after birth.
  • Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.
  • Ideally the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the child outgrows the need.
  • From infancy on, children need loving guidance which reflects acceptance of their capabilities and sensitivity to their feelings.

(date unrecorded; rev Feb 1998, Dec 2014, Sept 2019, Apr 2020, May 2020, June 2020, January 2021)

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Mission Statement

Our Mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.

(May 89; rev Apr 93)

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Vision/Purpose

The Vision Purpose of LLLI is:
To realize, deepen and share the love and wisdom found in the breastfeeding relationship.

(Aug 04)

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  1. Acknowledgements in/on LLLI Publications
  2. Bibliography, LLL
  3. Book Evaluation Guidelines
  4. Book and Other Published Matter
  5. Copyrighted Material, LLLI
  6. Guidelines for Developing and Writing Policy Statements on Medically Related Issues
  7. Language in LLLI Publications
  8. Publications, LLL
  9. Publications, LLLI and LLL Books
  10. Royalties
  11. Translations

Acknowledgments in/on LLLI Publications

Brief acknowledgments of advertisers, sponsors, or donors shall be acceptable in LLL publications. The acceptance of the acknowledgment shall not constitute the endorsement by LLLI or an LLL entity. All LLLI acknowledgments shall be approved by the Executive Director. All sponsors’, advertisers’, or donors’ interests shall be compatible with LLLI principles and policies.

(August 1985, August 2020)

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Bibliography, LLL

LLL entities may establish bibliographies of books, published in print, audio or video format, or on digital media, supportive of the LLL mission, purpose and philosophy and helpful to parents. Publications will be evaluated according to guidelines that are consistent with Books and Other Published Material Policy and overall Book Evaluation Guidelines, below.

(effective October 31, 1997, recorded Feb 1998; rev Nov 2007, August 2020)

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Book Evaluation Guidelines

LLL entities that approve publications for their bibliographies will establish a Book Evaluation Process including the following elements:

Review and short written recommendation for approval by at least three Leaders within guidance of LLL philosophy.

It is recommended that medical or technical information is reviewed by a Professional Liaison representative and medical advice taken as relevant.
Sharing bibliography and where requested, recommendations, with other interested entities and LLLI. An entity may rely on the recommendation of another entity but is not obligated to do so. All entities preferably will undertake at least an abbreviated process to ensure suitability for their own public, both in terms of language and culture.

Opportunity for Leaders to appeal decisions approving or not approving a publication. On issues of organization-wide significance, such as International Code compliance or serious concerns about “mixing causes”, an appeal may be brought to the LLLI Board of Directors.

(effective October 31, 1997; recorded Feb 98, August 2020)

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Books and Other Published Matter

Books published by LLLI and LLL entities must fully reflect LLL philosophy and are the only books recommended by LLLI. Non-LLLI/LLL publications may be recommended and sold by LLL entities along with LLLI/LLL publications, subject to the review process detailed in Book Evaluation Guidelines

Non LLLI/LLL Books and other published matter sold or distributed by LLL entities or placed in LLL Group libraries shall be supportive of the mission, purpose and philosophy of LLL and helpful to parents within the parameters of the criteria listed below:

  • Books dealing directly with breastfeeding or related to breastfeeding and the breastfeeding relationship.
  • Professional books substantially dealing with breastfeeding.
  • Children’s books, if they have illustrations of breastfeeding, encourage loving family relationships, or promote family-centred activities.

Books that include information beyond the mission, purpose and philosophy of LLL (e.g. preschool options; vaccination) may be acceptable if: the author maintains an objective stance in describing a variety of perspectives, and the author does not promote an idea that is inconsistent with the mission, purpose and philosophy of LLL.

Books that primarily and specifically advocate a religion or a cause-based philosophy are not acceptable. However, a book containing accurate information on breastfeeding or other topics related to the mission, purpose and philosophy of LLL wherein the author’s personal faith or beliefs are an integral part of the presentation may be acceptable if the philosophy/belief does not overshadow the topic[s] for which the book is being evaluated. The Book Evaluation Committee may recommend that reviews of the book include a disclaimer to the effect that LLL does not endorse the personal faith or beliefs of the author.

Books will be culturally appropriate within the guidance of LLL philosophy.

A book written with the intent of provoking a strong response and motivating the reader to breastfeeding advocacy may be acceptable. It is important that the information presented is current, accurate and fair. A less than positive view towards some aspect of LLLI does not preclude a book from approval.

The goal of LLL is to provide materials that aid readers in making informed decisions. Books that present a balanced and informative case for attitudes or practices aligned with LLL philosophy are appropriate. Books that persuade primarily by attacking, opposing or undermining evidence-based information should be avoided.

(August 2020)

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Copyrighted Material, LLLI

LLLI copyrighted materials may not be duplicated by anyone without the permission of the LLLI Executive Director.

(May 78)

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Guidelines for Developing and Writing Policy Statements on Medically Related Issues

Position statements on breastfeeding and medically related issues by LLLI or any constituent entity will be issued only when adequate professional/medical review has been obtained. Potential medical and legal liability implications will be considered. The preference will be to refer to and rely on statements of global health organizations (such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and clinical protocols of professional organizations supportive of breastfeeding, such as the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM).

The LLLI Board Chair and the ED or designated staff person will approve LLLI position development and position statements prior to release. LLL entities that issue position statements will follow a similar procedure of consultation within LLL and approval by their governing council.

(April 1993, August 2020)

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Language in LLLI Publications

We recognize that the language we use can make a difference to those who will seek LLL support and to those we reach. With this in mind, publications produced for LLLI use a variety of terms to describe Leaders and the people we serve.

LLL Entities

Being inclusive and equitable may require different strategies and look different in different places. Therefore, when producing their own documents and publications aimed at their local communities, LLL Areas and Direct Connect Entities are encouraged to use wording and images that are appropriate to their cultures, being inclusive of all people who may require help with breastfeeding.

LLLI

To be welcoming to all breastfeeding families, LLLI publications use a variety of terms and images that reflect the variety of Leaders, mothers, and parents. LLLI respects diversity of all kinds and conveys that respect in our publications. We recognize the value of motherhood to the founding and future of La Leche League and will continue to use words that recognize motherhood. At the same time, we recognize that there are Leaders and breastfeeding parents who do not identify as mothers, and that they should also be visible in our publications. As a global entity LLLI produces publications using wording and images that are appropriate and inclusive of a variety of linguistic and cultural contexts in the world.

“LLLI publications” include published resources, policies, books, articles, graphics, social media messaging, and audio-visual presentations produced for LLLI. Authors who submit their work to LLLI use both gendered and non-gendered terminology and grammar in work submitted for publication. Attention is also given to the following considerations.

  • Quotations from other works and research are verbatim; and in summarizing such work, the language used must accurately represent the research results.
  • Specific publications primarily intended to convey factual and educational information about breastfeeding or lactation use a variety of terms and images to reflect the diverse identities of Leaders, mothers and parents.
  • Publications of personal nursing experiences and creative work maintain the author’s/authors’ voice.
  • Brief social media postings, including but not limited to memes, tweets, and Facebook/Instagram posts, will use terms that vary across multiple posts.

(Aug 20, Jan 22)

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Publications, LLL

All LLLI and LLL publications, whether in print or digital, shall reflect LLL philosophy. The goal of LLL is to provide materials that support families in their breastfeeding journeys and to aid readers in making informed decisions. An uplifting and empowering tone, respectful language, and emphasis on the positive present a favorable image of La Leche League.

A robust review process will aim to ensure the accuracy of the information provided. In the event that medical issues are involved, review by health professionals will be undertaken prior to publication.

Publication of material in which the author’s personal beliefs are an integral part will be subject to editorial discretion that enables expression of the author’s feelings without permitting the philosophy to be intrusive or to overshadow other aspects of the material that are suitable for LLL publications.

Editorial matter, i.e., material written by the editor or anyone writing in an official LLL capacity, must avoid mixing causes, i.e. advocating issues not directly related to the LLL mission and philosophy.

See LLL Philosophy and Language in LLLI Publications

(August 2020)

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Publications, LLLI and LLL Books

The Executive Director is authorized to negotiate regarding the publication of LLLI books. Subject to any agreements in effect with external publishers, the Executive Director may negotiate with LLL entities for the translation and/or publication of LLLI books in their entity. A contract shall be negotiated by LLLI legal counsel and the Executive Director or the ED’s nominee. Potential conflicts of interest must be reviewed by the International Code and Conflicts of Interest Committee when negotiating publishing agreements.

All LLL entities that publish original materials and/or translations will ensure that requisite permissions are in place and appropriate contractual arrangements have been made.

(August 2020)

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Royalties

La Leche League International maintains the right to determine royalty fees on all La Leche League International books and translations thereof.

LLLI does not exact royalties on publications original to an entity.

All LLL entities that publish original materials and/or translations ensure that requisite permissions are in place and appropriate contractual arrangements have been made.

 See Publications, LLLI and LLL Books.

(Mar 13, Oct 20)

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Translations

LLLI will endeavor to provide translations in major languages of key resources and publications. LLLI will support the work of translation and review teams set up by LLL entities.

LLL entities that engage in translations to meet the needs of the populations they serve will have procedures that, wherever possible, include:

  • Translation by a native speaker of the target language who is sensitive to LLL mission and purpose. The translator may be a Leader who has translation experience or a professional translator.
  • Review by at least two Leaders who are fluent in one or both languages involved.

LLLI will use the same process where possible.

All LLL entities are welcome to translate LLLI articles, to copy them and/or adapt them to suit the cultural and language needs or their audience. However, any changes must be acknowledged, and a link to the original source or sources must be included with the copied/ adapted /translated article.

When the entity publication is an individual’s personal story and/or contains photographs, express permission to re-publish must be obtained from the original publishing LLL Entity, and in the event not obtained in advance for all LLL entities from the publishing entity, also from the original author of the story and from any persons who appear in the photographs.

(August 2020)

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LLL Structure

  1. DCE Rights and Responsibilities

See:


Direct Connect Entity Rights and Responsibilities

Definitions

  • Direct Connect Entity (DCE): A legal LLL organization that affiliates with LLLI through a DCE Connection Agreement.
  • Area: An LLL entity officially connected to a DCE.
  • Area Network: An LLL entity officially connected to a DCE and consisting of two or more Areas.
  • “LLLI Marks” means the following names and marks: “La Leche League,” “LLL,” and the design and composite marks set forth in the Brand and Style Guidelines policy.
  • “Combined Mark” means a trademark or corporate name that includes any portion of the LLLI Marks.
  • Online spaces: A virtual space offering LLL support and information and formally connected to a DCE. For example, websites, Facebook groups, WhatsApp, etc.
  • Territory: The geographical and online spaces for which LLLI assigns a DCE responsibility through its DCE Connection agreement. In its assigned territory, each DCE is responsible for protection of the LLLI Marks and Combined Marks and for education and support of the Leaders who have a primary connection to it. Some territories may be assigned to multiple DCEs. In that case, each DCE has for the Leaders connected to it or to its Areas in the assigned territory, the responsibilities named in this policy. Leaders may use the trademarks and Combined Marks only within the assigned territory of the DCEs they are connected to or have a mutual written agreement with.

Criteria for Affiliation

LLLI may determine the number of DCEs based upon organizational growth and change.

Entities wishing to connect to LLLI shall meet the following criteria:

  1. recognize the right and responsibility of LLLI to set global policy for the organization,
  2. accept and conduct all activities in accordance with the LLL philosophy and Mission as defined by LLLI and conduct all of the DCE’s activities in accordance with the LLL Mission, philosophy and Policies and Standing Rules
  3. recognize that it is part of LLL, and that its Leaders are obligated to adhere to the LLL Policies and Standing Rules
  4. ensure that internally developed DCE policies are consistent with LLL policies and guidelines
  5. pursue objectives that are consistent with the LLL Mission
  6. recognize the world-wide accreditation of LLL Leaders, and that LLLI is the sole authority for the accreditation of Leaders
  7. fulfill their financial obligations to LLLI, and
  8. coordinate with all parts of the LLL organization in order to fulfill the LLL Vision and LLL Mission.

A DCE connected to LLLI has :

  1. a signed LLLI DCE Connection Agreement
  2. bylaws consistent with its LLLI DCE agreement. These bylaws do not have to be registered in the country of the DCE
  3. a statement through their bylaws or otherwise that extends the use of the LLLI Marks to all of the administrative units (Area Networks, Areas, or Groups) that are under its authority and supervision, with the provision that the DCE and all its administrative units agree that
    1. The LLLI Marks and Combined Mark are the exclusive property of LLLI
    2. If an administrative unit disassociates or disconnects from the DCE or LLLI, it will stop using the LLLI Marks and Combined Mark unless and until it connects to another DCE or to LLLI directly
    3. Upon disaffiliation of the DCE, all benefits revert back to LLLI or as described in its DCE Connection agreement with LLLI
    4. Upon disaffiliation of an administrative unit under the authority and supervision of the DCE, all benefits previously granted to the administrative unit in question will revert to the DCE.

DCE Rights

A DCE is in good standing when it complies with its LLLI DCE Connection Agreement and the LLL Policies and Standing Rules.

A DCE that is in good standing receives the general benefits as listed below and any other as stated in their DCE Connection Agreement:

  1. The DCE determines its own form of organization and operations to support the Leaders connected to it as they carry out the LLL Mission
  2. The DCE may have internal administrative units such as Area Networks and/or Areas that help support Leaders by assuming some or all of the responsibilities listed below
  3. The DCE has authority to approve new administrative units and their names, and to set guidelines regarding their bylaws and incorporation
  4. The DCE may have Leaders connected to it directly, or indirectly through an Area that has a connection to the DCE
  5. The DCE may use the LLL trademarks and create a combined mark for use within its assigned territory
  6. The DCE may extend the use of the LLL trademarks and combined marks to all its internal administrative units and, through special written agreement, to individual Leaders not connected to it, in accordance with the LLL Brand and Style Guides and the LLL Logo, and LLL Logo and Name Protection policies.See also Leaders Rights in Leader Rights and Responsibilities.

DCE Responsibilities

A DCE’s responsibilities include

  1. Conducting a review of their agreement with LLLI in preparation for renewal, 6 months prior to the ending date of their agreement, and submitting requests for changes at least 90 days before the agreement’s ending date
  2. Establishing a system for holding all its connected Leaders accountable to LLL for the Mission, philosophy, and LLL Policies and Standing Rules
  3. Ensuring that Leaders connected to it are aware of any laws relevant to carrying out the Leader role in all the jurisdictions within the DCE in which they do Leader work.
  4. Ensuring that Leaders connected to it are aware of their obligations regarding LLL policies
  5. Providing support to its connected Leaders, whether directly or via its administrative units
  6. Maintaining in the LLLI database a current list of its connected Leaders, indicating primary and, if appropriate, secondary connections
  7. Establishing a Leader Accreditation Department (LAD), and supporting LAD administrators as they accredit new Leaders
  8. Verifying that names of administrative units and other platforms or forums that promote LLL activities do not create public confusion with any other established LLL legal entity. See also Leader Rights and Responsibilities item 7
  9. Establishing a lawful system for handling and reporting monetary (financial) transactions, and ensuring that any internal administrative units have appropriate financial systems
  10. Ensuring the transparency of and access to DCE activity and financial reports by any internal administrative units and by the Leaders connected to it
  11. Establishing a process for admitting, retiring, and disconnecting Leaders or removing administrative units of the DCE, including a method for recording retired and disconnected Leaders in the Area database
  12. Establishing DCE guidelines for review of collaborative actions
  13. Establishing a process for Leaders to select their DCE Administrators and to remove their DCE administrators for cause before their term expires
  14. Establishing a DCE grievance process consistent with the LLLI conflict resolution processes, and ensuring that any internal administrative units have a similar grievance process or access to the DCE grievance process
  15. Establishing a whistleblower policy applicable to the DCE and which is consistent with the LLLI Whistleblower policy
  16. Abiding by the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant WHA resolutions pertaining to breastfeeding support organizations
  17. Respecting other DCEs’ organizational structures and any local requirements that they specify.

Serving in multiple DCE territories

DCEs allow and make provision for Leaders to seek secondary connections and agreements within different LLL territories.

If an LLL Leader wishes to do LLL work within the territory of a DCE to which they are not connected, then the Leader communicates with the DCE in whose territory they wish to do Leader work. The DCE provides the Leader an opportunity to make a secondary connection, or works with the Leader to find a mutually satisfactory arrangement. The DCE does not have to provide this opportunity if the Leader has been sanctioned or disconnected from the DCE or one of its administrative units.

Communication may be directly between the relevant Area and the Leader, or the administrators of the Leader’s primary connection may assist the Leader in communicating with the additional Area or DCE, as necessary.

The connection or agreement includes a clearly defined and mutually agreeable process for coordinating with local Leaders, for reporting contacts and other data, for resolving conflicts that might arise, and for permitting relevant use of the LLLI trademarks and Combined Marks within the DCE’s territory.

(Mar. 08, Oct. 09, April 22)

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  1. Leader Accreditation Department

See:


Leader Accreditation Department (LAD)

Commission

La Leche League International (LLLI) is the sole source of Leader accreditation. The LLLI Board of Directors delegates this responsibility to the Leader Accreditation Department (LAD). LAD representatives at the Area and DCE levels help Applicants prepare for Leader accreditation in accordance with the LLLI Criteria for Leader Accreditation (Applying for Leadership) and other LLL policies. At each level, LAD representatives collaborate with the administrative team for that level.

On behalf of the LLLI Board of Directors, the LAD representative accredits a new Leader after receiving their signed LLLI Leader Statement of Commitment.

LAD Council

  • functions as the administrative and decision-making body for LAD
  • is composed of the LLLI Director of the Leader Accreditation Department (DLAD) and the Administrators of Leader Accreditation (ALA) for each Direct Connect Entity (DCE)
  • communicates regularly with the ED and LLLI Board
  • is responsible to and is supported by the Executive Director (ED) and the LLLI Board

DLAD Appointment

The Director of the Leader Applicant Department (DLAD) is

  • appointed by the LLLI Executive Director (ED) with agreement of the LLLI Board after consultation with LAD Council members.
  • appointed for a 3-year term which can be extended by the Executive Director for a 4th and 5th year with agreement from the LLLI Board after consultation with LAD Council members.
Removal of a DLAD
  • The Executive Director removes a DLAD with agreement of the LLLI Board.

Appointment of a LAD Council member (ALA)

  • The DCE appoints its LAD Council member(s) in communication with the DLAD
  • The DLAD contacts the DCE Board/Council if the DLAD believes that the ALA or co-ALA from that DCE is acting in breach of policy or procedures
  • A DCE Board/Council does not remove a representative from LAD Council before the end of the representative’s term without discussing their concerns with the DLAD
  • LAD Council members are appointed for a 3-year term, which can be extended for a 4th and 5th year by agreement with the DCE Board/Council.

(Sept 2022)

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  1. Online Spaces

See:


LLL Online Spaces

PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to protect the reputation and image of LLL and to promote global cohesion and accountability. All Leaders are responsible for protecting the reputation and image carried by the names and logos of LLLI and each of its entities.

This policy applies

  • to any online spaces, public or internal, using LLLI, La Leche League International, LLL, or La Leche League in the name, LLL names in other languages, or any variation of the LLLI logo
  • to any online spaces, public or internal, that are intended exclusively for use by LLL Leaders, Applicants, or supporters, or where the purpose of the space is to discuss LLL Leader work.

Definition of an Online Space

An online space is any website or internet-based platform that posts content, allows users to create or share content, or provides social networking.

Definition of ‘Public Space’

A public space is any online space which individuals who are not Leaders can access.

Definition of ‘Internal LLL spaces’

An internal LLL space is any online space used exclusively by Leaders (and Leader Applicants where relevant) for LLL work.

These spaces are henceforth referred to in this policy as “LLLI and LLL online spaces.” This policy does not supplant any possible legal requirements in a given country or the Terms of Use of the online platform being used.

Please see the Social Media Policy for Leaders for guidelines regarding individual Leader interactions in social media.

Connections

Every LLLI or LLL online space has an agreed connection, through the Leader administrators/moderators of the online space,  to a specific Area, Area Network, Direct Connect Entity (DCE), or LLLI for support and accountability purposes.

Online spaces operating as part of an LLL entity or using the logo or name (“Combined Marks”) of an entity are accountable, through their administrators/moderators,  to that entity and are subject to the requirements of the entity’s agreement for its online spaces.

If online spaces are not operating as part of an LLL entity or using the logo or name of an entity, then their administrators/moderators choose an LLL entity to connect to.

  • No entity is obliged to agree to a connection with an online space not already accountable to it.
  • If an online space cannot find an entity connection, the administrators/moderators of the space deactivate the space, or stop using the LLL trademarks and Combined Marks (entity name and logo) and tell all the members of the space that the space is no longer affiliated with LLL.

If online spaces do not have a connection to an LLL entity,

  • online spaces whose Leader administrators/moderators are all connected to or served by the same entity are accountable to that entity unless the online space administrators/moderators make a connection for the space to a different entity.
  • online spaces whose Leader administrators/moderators are connected to or served by different DCEs are accountable to LLLI unless the space’s administrators/moderators arrange for a connection to a different entity.

The LLLI Board and each DCE Board/Council determines its own processes and requirements for connection of online spaces to itself or to any Group, Area, or Area Network connected to it.

The LLL or LLLI entity to which the online space is connected is responsible for adhering to this policy and to the LLL Policies and Standing Rules within that space.

An online space’s administrators/moderators can change its connection by agreement with the entity to which the administrators/moderators want to connect. If the online space is operating as part of a specific LLL entity or using the logo or name (“Combined Marks”) of that entity, any change in connection is subject to the requirements of that entity’s agreement for its online spaces.

Closing of an Online Space

If an owner of an online space ceases to be a Leader from the LLL entity to which the online space is connected, they transfer ownership of the online space to another Leader from the LLL entity to which the online space is connected. If such a transfer is not possible, the owner of the online space removes/deletes or deactivates/archives the space so that it can no longer be accessed.

Guidelines for interactive online spaces

All LLLI and LLL online spaces

  • protect the reputation and image of LLL, the LLLI trademarks and LLL Combined Marks. and use LLL trademarks and logos in accordance with LLL policies [See Logo and Name Protection and Brand and Style Guidelines]
  • have clear guidelines for participation that are consistent with all LLL policies, particularly the LLL Code of Conduct, Social Media Policy for Leaders, and Leader Rights and Responsibilities
  • have a timely and equitable system for moderating the space and ensuring adherence to the guidelines
  • have at least one Leader administrator/moderator who is willing to be accountable for any violation of the space’s guidelines or this policy
  • have a group of administrators/moderators that is as reflective as possible of the entire target population, including marginalized groups as defined below
  • include a system of warnings prior to removing participants, and provide a method of appeal
  • post their guidelines in the online space and require participants to read and agree to them before joining

Respectful Communication

All participants are expected to communicate respectfully in accordance with the LLL Code of Conduct and the LLL Social Media Policy for Leaders.

Administrators, moderators, and participants of LLL or LLLI online spaces adhere to the inclusivity statement of the entity where the online space is connected.  If the entity has no inclusivity statement of its own, the administrators, moderators, and participants of the online space adhere to the LLLI Inclusivity Statement.

Guidelines for LLLI and LLL online spaces recognize the historical marginalization within LLL of certain communities such as Black, Brown, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQIA+, disabled, neurodivergent, non-native speaking, minority religious groups, and the financially or educationally disadvantaged.  There are also other groups that are marginalized in specific contexts throughout the organization. Moderators for each online space take care that the voices of marginalized groups present within LLL and in their particular LLL online spaces are heard, respected, and protected within the general guidelines applicable to all participants.

(March 2023)

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LLLI Board, Management, Global Forums

  1. Program Review

Program Review

Program providers will submit annual evaluations of measurable outcomes to determine the effectiveness of programs in fulfilling the LLLI mission.

(Nov 2005)

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  1. Action, Networking, and Advocacy Committee
  2. Audit Committee
  3. Board Committee General Guidelines
  4. Bylaws Committee
  5. Finance Committee
  6. Inclusivity And Outreach Committee
  7. International Code and Conflicts Committee
  8. Operations Committee
  9. Personnel Committee
  10. Program Services Committee
  11. Publications Coordinating Committee
  12. Resource Development Committee
  13. Translations Committee

Action, Networking, and Advocacy Committee

Commission

The ACTION, NETWORKING AND ADVOCACY Committee, a Standing Committee authorized by Article VII Section 2 of the Bylaws, is herein commissioned by and responsible to the Board of Directors of La Leche League International to:

Advise the BOD on advocacy and relevant global health initiatives supportive of breastfeeding

Coordinate networking with other relevant organizations that protect, promote and/or support breastfeeding

Recommend actions relevant to advocacy and networking

Recommend liaisons

so that all the functions of the organization may be effectively and efficiently carried out in conformity with established policies and procedures of LLLI.

Duties

This Committee shall:

  • Update the Board of Directors on:
    • organizations to which LLLI is represented
    • initiatives in which LLLI representatives have become involved
    • future initiatives that LLLI should consider
  • Report in a timely manner on meetings or conferences that representatives attended
  • Advise the Board on specific national and international organizations with which LLLI should consider liaising
  • Recommend opportunities that will:
    • promote breastfeeding
    • lead to effective networking, such as conference attendance
  • Prepare information releases for Leaders and the public on LLLI advocacy, networking and actions
  • Suggest to the Board future activities that would enhance global breastfeeding engagement and support
  • Review all web pages/policies that touch upon advocacy, networking and action
  • Establish funding budget for liaisons

(Feb 87; rev Oct 89, Oct 93, Oct 00, Nov 13, Sept 14, Sept 2018, Mar 19)

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Audit Committee

Commission

The Audit Committee is a standing committee authorized by Article VIII Section 2 of the Bylaws and is herein commissioned by and responsible to the Board of Directors of La Leche League International as a body of financial advisors, who are independent of the Finance Committee and report directly to the Board of Directors. The main functions of the Audit Committee are

To present to the Board of Directors at the session prior to the Annual Board session the Committee’s recommendations of the independent public accountants to be employed to prepare the audit for the current fiscal year

To review the auditor’s report, management letter, the United States IRS Form 990, and the State of North Carolina Form CD-405 and promptly, with staff input, evaluate the documents and arrange for revisions as required, prior to their presentation to the LLLI Board for

To present to the Board for acceptance the finalized auditor’s report and required tax reporting forms at the session after the reviewed audit report, management letter, and tax forms have been received, and to respond to questions regarding the documents’ contents and the auditing procedures used.

Duties

This Committee

  • Confers with the auditor on an annual basis as to the financial position of LLLI and reports on the same to the Board.
  • Prior to the session at which the auditor may be employed or re-employed, discusses with LLLI accounting and senior staff and the Finance Committee their satisfaction with the current firm and reports on same to the Board.
  • Directs the auditor to notify the Committee of any significant change in accounting or tax law or any major in-house accounting change which may affect the audited financial statement and reports on the same to the Board.
  • Reviews the audit report and the required tax reporting forms prior to their release to the Board.
  • Seeks guidance from the auditor, if necessary, to understand the accounting principles used, the effectiveness of the internal controls, and the scope and results of the audit.
  • Forwards the completed tax forms to the Treasurer, Executive Director, Co-Chairs, and Finance committee for review before presenting them to the Board.
  • Requests the auditor to be present or be available in person or virtually, if needed, at the session at which the audit and tax forms are presented to the Board, to assist in responding to questions regarding its contents and the auditing procedures used.

(Feb 87; rev Feb 88, Oct 89, Feb 90, Feb 99, Oct 00, Nov 13, Sep 14, Mar 19, Oct 20)

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LLLI Board Committee General Guidelines

All LLLI Standing and Special committees, Task Forces, and teams

  • are on-going unless dissolved by the LLLI Board, at the Board’s discretion
  • have a clear commission and duties that have been approved by the Board and are included in the LLL Policies and Standing Rules (PSR)
  • have a minimum of three members
  • have a staff liaison assigned by the Executive Director in consultation with the committee Chair(s)
  • meet as needed throughout the year
  • may be chaired by a Board member or a non-Board member. If the chair is not a Board member, the committee has a Board Liaison appointed by the Board Chair(s)
  • may have ex officio members, such as liaisons and chairs from other committees. Ex officio committee members serve on the committee because they hold an office that is pertinent to the committee’s work.
  • have new chairs and committee members assigned immediately after the LLLI Board Annual Session unless otherwise stated in the committee commission and duties
  • seek a diverse body of committee members in line with the LLLI Inclusivity policy and the Code of Conduct
  • accept as members LLL Leaders who are in good standing with their Areas and DCEs and non-Leader members who bring necessary skills and positive contributions to the committee’s work. It is the responsibility of the Board Chair(s) to contact the prospective committee members’ Areas or DCEs to ensure that they are in good standing with all of the entities they are connected to
  • abide by the Accessibility and Cultural Sensitivity policy
  • make recommendations to the LLLI Board and seek approval from the LLLI Board for any new or revised programs or projects, or report directly to the ED, who can assist in bringing any recommendations for new or revised programs/projects to the LLLI Board for approval
  • use consensus when making a recommendation to the Board or, if needed, an affirmative vote—electronic or in-person–of the majority of committee members attending the meeting or participating in the electronic vote by the deadline given.
  • when presenting the recommendation to the LLLI Board, committee chairs report any dissenting opinions from the committee.
  • report regularly to the Board or to the ED, as requested by the LLLI Board Chair(s). At minimum they provide a report at the time of the Annual Session.

Members of any LLLI Standing or Special Committee, Task Force, or team are subject to removal from their position in the committee, within the parameters of the Complaint Resolution Process. See particularly Complaint Resolution Process, bullet point 6.

A majority of any committee constitutes the quorum necessary for making a formal recommendation.

No LLLI Board member serves as chair or co-chair of more than two Standing or Special Committees, Task Forces or teams at the same time.

LLLI Board Chairs are ex officio members of all committees, but do not vote.

Non-Board members serve on no more than two standing or special committees, task forces or teams. Serving on a task force or other teams associated with an assigned committee does not count towards the limit of two.

Leaders do not serve on both LLLI Committees and the Global Leaders Committee (GLC) when doing so could lead to a conflict of interest as defined by the Conflict of Interest policy or as determined by the members of the GLC.

Chairs of committees, ex officio participants and Board members recognize the special status and perception of power imbalance of their role on any committee. They take care to hear and acknowledge all voices on the committee, especially the voices of newer committee members.

SPECIAL COMMITTEES and TASK FORCES

  • are established for a specific and limited purpose
  • are created by Board resolution as the need arises and are limited in their duration
  • continue their work until the committee chair and the Board agree that their purpose is accomplished. They are generally not expected to continue past the next Annual Session.

If a special committee or Task Force has not completed its commission before the Annual Session, in consultation with the committee chair, the Board may choose to extend the term for a defined period of no more than one year.

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LLLI BOARD CHAIR(S)

The LLLI Board Chair(s)

  • appoint(s) Chairs of Committees with the approval of the full Board
  • appoint(s) Board liaisons as necessary
  • approve (s) committee members in consultation with the committee chair(s) according to the commission of the committee and this policy
  • provide(s) oversight and consistency among committees as ex officio member(s) of all LLLI Board Committees but is (are) not counted as part of the minimum number of members or maximum number of Board members required
  • set(s) reporting requirements for committees.

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LLLI ED AND STAFF

The LLLI ED

  • Appoints a staff liaison to each committee, in consultation with the LLLI Board Chair(s) and the committee chair for each committee
  • Orients staff as to their role as committee liaisons
  • Communicates with committee and task force chairs regarding any issues relating to staff work for the committees.

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE COMMITTEE CHAIR(s)

The committee chairs

  • select committee members in consultation with the Board Chair(s). Members are selected based upon knowledge, skills and experience relevant to the commission and duties of the committee
  • work closely and communicate consistently with their staff liaisons, seeking information from the staff liaison in setting goals consistent with LLLI’s Strategic Plan, and keeping the staff liaison fully informed about the committee’s activities and progress
  • seek to have a committee membership that is as diverse and as representative of all the DCEs as possible
  • abide by the Accessibility and Cultural Sensitivity policy
  • conduct and organize committee meetings, using appropriate committee protocol and procedures
  • direct their committees in making recommendations and decisions
  • create and supervise relevant subcommittees with the approval of the Chair(s) of the Board
  • are ex officio members of their committee’s subcommittees
  • write their committee reports, with the input of the committee members and staff liaison
  • recognize any perceptions of power imbalance that may exist on the committee
  • take care to hear and acknowledge all voices on the committee, especially the voices of newer committee members

RESPONSIBILITY OF BOARD LIAISON

When the chair of a Board Committee is not a current LLLI Board member, the LLLI Board Chair(s) and Vice Chair, with the approval of the Board, appoint a current Board member who has agreed to serve on the committee to act as Board Liaison to the committee.

In addition to their usual responsibilities as a committee member, the Board liaison is responsible for maintaining clear and frequent lines of communication between the committee and the Board by

  • bringing Board questions to the committee and vice versa
  • clarifying points of confusion between the Board and the committee
  • presenting required reports to the Board
  • bringing motions from the committee to Board meetings
  • monitoring the committee’s progress in completing its Strategic Plan tasks..

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STAFF LIAISON

The staff liaison

  • communicates directly with the committee chair unless the committee chair requests that the staff liaison communicate directly with committee members or others
  • takes questions or frustrations first to the committee chair rather than the ED, making every effort to address concerns together
  • informs the committee chair as soon as possible when unable to provide assistance, information, or otherwise respond to committee chair requests
  • acts as a resource to the committee
  • provides necessary, timely information to the committee chair when asked. Examples: reference materials, related historical perspective (e.g., past LLLI experience), related statistics, financial information or ramifications, research or information gathering, technical details of various tasks relevant to the daily operation of LLLI
  • provides timely opinions to committee chair based on staff point of view or experience. Examples: feasibility of ideas/projects, suggestions about how the committee might work with another committee, cost estimates, ongoing evaluation of committee progress, brainstorming
  • provides timely staff assistance to help carry out committee work
  • advises the committee chair with problems and procedures, helping clarify areas of confusion
  • participates in committee meetings when feasible, but does not vote. Staff liaison opinions are carefully considered and included in reporting
  • keeps the committee chair aware of happenings at LLLI, items of interest,and staff input helpful to the committee
  • is well-versed in the LLLI long range Strategic Plan and how the committee’s work fits into and enhances the plan.

RESPONSIBILITY OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Members of committees

  • serve a term of the length stipulated in the committee commission. If no term length is stipulated in the committee commission, the length of the term is one year. Terms are renewable as approved by the committee chair and LLLI Board Chair(s)
  • bring relevant perspectives and examples from their DCE, while keeping an organizational view for the good of LLL
  • make every effort to attend all meetings of their committees and to participate in online committee discussions
  • understand and abide by the confidentiality rules and any policies relevant to the work of the committee
  • resign from the committee if they are unable to meet their obligations to participate regularly
  • recuse themselves from discussions that present a conflict of interest for them [Conflict of interest policy] or in which there are circumstances which prevent them from being impartial
  • assist other committee members to recognize when they might have a conflict of interest or circumstances affecting their ability to be impartial in making committee decisions
  • when taking a leave of absence for more than three months, alert the committee chair who may then choose an alternate committee member who represents a similar voice

(Oct 92, Mar 19, Mar 2023)

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Bylaws Committee

Commission

The LLLI Bylaws Committee is a standing committee of the LLLI Board of Directors.

The LLLI Board of Directors will assign specific policy reviews to the Bylaws Committee. The LLLI Board may also choose to assign particular policies to other appropriate LLLI departments, personnel, ad hoc committees, special committees, or task forces.

The commission of the Bylaws Committee is to:

Regularly review and update the Bylaws and LLL Policies and Standing Rules (PSR).

As necessary, advise the LLLI Board about the policies and rules governing LLLI and LLL operations.

Consult as needed with appropriate legal counsel to ensure that the Bylaws and PSR conform to current Illinois law and any other relevant legal requirements.

In addition, the LLLI Bylaws Committee includes a standing subcommittee, the DCE Review Panel, that is made up of one representative from each DCE Council or Board, or another Leader of their choosing.

The commission of the DCE Review Panel is to offer revisions to Bylaws and PSR drafts that the Bylaws Committee presents. The DCE Review Panel provides important input into changes in all policies and procedures under review by LLLI.

Duties

The Bylaws Committee:

  • As assigned by the LLLI Board, prepares drafts of new policies, amendments to the Bylaws and revisions to the PSR or LLLI procedures for LLLI Board approval.
  • Reviews all proposed Bylaws revisions, PSR revisions and amendments, and procedures under review by LLLI for consistency with both the spirit and the letter of the mission, vision and purpose of LLL, with all other policies and the DCE agreements, with the LLLI inclusivity statement; and with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and any other commitments between LLLI and other breastfeeding organizations.
  • Facilitates the review by the DCE Review Panel of all policy amendments and revisions and of procedures under review by LLLI.
  • Consults about new policies, revisions, and amendments with other LLL entities as appropriate.
  • Consults with appropriate legal counsel as needed.
  • Ensures that the Bylaws and PSR are updated on the LLLI website within one week of final approval of the changes.
  • Makes translations of new or updated policies available to Leaders in as many languages as is reasonably feasible.

The DCE Review Panel:

  • Reviews and comments upon any revisions or additions to any policies and procedures under review by LLLI, including but not limited to the Bylaws and PSR, before they are presented to the Board for approval.
  • Takes all policies and procedures under their review to their DCE Councils/Boards for consultation and comments.
  • Has the option of deciding that they do not need to review a particular policy or procedure but can pass it directly to the LLLI Board.

(Sep 82; rev Jun 85, Oct 89, Oct 00, Nov 13, Sep 14, Mar 19, Oct 20)

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Finance Committee

Commission

The Finance Committee is a Standing Committee authorized by the Bylaws and is herein commissioned by and responsible to the Board of Directors of La Leche League International for advising on matters pertaining to the financial operation of LLLI, including management of all monies, budgeting, insurance, properties, liability, securities, payroll, and other financial contracts and investments.

Appointments and Members

The Finance Committee shall be composed of at least five members. Members shall include the Treasurer, at least one other Board member, the Executive Director, and three to five members from other parts of LLL to ensure thorough oversight of LLLI financial matters. The Chair of the Finance Committee shall be appointed by the Board Chair/co-Chairs with Board approval. The Treasurer shall either be the chair of the Finance Committee or an ex-officio member of the committee.

The Chair of the committee shall select committee members in consultation with, and with approval of the Board Chair/co-Chair and the Treasurer, if the Treasurer is not the Committee Chair.

Additionally, the Board Chair/co-Chair is/are ex officio member(s) of the Committee, but is/are not counted as part of the minimum number of members required to make up the committee.

The Committee Chair and members will be re-evaluated annually.

Duties

This Committee

  • Collaborates on budget preparation with the Executive Director and LLLI Treasurer
  • Reviews the cost-sharing formula (entity affiliation fees) annually with the Executive Director
  • Reviews monthly financial reports received from the management team
  • Reports monthly to the Board on financial operation
  • Assesses current financial operations compared to the approved budget
  • Submits an annual list of financial objectives
  • Evaluates recommendations concerning new projects
  • Provides effective communication and assistance to related Committees.

(Sep 82; rev Oct 89, Oct 00, Nov 13, Mar 19, Oct 20)

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Inclusivity and Outreach

Commission

The INCLUSIVITY AND OUTREACH COMMITTEE is a Standing Committee authorized by Article VIII Section 2 of the Bylaws and is herein commissioned by and responsible to the Board of Directors of La Leche League International for:

advising the Board of Directors and making recommendations aimed at increasing inclusivity and outreach throughout La Leche League so that all the functions of the organization may be effectively and efficiently carried out in conformity with established policies and procedures of LLLI.

The development of specific actions may be assigned to the Committee or other appropriate League bodies by the Chair/Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors.

Duties

This Committee shall:

  • advise the Board of Directors and make recommendations aimed at increasing inclusivity and outreach throughout La Leche League;
  • serve as a hub for the sharing of information (on the part of Leaders with the Board and on the part of the Board with Leaders) regarding underserved communities, possible methods of outreach and opportunities for inclusivity/outreach education;
  • submit annual lists of objectives;
  • evaluate the implementation of objectives annually;
  • meet as needed throughout the year;
  • create and supervise subcommittees as needed with the approval of the Chair/Co-Chair of the Board.

(May 2018, Mar 19)

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International Code and Conflicts Committee

Commission

In this Commission, the World Health Organization (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolutions are referred to as the International Code.

The LLLI International Code and Conflicts Committee (hereafter Code and Conflicts Committee) is a Standing Committee commissioned to help LLLI to evaluate potential LLLI:

  • partnerships
  • sponsors
  • webinar presenters
  • conference speakers
  • other collaborators or members of LLLI forums, as needed.

for

  • conflicts with the provisions of the International Code
  • incompatibility with LLL Philosophy (LINK)
  • risks to the LLL image or reputation
  • conflicts of interest as defined in the Conflict of Interest

Other LLL entities may also consult with this Committee, as needed.

LLLI is fully committed to the International Code and will avoid any relationship with a company, organization, or individual who does not fulfill their obligations under the Code.

In addition, LLLI will not enter into a relationship with any company, organization, or individual whose actions conflict with LLL supporting mothers and parents to nurse their babies or whose practices conflict with the LLL Philosophy.

Duties

The duties of the International Code and Conflicts Committee are

  • to review LLL Policies and Standing Rules (PSR) related to the International Code, to ensure consistency with the Collaborative Action policy and LLL Philosophy, and to prevent risks to the LLL image or reputation, or conflicts of interest as described in the LLL Conflict of Interest policy
  • to evaluate potential relationships that LLLI, and upon request, other LLL entities, or Leaders may be considering with corporate entities, the media, other business interests, or individuals that could present conflicts with the International Code, conflicts of interest as defined in the LLL Conflict of Interest policy, incompatibility with LLL Philosophy as presented on the LLLI Website, or risks to the LLLI image or reputation
  • to offer information and guidance to the LLLI Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED), the Development Director, or other LLLI staff, LLL entities, or Leaders who have questions pertaining to these issues
  • to make recommendations to the LLLI Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED), the Development Director, or other LLLI staff, LLL entities, or Leaders related to the International Code, possible conflicts with LLL Philosophy, conflicts of interest as defined by the LLL Conflict of Interest policy, or risks to the LLL image or reputation
  • to ensure that the references to and discussion of the International Code in the Leader’s Handbook are reviewed and updated semi-annually to reflect changes in:
    • the International Code
    • new WHA resolutions impacting the description of the International Code in the relevant chapter
    • information about LLLI partnerships related to the International Code
    • resources for Leader training
  • to make current recommendations regarding LLLI Board and Leader training in the International Code and facilitate such training, when possible.

 Membership

To best fulfill the mandate of this Committee, documentation of the International Code training or other training in the International Code approved by the Code and Conflicts of Interest Committee chair(s) is a minimum requirement for joining the Committee. La Leche League International covers any cost of Board approved training.

It is a goal of the Committee Chair(s) to seek Committee members who have relevant skills and experience and can collectively offer the additional qualifications recommended below:

  • academic, legal, or organizational background in conflict of interest laws and policies
  • experience in academic work or research, healthcare, or government agencies related to breastfeeding
  • a willingness to serve more than one term in order to preserve experience, knowledge, and continuity.

Term

Members serve a one-year term, which is renewable. The preference is for members to serve more than one term to ensure continuity.

(date not recorded; March 2023)

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LLLI Board Operations Committee

Commission

The LLLI Board Operations Committee is a Standing Committee authorized by Article VI Section 1 of the Bylaws and is herein commissioned by and responsible to the Board of Directors of La Leche League International to

  • support the LLLI Board to work consistently with the LLLI Bylaws, the LLL Mission, Philosophy, Policies and Standing Rules, and the LLLI Declarations of Support
  • review policies related to LLLI Board elections and the LLLI Board seat allocation method as requested by the LLLI Board, by one or more of the Direct Connect Entities (DCE), or by any of the DCE Board Election Committees (BECs). (See Board Representation)
  • initiate the annual LLLI Board Elections for DCE representatives and Board Officer positions
  • assess the relevance and efficiency of the LLLI Board’s processes and committees
  • facilitate an annual self-evaluation of LLLI Board members
  • initiate and facilitate regular strategic planning and monitor the progress of the LLLI Strategic Plan
  • organize ongoing training and development of LLLI Board members and staff in collaboration with the Executive Director
  • upon direction from the LLLI Board Chair(s), organize, coordinate, and execute any other activities assigned

Membership

Five LLLI Board members, including the Vice Chair of the LLLI Board and at least three other LLLI Board members who are not eligible for re-election in the subsequent election year.  The LLLI Board Vice Chair serves ex officio as chair of the committee.

Members who are eligible for re-election recuse themselves from any election tasks.

Duties

This Committee

(General)

(Elections)

  • calculates the allocation of LLLI Board seats for the year, using the allocation method described in the LLLI Board Representation policy
  • notifies the BECs of the LLLI Board seats due for election, the timeframe for the elections, and the policies relevant for election
  • assists the BECs to verify that candidates meet the criteria for membership of the LLLI Board as set out in the Candidate Checklist of Essential Criteria
  • informs the LLLI Board about the progress of the election
  • sets and sends reminders about deadlines
  • upon request of the BECs, provides support and advice regarding their work. (See Board Elections, and Board Vacancy)
  • informs the LLLI Finance Committee about funds needed for translations of election materials
  • puts forward recommendations from the DCE BECs for revisions of policy or bylaws related to LLLI Board elections, or recommended revisions of The Board Election Member Process
  • shares with continuing and incoming LLLI Board members a list of those Board members eligible for the various officer positions on the LLLI Board and records the names of those willing to serve as a Board officer
  • creates the LLLI Board officers slate for elections at the Annual Session

(Board Operations)

  • in cooperation with the Executive Director (ED) and the LLLI Board Chair(s), plans orientation sessions for new LLLI Board members
  • in cooperation with the ED and the LLLI Board Chair(s), coordinates regular training sessions, including not-for-profit Board best practices and Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Restorative Justice (EDIRJ) training for the LLLI Board, LLLI staff, and/or LLLI committee members, as appropriate
  • maintains the conflict-of-interest record for all voting LLLI Board meetings
  • regularly consults DCE Councils/Boards regarding LLLI Board performance and makes recommendations to the LLLI Board for improving its processes and committees
  • plans and executes an annual self-reflection exercise for LLLI Board members, shares the resulting documents with the LLLI Board Chair(s), and archives them in compliance with the LLLI Document Retention policy

(Strategic planning)

  • ensures that LLLI has an up-to-date Strategic Plan based upon the LLL Mission Statement; initiates and facilitates the Board’s writing of new strategic plans and strategic planning goals
  • schedules and monitors regular evaluation and revision of the Strategic Plan by the LLLI Board of Directors, with involvement from the ED and LLLI staff. Alignment with the LLL Mission Statement is the key indicator of the evaluation and is the basis of any revision
  • prepares a written evaluation of the Strategic Plan to be presented annually to the LLLI Board
  • regularly updates the LLLI Board, the LLLI staff, and the public on the progress and status of the LLLI Strategic Plan

(September 2014, March 2019, April 2023)

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Personnel Committee

Commission

The Personnel Committee is a Standing Committee authorized by Article VIII Section 2 of the Bylaws and is herein commissioned by and responsible to the Board of Directors of La Leche League International for:

advising it on matters pertaining to LLLI personnel, both paid and volunteer

so that all the functions of the organization may be effectively and efficiently carried out in conformity with established policies and procedures of LLLI.

The development of specific actions may be assigned to the Committee or other appropriate LLL bodies by the Chairman/Co-Chairmen of the Board or Board of Directors.

Duties

I. For employees:

  1. review the Executive Director’s personnel policies at least annually for completeness and implementation of Board policies;
  2. review the Executive Director’s annual staffing plan prior to the annual session of the Board;
  3. review the Executive Director’s budget for staffing plans, long and short term, in accordance with Board directives or plan; and
  4. advise the Board on policies and procedures for hiring, firing, retiring, and evaluating the Executive Director.

II. For volunteers:

  1. review the Executive Director’s volunteer policies at least annually for completeness and implementation of Board policies;
  2. review the Executive Director’s volunteer annual staffing plan with other Committees as appropriate prior to the annual session of the Board;
  3. review the Executive Director’s budget for volunteer staffing plans, long and short term, in accordance with Board directives or plan;
  4. advise the Board on policies and procedures for organizational restructuring of personnel and positions, and training for those positions;
  5. advise the Board on policies and procedures for advancing, removing, and evaluating volunteers; and
  6. advise the Board on policies and procedures for benefits, compensation, expense reimbursement, budgets for volunteer personnel and positions.

Meet as needed throughout the year.

(Feb 87; rev Oct 89, Oct 00, Sep 14, Mar 19)

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Program Services Committee

Commission

The Program Services Committee is a Standing Committee authorized by Article VII Section 2 of the Bylaws and is herein commissioned by and responsible to the Board of Directors of La Leche League International for: advising the Board and the Executive Director on matters pertaining to current needs for volunteer programs and services vital to the functioning of the organization

Duties

This Committee shall:

  • determine what volunteer support services are needed throughout La Leche League,
  • communicate with Leaders with the help of entities throughout the world in order to assess current needs of the LLL community,
  • implement programs cooperatively with LLLI staff,
  • evaluate effectiveness of programs, and
  • regularly report to the Board.

(date unrecorded; rev Oct 89, Oct 00, Sep 14, Mar 19)
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Publications Coordinating Committee

Commission

The Publications Coordinating Committee is a Standing Committee authorized by Article VII Section 2 of the Bylaws and is herein commissioned by and responsible to the Board of Directors of La Leche League International for

  • Facilitating
    • collaboration among LLLI publication teams
    • consistency across publication teams in LLL Philosophy and in application of publications policies and style
    • adherence to LLL Policies and Standing Rules
  • Advising the Board about LLLI publications and recommending publications policies to the Board
  • Carrying out other specific assignments as assigned by the Chair/co-Chairs of the Board
  • Encouraging communication and collaboration between LLLI publication teams and other LLL publication teams.

The Publications Coordinating Committee will be made up of a representative from every team or committee that produces LLLI Publications, including

  • the Chair/co-Chairs of the Social Media and Website Committee
  • the Chair/co-Chairs of the Translation Committee
  • the coordinator(s) of the Global Professional Liaison Network (GPLN)
  • the Chair of the LLLI Editorial Review Board (ERB)
  • the editor(s) of any LLLI publications, LAD Council publications, LLL Today: From La Leche League International, and LLLI News
  • a member of the donor news team
  • a member of the webinar team
  • liaisons will be appointed from the
    • International Code and Conflicts Committee
    • Inclusivity and Outreach Committee

The Chair/co-Chairs of the LLLI Board may also appoint to the Publications Coordinating Committee representatives of any committee or task force whose work they determine to be relevant to the work of the Publications Coordinating Committee.

Term of membership

The term of Publications Coordinating Committee members will be parallel to their term in the publication function which they represent.  Service on the Publications Coordinating Committee is not considered as an additional LLLI Board committee role.

 Duties

The Publications Coordinating Committee

  • coordinates publication priorities quarterly
  • develops procedures for timely review of all LLLI publications that ensure consistency and adherence to policies, including the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes
  • determines procedures and criteria for reviewing LLLI Publications for medical quality and accuracy, in consultation with the Medical Advisory Team (MAT)
  • updates the LLLI Style Guide for all languages in which LLLI publications are published and reviews them annually, coordinating with the Translations Committee regarding style guides for languages other than English
  • facilitates cooperation and coordination with DCEs and Areas that have active publication/translation efforts
  • reviews publications annually to assess their effectiveness
  • reviews the committee’s membership annually to be sure that it reflects current LLLI publication needs
  • consults with the International Code and Conflicts Committee, when needed, via their liaison in this committee
  • consults with the Inclusivity and Outreach Committee, when needed, via their liaison in this committee.

(March 2023)
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Resource Development Committee

Commission

The Resource Development Committee advises and makes recommendations to the Board on matters pertaining to donations, donor relations, business partnerships, grant proposal writing, and non- donation revenue. The Committee also coordinates Board participation in fundraising for LLLI and assists in building LLLI relationships with donors. The Committee liaises with the LLLI Development Director and staff, discussing and bringing to the Board for approval all ideas for revenue growth.

Description of Commissions

  • Donor Relations–coordinate with the Development Director all Board efforts to steward current donors and attract new donors.
  • Grant Proposal Writing—work with the Development Director to identify funding needs, devise project descriptions and evaluation methods, bring ideas for proposals to the Board for approval, and review drafts of proposals.
  • Business Partnerships—support the Development Director in discovering and developing contracts with potential business partners. Coordinate with the Code Committee to research and ensure that all partners are Code compliant and their products and procedures compatible with LLL Philosophy.
  • Non-donation revenue—generate and explore with the Development Director ideas for non-donation revenue, and bring viable projects to the Board for approval.

Duties

This Committee shall:

  • create and supervise subcommittees as required, with the approval of Chair/co-Chairs of the Board;
  • meet as needed throughout the year;
  • prepare and submit an annual budget request for the Committee;
  • initiate, evaluate, and update annually the Resource Development five-year plan;

(Feb 1989; rev Oct 1989, Oct 2000, Sep 2014, Mar 2019, Mar 2020)

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Translations Committee

The LLLI Translations Committee is a Standing Committee of the LLLI Board of Directors, authorized by Article VI, Section 1 of the Bylaws. The LLLI Translations Committee adheres to the LLL Translations policy.

Commission

The LLLI Translations Committee is commissioned by and responsible to the Board of Directors of La Leche League International for:

  • advising it about matters related to translation within LLLI
  • supporting global participation in LLLI by finding ways for speakers of languages other than English to participate on the LLLI Board, LLLI Committees, LAD Council, and other international teams
  • facilitating translations of LLLI publications, resources, web materials, and the LLL Policies and Standing Rules (PSR) into those languages designated by the LLLI Board of Directors for regular use by LLLI.

Membership

The membership of the LLLI Translations Committee is made up of the Coordinators of the Translation teams and other interested persons. The membership may include LLLI Board members, Leaders, and/or supporters of La Leche League from outside the organization.

LLLI Translations Committee members are comfortable working in English and have a good understanding of the issues involved in translation. A majority of the committee members are La Leche League Leaders, and, preferably, a majority of the committee members are fluent in one or more of the languages into which LLLI translates its publications. The LLLI Translations Committee may have co-Chairs and/or Document Managers to manage the volume of work.

LLLI translation work is assigned to the Committee by the LLLI Board Chair(s) with approval of the LLLI Board of Directors.

Duties

The LLLI Translations Committee

  • meets as needed throughout the year.
  • advises the LLLI Board on translation issues.
  • maintains and regularly evaluates a procedure for high quality translation
  • supports the LLLI Board to publish LLLI documents in a timely way and in all of the LLLI Board-designated languages.
  • creates and supervises a subcommittee (”Translation Team”) for each language designated by the LLLI Board of Directors for regular use by LLLI. Each Translation Team is made up of
    • a coordinator who also serves as a member of the LLLI Translations Committee.
    • at least three translators who are native speakers of or have near native fluency in the target language, at least two of whom are La Leche League Leaders. The Coordinator may also serve as one of the translators.
  • participates in Style Guide Teams to develop style guides for each target language used in LLLI, and, as requested, supports the Publications Coordinating Committee to update existing style guides for the target languages.
  • works with other LLLI volunteers and staff to develop, implement, and annually evaluate a plan that enables participation in LLLI committees, task forces, and teams by speakers of languages other than English.
  • cooperates and coordinates, as relevant, with DCEs and Areas that have active publication/translation efforts.
  • (March 2023)

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  1. Executive Director: Financial Management
  2. Officer’s Duties: Treasurer

See also:


Executive Director: Financial Management

The Executive Director works cooperatively with the Treasurer to ensure that all assets of LLLI are managed in the best interest of the organization. The Executive Director:

  • Opens bank accounts as required to manage the business affairs of the organization with written approval from the Board of Directors.
  • Transfers funds between operating accounts as necessary to conduct the business of the organization.
  • Consults with and gain approval from both the Board Chair/co-Chair and the Treasurer for any transfer from a non-operating or investment account, including transfers of funds recommended by the auditors.
  • Ensures that the Board receives monthly financial statements at least one full week prior to requesting approval of the related Treasurer’s Report so that the Board can meet their fiduciary obligation in financial oversight.
  • Ensures that accountants require two signatures as prescribed by these Policies and Standing Rules.
  • Ensures that no person who has not been approved by the Executive Director, the Board Chair/co-Chairs, and the Treasurer is given signature authority.
  • Ensures that checks or other instruments of payment for the amount of $15,000 or more that have not been previously approved by the Board have three signatures, at least one of whom is the Treasurer and one of whom is the Board Chair/co-Chair. When physical signatures of the Executive Director, Treasurer, and Board Chair/co-Chairs are on file, electronic confirmation will serve as a signature.
  • Consulting with the Treasurer and the Board Chair/co-Chairs, reviews signatories on all accounts annually or when changes in personnel occur.
  • Ensures that signature cards are maintained current.
  • Ensures that LLLI staff copy the Treasurer on all correspondence between LLLI staff and other entities or individuals regarding LLLI financial transactions so that the Treasurer is kept aware of financial obligation changes or any issues that may arise.
  • Ensures that the International Code and Conflicts of Interest Committee has an opportunity to review any proposed funding sources, partnerships, or other collaborations with outside corporations or entities for the protection of LLLI against any possible conflicts of interest or conflicts with the International Code.
  • Signs all contracts with La Leche League International. Contracts and /or grants with LLLI greater than US $50,000 or that significantly relate to the reputation and/or credibility of LLL are to be co-signed by the La Leche League International Board Chair/co-Chairs or designee; additional co-signers may be included.
  • Ensures that written contracts between LLLI and any external party contain:
    • time limits,
    • yearly termination provisions,
    • termination for cause provisions
      • if the other party engages in conduct that (in the opinion of the LLL entity or the International Code and Conflicts of Interest Committee) violates the International Code,
      • if the company is purchased by a group that violates the International Code, and
      • if the product is recalled.
  • Ensures that the Board is given reasonable time before the filing deadline to review Form 990 before it is signed and filed.
  • Ensures that management of investments aligns with the policies described in Investment Policy.
  • Reviews investment accounts quarterly, ensures that there are proper segregation of duties and limitations on signatories and that account statements are received by and reconciliations performed by personnel who are not signatories.
  • Ensures that management of the annual audit aligns with the policies described in Audit and annually reports formally to the Audit Committee with:
    • a list of all bank or investment accounts newly opened or closed during the year,
    • a list of all existing brokerage accounts, investment, mutual funds, CDs and bank accounts,
    • a statement of all account balances with sufficient detail to confirm that the Funds are invested in accordance with the Investment Policy, and
    • procedures taken during the year to control the accounts.
  • Ensures that audited financial statements are uploaded to LLLI website.
  • Annually, prior to the date Leader numbers are assessed, reviews the cost-sharing (entity affiliation fee) formula with the Finance Committee and Treasurer, and the DCE administrators in order to make an appropriate recommendation to the Board for the coming fiscal year.
  • Negotiates loans for LLLI with the approval of the Board Chair/co-Chairs and the Treasurer.
  • Transfers securities in consultation with the Treasurer and the Board.

(Oct 2020)

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Treasurer’s Duties, Details

Monthly:

  • Reviews all proposed payments, asks for necessary information to assure proposed payments are appropriate expenditures of LLLI funds, and approves as appropriate
  • Ensures that unusual payments (over $15,000) are also discussed with and approved by the Finance Committee. See Finance Committee.
  • Reviews the financial statement as prepared by the management team
  • Works with the Finance Committee and Executive Director to clarify and resolve concerns, inaccuracies and questions about the financial statements
  • Presents Treasurer’s Report to the Board at the monthly scheduled Board meeting

As needed throughout the fiscal year:

  • Oversees any investments according to the Investment Policy. See Investment Policy.
  • Reviews and approves all proposed transfers of funds to or from a non-operating or investment account in consultation with the Board Chair/co-Chairs See Bank Accounts and Transfer of Funds.
  • Works with the Finance Committee to ensure appropriate management of all monies, budgeting, insurance, properties, liability, loans, securities, payroll, and other financial contracts and investments. See Loans; Bank Accounts and Transfer of Funds; Investment Policy.
  • Reviews the investment policy [LINK] and makes a formal recommendation to the LLLI Board of Directors every two years regarding whether this policy should remain in force or be rescinded and superseded by an amended policy.

Annually:

  • Works with the Executive Director and the Finance Committee to submit, or coordinate the submission of, the annual budget prepared according to the directives of the Board. See Budgetary Spending Levels, LLLI.
  • Works with the Executive Director, the Finance Committee, and the DCE administrators to calculate appropriate cost-sharing fees (entity affiliation fees) and submit recommendations to the Board for setting a Cost Sharing formula. See Cost Sharing, LLLI.
  • Authorizes the procedures for custody of all corporate funds and securities according to the guidelines as set down by the Board
  • Verifies Executive Director investment account review to ensure that there are proper segregation of duties and limitations on signatories and that account statements are received by and reconciliations performed by personnel who are not signatories
  • Prepares or coordinates the preparation of a financial report for the Board annually or as directed by the Board
  • Verifies closure of the books and their submission for audit as required by the Board and law
  • Recommends to the Board of Directors of La Leche League International an appropriate line of credit annually. See Line of Credit Policy.
  • Approves, with the Board Chair/co-Chairs, signatories on all accounts annually or when personnel changes occur.
  • As requested by the Audit Committee, reviews, and suggests corrections to the Audit Report prior to its presentation to the Board, and approves the required financial tax reporting prior to presentation to the Board. See Form 990: Board Review Prior to Filing and Audit.

(Oct 20)

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Executive Director: Financial Management

The Executive Director works cooperatively with the Treasurer to ensure that all assets of LLLI are managed in the best interest of the organization. The Executive Director:

  • Opens bank accounts as required to manage the business affairs of the organization with written approval from the Board of Directors.
  • Transfers funds between operating accounts as necessary to conduct the business of the organization.
  • Consults with and gain approval from both the Board Chair/co-Chair and the Treasurer for any transfer from a non-operating or investment account, including transfers of funds recommended by the auditors.
  • Ensures that the Board receives monthly financial statements at least one full week prior to requesting approval of the related Treasurer’s Report so that the Board can meet their fiduciary obligation in financial oversight.
  • Ensures that accountants require two signatures as prescribed by these Policies and Standing Rules.
  • Ensures that no person who has not been approved by the Executive Director, the Board Chair/co-Chairs, and the Treasurer is given signature authority.
  • Ensures that checks or other instruments of payment for the amount of $15,000 or more that have not been previously approved by the Board have three signatures, at least one of whom is the Treasurer and one of whom is the Board Chair/co-Chair. When physical signatures of the Executive Director, Treasurer, and Board Chair/co-Chairs are on file, electronic confirmation will serve as a signature.
  • Consulting with the Treasurer and the Board Chair/co-Chairs, reviews signatories on all accounts annually or when changes in personnel occur.
  • Ensures that signature cards are maintained current.
  • Ensures that LLLI staff copy the Treasurer on all correspondence between LLLI staff and other entities or individuals regarding LLLI financial transactions so that the Treasurer is kept aware of financial obligation changes or any issues that may arise.
  • Ensures that the International Code and Conflicts of Interest Committee has an opportunity to review any proposed funding sources, partnerships, or other collaborations with outside corporations or entities for the protection of LLLI against any possible conflicts of interest or conflicts with the International Code.
  • Signs all contracts with La Leche League International. Contracts and /or grants with LLLI greater than US $50,000 or that significantly relate to the reputation and/or credibility of LLL are to be co-signed by the La Leche League International Board Chair/co-Chairs or designee; additional co-signers may be included.
  • Ensures that written contracts between LLLI and any external party contain:
    • time limits,
    • yearly termination provisions,
    • termination for cause provisions
      • if the other party engages in conduct that (in the opinion of the LLL entity or the International Code and Conflicts of Interest Committee) violates the International Code,
      • if the company is purchased by a group that violates the International Code, and
      • if the product is recalled.
  • Ensures that the Board is given reasonable time before the filing deadline to review Form 990 before it is signed and filed.
  • Ensures that management of investments aligns with the policies described in Investment Policy.
  • Reviews investment accounts quarterly, ensures that there are proper segregation of duties and limitations on signatories and that account statements are received by and reconciliations performed by personnel who are not signatories.
  • Ensures that management of the annual audit aligns with the policies described in Audit and annually reports formally to the Audit Committee with:
    • a list of all bank or investment accounts newly opened or closed during the year,
    • a list of all existing brokerage accounts, investment, mutual funds, CDs and bank accounts,
    • a statement of all account balances with sufficient detail to confirm that the Funds are invested in accordance with the Investment Policy, and
    • procedures taken during the year to control the accounts.
  • Ensures that audited financial statements are uploaded to LLLI website.
  • Annually, prior to the date Leader numbers are assessed, reviews the cost-sharing (entity affiliation fee) formula with the Finance Committee and Treasurer, and the DCE administrators in order to make an appropriate recommendation to the Board for the coming fiscal year.
  • Negotiates loans for LLLI with the approval of the Board Chair/co-Chairs and the Treasurer.
  • Transfers securities in consultation with the Treasurer and the Board.

(Oct 2020)

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  1. Board Actions: Notifications
  2. Board Session Minutes
  3. Board Session Minutes Attachments
  4. Policies and Standing Rules Notebook Distribution

Board Actions: Notifications

Within thirty days following a meeting of the LLLI Board, the actions taken by the Board at that meeting, including any first readings of amendments to the LLLI Bylaws, will be published. The LLLI Executive Director will release this information and make it available to members of the LLLI community.
(Mar 00)

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Board Session Minutes

The Minutes shall reflect only whether or not a Motion was adopted, if by voice vote; if by counted vote, the number voting in the affirmative and the number voting in the negative will be recorded; abstentions will only be recorded if, according to the Bylaws, there is a conflict of interest or a request to record. Neither the name of the maker nor the seconder shall be listed in the Minutes.
(Feb 82)

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Board Session Minutes Attachments

The Minutes of the LLLI Board of Directors’ sessions, with complete committee reports attached, shall be kept on file at the registered office.
(Feb 88, rev Oct 02)

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Policies Standing Rules Notebook Distribution

The PSR shall be updated as soon as practical after each Board meeting and shall be available through LLLI.
(Nov 88; rev Mar 03)

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  1. Bank Accounts and Transfer of Funds
  2. Board Members: Trips
  3. Budgetary Spending Levels: LLLI
  4. Form 990: Board Review Prior to Filing
  5. Group Tax Exemption
  6. Investment
  7. Line of Credit
  8. LLI Reimbursement
  9. Required Financial Tax Reporting: Board Review Prior to Filing

See Also:


Bank Accounts and Transfer of Funds

The Executive Director may open bank accounts as required to manage the business affairs of the organization with written approval from the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors authorizes the Executive Director to transfer funds between operating accounts as necessary to conduct the business of the organization. Any transfer to or from a non-operating or investment account requires consultation with and approval from both the Board Chair/co-Chairs and the Treasurer, including transfers of funds recommended by the auditors.

Procedures for authorizing payments refer to all instruments of payment, including electronic means of payment.

All instruments of payment require two signatures. These signees are the Executive Director and the Treasurer, or if the Treasurer is unavailable, the Board Chair/co-Chairs. If the Executive Director is unavailable, the CEO/President of the management company can sign for the Manager.

When physical signatures of the Executive Director, Treasurer, and Board Chair/co-Chairs are on file, electronic confirmation will serve as a signature.

No person who has not been approved by the Executive Director and the Treasurer will be given signature authority.

Checks or other instruments of payment for the amount of $15,000 or more that have not been previously approved by the Board require three signatures, at least one of whom is the Treasurer and one of whom is the Board Chair/co-Chairs.

The Executive Director and the Treasurer review annually the signatories on all accounts and ensure that signature cards are maintained current.

All correspondence between LLLI staff and other entities or individuals regarding LLLI financial transactions is copied or forwarded to the Treasurer.

(Feb 89; rev Feb 04; Oct 20)

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Board Members: Trips

Trips made by members of the LLLI Board of Directors as official representatives of LLLI to non-LLL functions shall be approved by the Board of Directors in consultation with the Executive Director. A copy of the letter of invitation, a complete proposal with budget, and a summary of the planned presentation shall be submitted to the Board of Directors for all invitations received by Board members to speak as representatives of LLLI at non-LLL functions.

(Feb 83; rev Jun 87)

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Budgetary Spending Levels: LLLI

In the event of a 5-10% variance in the net income or expense, the Executive Director, in cooperation with the Treasurer has the authority to adjust spending levels based on the current financial situation and the needs of the organization. The adjusted spending levels will be presented to the Board in the monthly Treasurer’s report.

(Nov 82, rev Apri 93, Oct 20)

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Form 990: Board Review Prior to Filing

The Form 990 will be completed annually by the auditor and copies will be provided to the Executive Director, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Audit committee of La Leche League International for review. Copies will then be sent to the entire Board of Directors. Once all necessary changes are made and agreement reached, the Form 990 will be signed by the Executive Director and the Chairman of the Board, dated and submitted by the filing deadline.

(Mar 09)

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Group Tax Exemption

LLLI offers an IRS Umbrella Group Exemption for 501(c)(3) status to DCEs, Areas, and Groups needing it for tax exemption.

(Jul 78; rev Nov 85; Oct 20)

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Investment

This investment policy for La Leche League International (LLLI) provides direction and authorization for LLLI Directors, Officers, and staff regarding investment and stewardship of the financial assets of LLLI. The purpose of this investment policy is to provide guidelines and objectives for the investment of LLLI funds.

Acknowledging that risk is inherent in all investments, the primary investment goal is to provide optimum growth over time while preserving the principal of the investment. The LLLI Board recognizes that the allocation of the investment funds will change over time as the amount of the funds increases through investment returns and through additions of additional capital. As the amount of investments increases, the options for investment vehicles increases. Until the time that LLLI has $1 million in reserves, the funds will be invested to preserve principal with very low risk. Once LLLI has an amount in investments of more than $1 million, the recommended investment allocation is a percentage in stocks, a percentage in bonds, and a percentage in money market funds.

Effect: The LLLI Treasurer reviews this policy and makes a formal recommendation to the LLLI Board of Directors every two years regarding whether this policy should remain in force or be rescinded and superseded by an amended policy. This policy will remain in effect until rescinded by the LLLI Board of Directors and superseded by a replacement resolution.

Policy: The policy consists of four parts and covers investments in Operating Reserves, LLLI Board Directed Reserves, Endowment and Restricted Accounts.

1. All funds are to be invested in socially screened funds with an overall orientation consistent with our mission, either:

  1. mutual funds, or
  2. non-speculative, diversified, passive, low-cost vehicles bearing competitive returns

Investments will not include speculative items such as margin accounts, options, forwards, futures, junk bond funds, hedge funds, or leveraged investment funds.

Investing in any other type of investment vehicle requires prior approval by the Finance Committee.

Any stocks donated to LLLI will be liquidated and invested as specified in this policy unless other actions are requested by the donor.

Specifically, an investment advisor may be hired to make recommendations and suggestions to investment vehicles based on the above enumerated risk tolerance. The investment advisor is hired to act in a fiduciary capacity and within the risk parameters outlined by the Board at any given time.

Directors and staff avoid trying to “pick winners,” give advice, or spend considerable time and effort on selecting “outperforming” mutual funds. Instead the LLLI Treasurer and Executive Director in consultation with the Finance Committee may select one or two broad-based, high-quality mutual funds that have no front-end load, commission or back-end fees, and have very low average expense ratios. In general, these would tend to be broad “index funds.” Index funds are very diversified by nature and mirror stock market performance.

Privately placed commercial paper, equity in privately held companies, loans, tax-exempt securities, preferred stock shares and other risky investments will not be utilized by LLLI investments. Again, the risk tolerance that the Board approves from time to time rules any investment decisions.

2. The return objectives and risk tolerance of the funds are determined by the LLLI Board of Directors as follows:

  1. Operating Funds maximize liquidity and preservation of capital by being invested in insured bank accounts, insured Certificates of Deposits (CDs), and/or a low-cost, investment-grade money market fund. All efforts are made to insure that the aggregate bank deposits are at or below FDIC coverage limits. This may result in having many CDs and bank accounts to insure full coverage.
  2. LLLI Board Directed Reserve Funds are invested (60% – 80%) in a low-cost, investment grade money market fund with the remainder invested in a low-cost, broad-based equity fund.
  3. The Endowment Fund is invested mostly (65% – 80%) in a low-cost, broad-based equity fund; with the remainder invested in a low-cost, investment-grade money market fund.
  4. Restricted Funds are invested predominantly (80% – 100%) in a low-cost, investment-grade money market fund, and any remainder may be invested in a low-cost, broad-based equity fund.

3. Restrictions

  1. The Endowment Fund will not be transferred or used to cover Operating Fund shortfalls.
  2. Earnings from the Endowment Fund may be used for operating expenses only with the approval of the LLLI Board of Directors.
  3. The LLLI Board Directed Reserve Fund will not be transferred or used to cover Operating Fund shortfalls without specific authorization from the LLLI Board of Directors. The Board Chair/co-Chairs and Treasurer will be the signatories.
  4. Restricted Funds are to be used in accordance with donor requests and budgets, unless specifically authorized otherwise by the donor and the LLLI Board of Directors.

Explanation of terms

Operating Fund: Funds from operating surplus, or other funds specifically available for expenditures in the near term.

LLLI Board Directed Reserve Funds: Unrestricted funds invested to support LLLI during times of economic hardship. Money will be available to operations as determined by the LLLI Board of Directors.

Endowment Fund: Fund established to provide long term stability for LLLI. Additional funds are to be invested as endowment if specified by the donor. Proceeds from this investment may be used only with LLLI Board of Directors’ approval. The principal is not available for use.

Restricted Fund: Funds given by donors with expressed requests for use of funds. {LINK to accounting procedures for non-profit organizations, and to LLLI’s list of restricted funds and the uses they are restricted to.]

Diversified: Preference is given to investing in broad based index funds so that no one underlying stock or bond represents more than 5% of the total fund.

(Jul 06; Mar 17; Oct 20)

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Line of Credit

A resolution by the Board of Directors of La Leche League International stating the duration, total amount, and interest rate is required to open any line of credit. It is the Board of Directors’ responsibility to ensure that the total debt and lines of credit are consistent with the overall financial health of the organization. Use of the line of credit must be approved by the Executive Director, the Board Chair/co-Chair and the Treasurer. The Treasurer, in consultation with the Finance Committee, will review annually all debt facilities and recommend changes, as necessary, to the Board of Directors.

(Nov 07, Oct 20)

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LLLI Reimbursement

This policy applies to all LLLI volunteers including LLLI Board members, members of LLLI Board Committees, the Director of LAD, and the chairs or directors of other LLLI global forums.

Purpose. La Leche League International (LLLI) volunteers who are required and authorized by the LLLI Board to travel or conduct business on behalf of LLLI may incur reimbursable expenses. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that such expenditures are appropriate, that adequate cost control measures are in place, and that reimbursement for authorized expenses is made in a timely manner.

Policy. LLLI volunteers will not be paid salary or compensated in any way for services rendered. LLLI will pay or reimburse reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by volunteers in accordance with the following guidelines. LLLI volunteers are encouraged to donate their expenses to LLLI

1. General. When incurring expenses, LLLI expects volunteers to

  • Exercise discretion and good judgment with respect to these authorized and reimbursable expenses.
  • Be cost conscious and spend money carefully and judiciously.
  • Obtain prior written approval from the Executive Director for LLLI business-related expenses. For committee members or volunteers working under the auspices of a committee, authority for written approval may be delegated to the appropriate staff liaison. Failure to obtain prior approval may result in denial of reimbursement.
  • Report expenses accurately and in a timely manner by completing and submitting an LLLI Expense Report Form. This form should be submitted within 21 days of the completion of the meeting or event to either the LLLI Development Director or LLLI Executive Director. Original receipts or legible copies must be submitted with the LLLI Expense Report Form.
  • When planning face-to-face meetings, consideration should be given to less expensive alternatives such as participation by telephone, video conferencing, or choosing to meet in a location more central to meeting participants.
  • Expenses for attendance at an in-person Board meeting will be paid by LLLI only if the Board member attends a minimum of 3/4 of that Board meeting unless they have reasonable cause for missing any of the meeting and receive approval from the Board Chair/co-Chairs.

2. Travel: Effort should be made to use the most inexpensive mode of transportation that is suitable under the circumstances.

  • Air or rail fare. Volunteers should make a conscientious effort to obtain the lowest possible fares. Reimbursement is limited to economy class and proof of the economy fare must be included with the expense report. If airport or train station parking is required, long-term parking should be used for travel exceeding 24 hours.
  • Luggage. If there is any charge for checking bags, LLLI will reimburse for the first bag only for meetings or events up to five nights and will reimburse for two bags for meetings or events six nights or longer. LLLI will not reimburse for overweight luggage charges.
  • Local transportation. Bus, cab, rail, shuttle, and courtesy car costs will be reimbursed. Rental automobiles (and insurance or insurance waivers) may be obtained only with prior approval from the LLLI Executive Director.
  • Automobile travel expenses. If transportation is by private automobile, reimbursement for mileage will be made at the current rate appropriate to the circumstances, plus necessary parking charges and tolls. Total reimbursement will not exceed economy rail or air travel if these options are available.
  • Meals. The reasonable cost of meals consumed during approved travel will be reimbursed, excluding alcohol.
  • Lodging. Reimbursement will be made for reasonable out-of-pocket costs, but in no case will reimbursement exceed the amount of any pre-arranged rate for lodging obtained by LLLI. When possible, volunteers should make use of corporate and discount hotel rates obtained by LLLI or any other host organization. If a volunteer lives within a 25-mile radius of a meeting venue, approval of overnight hotel accommodations must be obtained in advance from the LLLI Executive Director.
  • Internet fees. Hotel internet fees will be reimbursed only when personal computers are required for ancillary business meetings to be held during events or when they are needed to continue time-sensitive projects, and only with prior approval of the LLLI Executive Director.

3. Other expenses. Volunteers who expect to incur other expenses for activities on behalf of LLLI must obtain prior approval for the expenditures from the LLLI Executive Director or the appropriate staff liaison. To claim reimbursement, volunteers must submit an LLLI Expense Report Form with written receipts.

4. Non-reimbursable expenses. Expenses considered personal, either by their nature or because they are primarily for the benefit or convenience of the volunteer are not reimbursable. Personal property that is lost, stolen, or damaged will not be reimbursed.

5. LLLI, as an organization existing to promote and support breastfeeding, will reimburse travel expenses , meals, and accommodations for non-separating children up to 24 months of age as of the date of return, who accompany a Board member to a meeting where the Board member must be present, as described in items 1 and 2 of this policy. This assumes that the Board member and the child will share one bed whenever possible.

Expenses related to a Board member’s non-separating child for the purposes of participation in Board meetings away from their home are not to be considered personal. Demonstrating support for a breastfeeding Board member or a Board member’s attention to their child’s need to be with them aligns with and reinforces the mission of LLL by supporting the breastfeeding and parenting relationship. Special requests for funding for nursing or non-separating children 24 months or older as of the date of return may be brought to the Treasurer, Board Chair/co-Chairs, and Executive Director for consideration on a case-by-case basis.

(Oct 91; Oct 08; Apr 16; Feb 20; Mar 20; Oct 20, Oct 22)

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Required Financial Tax Reporting: Board Review Prior to Filing

All required financial tax reporting forms are completed annually by the auditor, and copies are provided to the Executive Director, Board Chair/co-Chairs, Treasurer, Audit and Finance Committees of La Leche League International for review.

After the officer and committee review, copies are sent to the entire Board of Directors. Once all necessary changes are made and agreement reached, the required financial tax reporting forms are signed by the current Treasurer at the time of filing. If the Treasurer is unavailable, then a Board Chairs may sign. The 990 must be dated and submitted by the filing deadline.

(Mar 09, Oct 20)

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  1. Board Advisory Committee
  2. Global Leaders Committee
  3. Global Leaders Committee Review Panel

Board Advisory Committee

Commission

The Board Advisory Council (BAC) is established by the LLLI Board of Directors to provide voluntary assistance to LLLI in fulfilling Article II – Purpose and Article VI, Section 15 – Advisors as outlined in the LLLI Bylaws. The Board Advisory Council shall consist of past Chairs of the LLLI Board of Directors to provide:

historical perspective and information

to the Board of Directors and Executive Director upon request.

Criteria for Membership

All past Chairs of the LLLI Board of Directors not currently on the Board are invited to serve, unless they were removed from their position as described under LLLI Bylaws Article VI, Section 16 or Article VII, Section 4.

Appointment and Term of Office

Former and outgoing Chairs will be contacted annually to ascertain their availability, willingness to serve, and contact information. Members of the BAC may withdraw at any time.

Contacting the Board Advisory Council

The Board Secretary will compile a list of the current BAC members and their contact details annually, form an e-list for use and publish this list to the current Board members and the Executive Director, who may then contact BAC members directly. Requests for information may be made to individual members of the BAC or to the whole Council. All communications are copied to the full Board. Board members and the Executive Director are expected to record their contact with the BAC in their regular reports.

(Mar 19)

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Global Leaders Committee

The Global Leaders Committee shall be composed of Leader-Representatives from each entity that connects directly to LLLI. The number of Representatives shall be allocated according to the number of Leaders in each direct-connect entity. Representatives shall be nominated and elected by the Leaders from the entity they represent and will serve a term of two years. The purpose of the GLC is to facilitate communication between Leaders and LLLI (the LLLI Board of Directors and Executive Management).

(Nov 2012)

The Global Leaders Committee (the “GLC”) is composed of Leader-representatives (“Representative(s)”) from each entity that directly connects to LLLI. Each entity that connects to LLLI will be allocated a number of Representatives in accordance with the formula set forth below:

  • If the Area Network has fewer than 350 Leaders, then it will be allocated 2 Representatives;
  • If the Area Network has between 351 and 700 Leaders, then it will be allocated 3 Representatives;
  • If the Area Network has between 701 and 1,250 Leaders, then it will be allocated 4 Representatives;
  • If the Area Network has between 1,251 and 2,000 Leaders, then it will be allocated 5 Representatives;
  • If the Area Network has between 2,001 and 3,000 Leaders, then it will be allocated 6 Representatives;
  • If the Area Network has between 3,001 and 5,000 Leaders, then it will be allocated 7 Representatives; and
  • If the Area Network has more than 5,000 Leaders, then it will be allocated 8 Representatives.

Representatives will be nominated by and elected by the Leaders from the entity they represent and will be elected for a term of two years. LLLI will direct each entity that connects to LLLI to utilize appropriate safeguards that support an open, fair, and equitable nomination and election process.

Representatives of the GLC will:

  • participate in quarterly calls (“Cascade Calls”) with the Executive Director of LLLI and the Chair or Co-Chairs of LLLI’s Board of Directors. If the Executive Director and/or Chair or one or both of the Co-Chairs is unable to participate in a Cascade Call, a designate may participate on the unavailable person’s behalf.
  • deliver quarterly reports to their Leader-constituents detailing the substance of each Cascade Call; minutes will be prepared by the Chair or Co-Chairs of the Board and the Executive Director and approved by the GLC Coordinating Committee;
  • solicit and gather questions and concerns from their Leader-constituents on an ongoing basis and in preparation for each quarterly Cascade Call; and,
  • submit proposed agenda items, if any, to the GLC Coordinating Committee (see below) in advance of each Cascade Call.

The GLC shall select a coordinating committee (the “GLC Coordinating Committee”) created, established, and implemented by the Representatives with the primary responsibilities to be the coordination and implementation of Cascade Calls.

The GLC may submit any decision or action of the LLLI Board of Directors to the Board for reconsideration should sixty percent of the Representatives voting on the issue conclude that the decision or action conflicts with LLLI’s mission, and/or violates or conflicts with LLLI’s codes of conduct, Bylaws, Purpose and Principles Reference Set, Policies and Standing Rules and any appendices thereto, and/or any other governing document or set of principles not set forth herein (collectively “LLLI’s Policies”). In order to submit a Board decision or action to the Board for reconsideration, at least eighty percent of the GLC must participate in the vote.

  • Within 45 days of receipt of the notification that sixty percent of the voting Representatives have voted in favor of submitting a Board decision or action for reconsideration, the Board shall revisit the decision or action at issue and submit a written statement to the GLC detailing its reason(s) to either reverse or affirm the earlier decision or action.
  • Upon receipt of a written statement from the Board that it intends to affirm an earlier decision or action that had been submitted for reconsideration by the GLC, the GLC may submit that same Board decision or action for review by the Review Panel if sixty- six percent of the Representatives voting on the issue conclude, upon review of the Board’s written statement that it intends to affirm the decision or action, that the action or decision violates and or conflicts with LLLI’s Policies. In order to submit a Board decision or action to the Review Panel for consideration, at least eighty percent of the GLC must participate in the vote. In no event shall a decision to submit a Board decision or action for review by the Review Panel be made by a vote of absolute numbers less than the number of Representatives that approved the original GLC submission for reconsideration to the Board.
  • Within 60 days of receipt of the notification that sixty-six percent of the voting Representatives have voted in favor of submitting the Board action or decision to the Review Panel for consideration, the Review Panel shall convene and issue a written opinion with its decision as to whether the Board’s decision or action violates or conflicts with LLLI’s Policies.
    • Should the Review Panel conclude that the Board’s decision or action does not violate or conflict with LLLI’s Policies, the Review Panel shall issue a written statement to the Board and the GLC setting forth the reason(s) for this conclusion. This determination shall be final and the GLC shall have no further avenue of recourse with respect to the Board decision or action at issue.
    • Should the Review Panel conclude that the Board’s decision or action does violate or conflict with LLLI’s Policies, the Review Panel shall issue a written statement to the Board and the GLC setting forth the reason(s) for this conclusion. After the issuance of such a statement by the Review Panel, the Board must either reverse its decision or action or take measures to revise and/or clarify the LLLI Policy(ies) at issue so as to ensure that the Board’s decision or action at issue no longer conflicts with LLLI Policy(ies).

The Review Panel shall be composed of five members. Members of the Review Panel will either be former Board members or persons with training, experience or skill regarding policy making and policy implementation. No more than three former Board members may serve on the Review Panel at one time. Members of the Review Panel shall be selected by the LLLI Board subject to the approval of a majority of Representatives of the GLC to serve for a term of three years. Members of the Review Panel shall be governed by the following principles:

  • Each member of the Review Panel shall be fair and impartial; and,
  • A member of the Review Panel must recuse herself/himself from participation in the review process if the subject matter of the Board decision or action under review prevents him or her from being fair and/or impartial.

The Cascade Calls will be governed by the following principles:

  • The Executive Director and the Chair or Co-Chairs of the Board will be present on each Cascade Call, absent extenuating circumstances.
  • During each Cascade Call, the Chair or Co-Chairs of the Board, with the assistance of the Executive Director, will report on the following agenda items: (1) LLLI’s general budget, (2) fundraising efforts, (3) publications, (4) branding, (5) Leader accreditation, and (6) global policy making. Additional agenda items may be submitted by the Representatives of the GLC Coordinating Committee thirty days in advance of the each Cascade Call.
  • Prior to each Cascade Call, Representatives will solicit and gather questions and agenda items from their Leader-constituents.
  • The agenda for each Cascade Call will be jointly developed by the Executive Director, the Co-Chairs of the Board, and the GLC Coordinating Committee.
  • Prior to each Cascade Call, the Executive Director will prepare and post a financial report on LLLI’s website in a manner easily accessible to all Leaders.
  • Should the Executive Director and the Chair or Co-Chairs of the Board conclude that any topic within the scope of the agenda items to be reported on is confidential and, therefore, cannot be discussed during the Cascade Call, the Executive Director and the Chair or Co-Chairs of the Board shall provide information sufficient for the GLC to understand why discussion of the topic must remain confidential, including: (1) the general subject matter of the topic, (2) the reason why confidentiality is necessary, and (3) an approximation of when the topic will be fully disclosed to the GLC.
  • During the Cascade Calls, Representatives will be permitted to ask questions and/or comment on any of the items set forth on the agenda, as well as any additional agenda items submitted thirty days in advance of the Cascade Call. The GLC will utilize conference call software, or some other protocol, to ensure that the ability to ask questions and/or comment on any of the agenda items is allocated in a fair and orderly manner.
  • During the Cascade Calls, the GLC will make detailed notes of the conversation to use as a basis for the subsequent report; the corrected notes will be made available to the GLC Representatives and the Executive Director and Chair or Co-Chairs of the Board. In the twenty-eight days following each quarterly call, the GLC Coordinating Committee shall work closeely with the Executive Director and the Chair or Co-Chairs of the Board to produce a complete report of the Cascade Call, subject to the approval of the GLC.
  • The GLC may request, by a two-thirds vote of the Representatives, one additional Cascade Call per quarter on any subject matter falling within the scope of the agenda items discussed during the preceding Cascade Call. Such requests (detailing the subject matter) will be submitted to the Executive Management and the Chair or Co-Chairs of Board and the requested call shall be held within fourteen days of the submission of the GLC’s request.
  • No later than seven days after the completion and approval of the Cascade Call report, the Executive Director will post the complete report of the Cascade Call on LLLI’s website in a manner readily accessible to Leaders.

(Date Nov 12, Rev Sep 14, Mar 15)

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Global Leaders Committee Review Panel

The purpose of the Review Panel is to review any decision or action of the LLLI Board of Directors referred to them by at least 66% of the Representatives on the Global Leader Committee. The Review Panel shall be composed of five members, of which no more than three shall be former LLLI Board members, plus two or more who will be experienced in policy making and policy implementation. Members shall be selected by the LLLI Board of Directors, subject to the approval of a majority of Representatives on the Global Leader Committee, for a term of three years.

(Nov 12)

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  1. Archives

Archives

The Executive Director, in consultation with the Chairman of the Board of Directors, shall be responsible for preserving the LLLI Archives.

(Feb 77; rev Mar 03)

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  1. Insurance, Liability

Liability Insurance

Liability Insurance shall be carried for the Board of Directors and Officers. See LLLI Bylaws, Article X.

LLLI will endeavor to carry liability insurance for Leaders globally. Any exceptions from global coverage will be reported to the relevant DCE annually.

(Feb 81; Oct 20) ‎

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  1. Leader Resources
  2. Board Actions: Notification
  3. Guidelines for the Appraisal of the ED
  4. Executive Director Authorized to Sign for LLLI
  5. LLLI Document Retention
  6. LLLI Recruitment, Interview, and Selection…

Leader Resources

To help Leaders provide timely and accurate information to all mothers who request breastfeeding help and to aid in the implementation of universal accreditation criteria, LLLI will evaluate and develop strategies for making THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING, BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK, LEADER’S HANDBOOK and other LLL resources accessible to LLLI Leader Applicants.

(Feb 98)

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Board Actions: Notification

Within thirty days following a meeting of the LLLI Board, the actions taken by the Board at that meeting, including any first readings of amendments to the LLLI Bylaws, will be published. The LLLI Executive Director will release this information and make it available to members of the LLLI community.

(Mar 00)

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Guidelines for the Appraisal of the ED

Before appraising the Executive Director, it is necessary that all Board members fully understand the Board/Executive Director/Staff relationships, described below.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS-------------EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR----------------	
                        :                                       |
CHAIRMAN OF BOARD.......:      accepts responsibility           |
                               and becomes accountable          |
                               to Board                         |
                                                                |
                               STAFF----------------------------|

Legend:
—— = line of authority
…… = line of communication

The Board of Directors:

  • Makes all policy decisions.
  • Determines who will implement policy decisions.
  • Hires the Executive Director.
  • Gives authority to the Executive Director to manage the day-to-day business of the organization and to carry out assigned Board of Directors policy decisions.

The Executive Director:

  • Accepts Board of Directors-delegated responsibility.
  • Becomes accountable to the Board of Directors for own and all Staff performance, i.e., outcomes, within the scope of the authority delegated to her and the responsibility accepted by her.
  • Cannot be held responsible for the outcome/result of any policy implementation that is not delegated to her, not accepted by her, or delegated but later removed from her scope of responsibility.
  • Works primarily with the Chairman of the Board to accomplish organizational goals and objectives established by the Board of Directors.

Note: Staff is accountable to the ED, and the ED is ultimately accountable to the Board of Directors for all Staff performance.

All members of the Board of Directors, including the Chairman of the Board, are responsible to the entire Board of Directors, which acts as a single unit. In its relations with Staff, the Board of Directors’ concerns are results and outcomes-not the (Staff) methods or procedures.

Composition

The Appraisal Committee shall consist of:

  • Chairman of the Board
  • Vice Chairman of the Board
  • Standing Committee chairmen (Action, Audit, Bylaws, Finance, Personnel, Program Services, Resource Development).

(Jan 84; rev May 89, Feb 99; Mar 06)

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Executive Director Authorized to Sign for LLLI

The LLLI Board of Directors grants the power to sign on behalf of the corporation to its Executive Director. This power is to be used to grant the required powers of attorney and sign necessary registration papers to register the name and logo of La Leche League International in countries outside the United States.

(Feb 90; rev Mar 06)

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LLLI Document Retention

Purpose: This Document Retention Policy La Leche League International (LLLI) identifies the record retention responsibilities for maintaining and documenting the storage and destruction of the association’s documents and records.

1. Rules. LLLI is required to honor these rules: (a) paper or electronic documents indicated under the terms for retention below will be transferred and maintained by the association management offices; (b) all other paper documents will be destroyed after three years; (c) all other electronic documents will be deleted from all individual computers, data bases, networks, and back-up storage after one year; and (d) no paper or electronic documents will be destroyed or deleted if pertinent to any ongoing or anticipated government investigation or proceeding or private litigation.

2. Terms of retention.

Document Retention Period
Board of Directors Minutes Permanently
Other Minutes (such as committees) 4 years
Bylaws/Articles of Incorporation (including previous versions) Permanently
Professional Standards/Code of Ethics Permanently
Constituent or Donor Files 4 years after expiration
Event/Program Files
Class handouts 4 years
Registration forms 4 years
Class evaluations 4 years
Registration list Permanently
Advertising Forms/Renewal Forms 4 years
Event/Planning records 4 years
Sponsorship List 4 years
Promotional Literature 4 years
Contracts 4 years
Sign-in sheets Permanently
Final P & L Summary Permanently
Annual Sponsorship Program Files
Sponsor list with benefits provided 4 years
Annual Program Benefits 4 years
Award History (recipient list) Permanently
Applications 4 years
Insurance
Insurance Policies (current)
Insurance Policies (expired) 4 years
Insurance records, accident reports, claims, etc Permanently
Client Contracts (expired)
General 4 years
Legal and important matters only Permanently
Routine with customers and/or vendors 4 years
Financial Records
IRS Determination Letter Permanently
Bank Reconciliations 4 years
Tax Returns Permanently
Duplicate deposit slips 4 years
Checks (cancelled) 7 years
Audit reports Permanently
Checkbooks Permanently
Internal reports (miscellaneous) 4 years
Payroll records and summaries 7 years
Chart of Accounts Permanently
AP/AR Records (deposit records, AP) 7 years
Financial Statements
Annual Financial Statements Permanently
Investment Statements Permanently
End of Year Statements Permanently
Newsletters/Printed Literature (up to 5 samples) 4 years
Photographs Permanently
Garnishments 7 years
Trademark registrations and copyrights Permanently
Accreditation and/or certification files Permanently

3. Exceptions. Exceptions to these rules and terms for retention may be granted only by the association’s Board of Directors.

(October 2019)

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LLLI Recruitment, Interview, and Selection

La Leche League International is an Equal Opportunity Employer and will not discriminate in the hiring process on the basis of sex, religion, race, color, age, or national origin. The same actions apply to the hiring of any handicapped person unless the handicap is directly related to job performance.

LLLI endeavors to hire individuals, based on their training and technical skills relative to the position, their demonstrated ability, personality, and temperament.

The Executive Director or her designate must be contacted prior to undertaking any action to procure help. Appropriate Department Head (Department Head refers to the staff person who will be the immediate supervisor of the person hired.) will work with the Executive Director or her designate in all matters concerning the application process.

Prior to employing an individual, the following preliminary steps must be taken to ensure both the uniformity of our personnel practices and compliance with the various laws concerned with employment practices. These are the steps or procedures:

  1. Action to begin the employment request must be initiated by the Executive Director, her designate or the Department Head, depending on the job level involved, or in a written request to one of these three from a Department Supervisor.
  2. The Department Head requesting a new position or replacement must submit in writing the request identifying the job position and need to her immediate supervisor. The supervisor must take up the issue with the Executive Director and Controller. When a request for a new permanent position which will require a budget modification is received, the Executive Director will advise the appropriate Board Committee staff representative, who will request the Board Committee Chairmen seek Board approval. When an executive level position is to be filled, the Board Standing Committee Chairman directly involved and the Personnel Committee Chairman are to be notified.
  3. The Executive Director or her designate must then verify if a Job Description has been written and is up-to-date. The Job Description must include a description of duties, responsibilities, qualifications.
  4. If a current Job Description does not exist, the Executive Director or her designate and Department Head will prepare one. This Job Description, together with the Request, then goes to the Personnel Committee for review and Executive Director’s office for final approval.
  5. If the Request is approved, the Department Head may rehire a person from the established Recall List held by the Executive Director or her designate. The Recall List consists of past employees who have been laid off due to a lack of work. If a person from the Recall List is not available or qualified, the Executive Director or her designate will post the opening with the Job Description at LLLI for a period of ten working days.
  6. Employees may then apply for the opening. Applications and/or resumes must be submitted to the Executive Director or her designate in writing.
  7. The Department Head is to review the applications submitted by employees. Applicants will be interviewed. A suitable person from within LLLI may be hired at this point.
  8. If a suitable person is not then available, applications on file must be reviewed. The Executive Director or her designate will keep all applications of the past three months. If a suitable person is not available from past applicants, advertisements and where they are to be placed must be submitted to the Executive Director or her designate.
  9. If a suitable applicant is found, after interviewing he or she may be hired.
  10. If desirable, the Executive Director or her designate may coordinate this process to allow an internal search, and an outside search simultaneously to produce applicants.
  11. Interviewing and selection may be done by a person designated by the Executive Director, her designate, or the Department Head, depending on the job level involved. For executive level positions the Chairman of the Standing Board Committee involved will receive a list of the members of the Interview Committee.This Committee will include the Executive Director, representative of the appropriate Standing Board Committee with which the individual will work, appropriate and as required, expert(s) in the field to facilitate questioning (if not on Committee) and staff. Final selection for an executive level position is made by the Executive Director. Executive level employees are those who report directly to the Executive Director.
  12. The actual hiring of persons will be done by the Executive Director, Department Head, or Executive Director or her designate depending on the job level involved.
  13. After an employee has been hired, the Executive Director or her designate must be notified in writing. The Executive Director or her designate will obtain all pertinent information including tax, insurance, etc., from the employee.

Department in Need of New Staff
|
Executive Director
|
Staff Representative
|
Board Committee Chairman and Finance Committee Chairman
|
Board

(Nov 82; rev Feb 99)

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  1. LLLI Board Member Participation in LLL Leader Social Media Spaces
  2. Board Members: Trips
  3. Conflict of Interest
  4. LLLI Board Member Statement of Commitment

LLLI Board Member Participation in LLL Leader Social Media Spaces

Realizing that we are identifiable as LLLI Board Members in our interactions on social media sites in Leader spaces, Members of the LLLI Board will exercise extreme caution when interacting in online social media platforms for LLL Leaders.

Members of the LLLI Board of Directors who are also Leaders may participate in Facebook spaces for Leaders according to the following criteria:

  1. LLLI Board Members are free to discuss breastfeeding matters, including, but not limited to helping situations, articles, current events, new research, and meeting ideas, provided that the topic of discussion is not under review by the LLLI Board.
  2. LLLI Board Members may not engage in discussions about issues pertaining to the past, current, and future actions/deliberations/decisions of the LLLI Board, unless such participation is done with the full prior knowledge of the Chair of the LLLI Board.
  3. LLLI Board Members may acknowledge that they have heard what has been said and request permission to bring the information to the entire LLLI Board should Leaders seek out LLLI Board Members on Leader social media sites to share comments/concerns/questions with the LLLI Board. LLLI Board Members will remind Leaders that:
    1. social media platforms are not official communication channels.
    2. the best way to communicate with the LLLI Board is to send a letter or email.
  4. Remembering their obligations to support decisions/actions of the LLLI Board and the LLLI staff, LLLI Board Members will not offer personal opinions critiquing LLLI Board or LLLI Staff actions/decisions in Leader social media spaces.
  5. Realizing that these spaces are not official channels for communicating with Leaders, LLLI Board Members will not use Leader social media spaces as a primary place to communicate information to Leaders unless a prior decision to do so has been reached by the LLLI Board or the Chair of the Board.
  6. Members of the LLLI Board of Directors must abide by the rules set forth by the moderators of non-official LLL Leader spaces.
  7. LLLI Board Members will take care to engage respectfully in Leader social media spaces, including using respectful language, realizing that their interactions reflect on the entire LLLI Board and LLLI as a whole.

LLLI Board Members who become aware of violations of these guidelines agree to bring the matter to the attention of the LLLI Board Member believed to be violating this policy and the Chair of the LLLI Board to determine appropriate actions.

My signature below indicates that I have read and agree to abide by this policy.

Signature

Name

Date

(January 2018)

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Board Member: Trips

Trips made by members of the LLLI Board of Directors as official representatives of LLLI to non-LLL functions shall be approved by the Board of Directors in consultation with the Executive Director. A copy of the letter of invitation, a complete proposal with budget, and a summary of the planned presentation shall be submitted to the Board of Directors for all invitations received by Board members to speak as representatives of LLLI at non-LLL functions.

(Feb 83; rev Jun 87)

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Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest exists when a participant of LLLI may benefit from a business relationship that LLLI has, or seeks to have, with another organization. The most serious potential conflicts of interest relate to manufacturers or distributors of products that fall within the scope of the Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions.

The participant may be an employee, a volunteer, or member of the Board of Directors (Board member) of La Leche League International (LLLI), or a relative of an employee, volunteer, or Board member (for example, child, grandchild, parent, brother or sister, or spouse thereof). The benefit may be from a direct or indirect financial interest in, or by serving as a director, officer or in another management, fiduciary or consulting capacity with, or rendering other services to the other organization.

Whenever a conflict of interest exists, the employee, volunteer, or Board member with the conflict must report that conflict in writing to the Executive Director and Chairman or co-Chairmen of the Board of Directors of LLLI, disclosing the facts relevant to the conflict in reasonable detail. If, after disclosure, it is determined that it is in the best interest of LLLI to enter into, or continue to permit, a transaction as to which the conflict of interest exists, then the conflict may continue so long as written approval is obtained from the Executive Director and Chairman or co-Chairmen of the Board of LLLI. The Executive Director and Chairman or co-Chairmen of the Board of LLLI may, as part of that approval or thereafter, institute measures to insulate LLLI from decision making on its behalf by that employee, volunteer, or Board member, both in order to protect the interests of LLLI and to avoid even the appearance of possible impropriety (even if no actual impropriety exists).

The Chairman or Co-Chairman of the LLLI Board of Directors and Executive Director must have knowledge of all conflicts of interest so that the propriety of these conflicts of interest can be evaluated by the LLLI Board, and be freed from the taint of possible covert undue influence, and so that the Chairman or co-Chairmen of the LLLI Board of Directors and Executive Director can determine how, in the best interests of LLLI, to manage business or transaction relationships in which conflicts of interest exist so that transactions involving conflicts of interest are consummated on terms that are fair to LLLI.

In addition to the foregoing, the Board of Directors of LLLI must be notified of the conflict of interest, and decisions made by the Board of Directors of LLLI shall comply with applicable Illinois law concerning conflicts of interest.

(July 03, rev Nov 12, April 17)

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LLLI Board Member Statement of Commitment

  1. I agree to represent LLL as an LLLI Board member. I continue to support the LLL vision, mission, purpose, and philosophy. I have read and will abide by the LLLI Bylaws and by the LLLI Policies and Standing Rules.
  2. I will respect and uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant WHA resolutions and ensure that LLLI meets its obligations under the International Code in its programs, fundraising, and all associated organizational activities. I will participate in Code training within each term that I serve on the Board, whenever it is financially and technically possible to do so. I will personally follow the World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions in all aspects of my work within LLL and outside of LLL.
  3. I have reviewed and will comply with the LLLI Conflict of Interest policy (see below), the Board Participation in Social Media Policy (see below)and the LLLI Inclusivity Statement as defined by the Board (see below)
  4. I will contribute financially to the work of LLLI during the year and will participate in maintaining and improving the financial health of the organization.
  5. I will act in the interest of LLL by bringing the perspective of my DCE to the Board while maintaining a global strategic view without prejudice or judgment. In cases of conflicting perspectives, my actions will always prioritize the interest of LLL rather than the interests of my DCE or LLLI itself.
  6. I commit to keeping confidential the LLLI Board and committee work that is designated as confidential until the Board or the relevant committee chair agrees that it is appropriate for disclosure, including documents under revision and email received and responses to the email unless such email has been publicly shared by the original sender. Personal votes at Board meetings are also considered to be confidential.
  7. Recognizing the importance of board unity, I agree to accept and follow LLLI Board decisions.
  8. I will not denigrate or publicly criticize members of the Board and/ or executive management. I will express any concerns about staff or a fellow Board member first privately to the Board or staff member in question, and then if the issue is not adequately addressed, to either the Executive Director or to the Chair of the Board. I will share my concerns with the entire Board only if the ED or Chair recommends that I do so or if I do not feel that the ED and Chair have adequately addressed the issue.
  9. I am open to feedback from LLLI Board colleagues about my participation and commitment.
  10. I understand that LLLI Board membership requires participation in bi-monthly Board conference calls lasting one to two hours, regular committee conference calls, and attendance at in-person Board meetings twice a year lasting two or three days each (not including travel time). I commit to attending all meetings unless I give notice of the need to be absent for good cause
  11. I will be an active member of the Board, participating regularly, collaboratively, and respectfully with fellow Board members, Leaders, Staff, and other LLL volunteers to determine and accomplish organizational goals, working towards consensus and encouraging healthy communication.
  12. I will serve on a minimum of one committee, chair a standing or special committee, if required, and participate in Board orientation and continuing education. I will work between Board sessions to prepare for full participation in all required meetings and to provide requested materials for discussion in a timely manner. I will be prepared to maintain records and files of Board minutes and committee activities.
  13. I understand that most work done as an LLLI Board member will be done electronically.
  14. If anything should occur during the year that would prevent me from positively contributing to the LLLI Board or fully supporting Board decisions, I will talk to the Executive Director and the Chair of the Board about my circumstances and explore options to serve the best interests of LLLI.

(July 03, Nov 12, Apr 17, March 20)

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  1. Bylaws, Amendments and Updates
  2. Definition and Procedures for Board-LLLI Policy
  3. Concepts/Policies
  4. Guidelines for Developing and Writing Policy Statements on Medically-Related Issues
  5. Responsibility for Policy

Bylaws, Amendments and Updates

Amendments to the Bylaws require one reading and a vote, which can occur in a single regularly scheduled Board meeting. The prescribed actions can also be separated over the course of two or more meetings.

When considering changes to the Bylaws, the Bylaws Committee, or others tasked with bylaws review, shall gather diverse opinions on the topic, including consultation with DCE leadership, LAD, Leaders, and/or authorities outside of the organization who have expertise in the area.

Proposed changes shall be shared with the Board and Leader community at least 45 days prior to a proposed Board vote for input and feedback. Leaders will be invited to share their comments with the Board and Bylaws Committee.

Legal review, where necessary, shall take place prior to any Board vote. Any legal feedback that requires changes to proposed revisions/amendments will be shared with the Bylaws Committee for review and potential reconsideration.

Amendments to the Bylaws are effective immediately upon adoption by the Board of Directors. The Bylaws will be updated on the LLLI website as soon as possible after Board Action Statements and/or Board Minutes are published for each Board session.

(Nov 88, rev Mar 15, Jan 18)

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Definition and Procedures for Board-LLLI Policy

It is an appropriate and primary responsibility of the Board of Directors to set policy. Policies focus on the issues critical to an organization and are a matter of Board concern and decision making. Policies are guides to action and are intended to result in the achievement of an organization’s mission. Policies can be broad or more definitive. Policies set limits and help to settle questions that arise as LLL decides how to conduct business. Policies maintain operational consistency. Policies usually have a long life, and their long-term applicability is considered when policies are framed. The Board will review policies periodically, rather than addressing policy revision in response to crises.

Policies are distinguished from planning activities, objectives and strategies (deployment of resources). Policies differ from operating procedures, rules and regulations. Though all of these offer guidance and specify a course of action, they differ in matter of degree. Operating procedures are commonly a series of steps to be followed. Rules also describe a specific course of action, but allow minimum flexibility. strategies, procedures and rules are rarely a matter of Board consideration.

Policies can be classified as internal or external. Internal policies are those which help members of the organization make administrative or practical decisions in daily functioning and long-range planning. External policies are made public to those outside the organization, showing the principles or recommendations of the organization. External policies may have political implications. Internal policies can be classified into these areas:

  1. Administration (managerial responsibilities, growth, strategic planning)
  2. Personnel (hiring, training, wages, work environment)
  3. Ffinance (budget planning and control, expenditure authorization and check signing, capital assets, audits)
  4. Program (planning, expansion)
  5. Marketing (product/service, pricing)
  6. Facility
  7. Public relations (internal)
  8. Legal (contracts, compliance with regulations)

External policies might include external public relations, policy statements, subject reviews, practice parameters and commentaries in LLL publications, mission and code of ethics statements.

Policy can also be classified in descending progression:

  • Major Policy (Mission, Code of Ethics)
  • Secondary Policy (Service Area, Service, Clients)
  • Functional Policy (General Management, Marketing, Finance)
  • Minor Policies (Advertising, maintenance)
  • Procedures and Standard Operation Plans (Managing Records, Handling Complaints, Travel Reimbursement)
  • Rules (Paycheck Distribution, Use of Office Equipment)

The first four (major, secondary, functional and minor policy) are subject to Board responsibility. Minor policies, procedures, standard operation plans, and rules are subject to staff responsibility. Overlapping responsibility occurs in the area of minor policy between Board and staff responsibilities.

It is appropriate for staff to make policy recommendations. The Executive Director should analyze a perceived policy need and decide if it deals with an issue which should be brought before the Board of Directors, or if it can be appropriately addressed with a procedure or rule set by management. If a matter is to go to the Board for policy consideration, the Executive Director should carry the recommendation to the Board.

The board is in control of policy-setting procedures. Policies will be comprehensive, clear, and included in the Policies and Standing Rules Notebook. Most policy implementation comes under staff responsibility. Generally, the board and staff formulate policies, board sets policies, staff implements policies, and board and staff evaluate the results.

Resource: Duca, Diane. Nonprofit Boards: A Practical Guide to Roles, Responsibilities and Performance. 1986.

(Apr 93)

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Concepts/Policies

Before a proposed concept becomes a policy, it shall appear on two Board agendas in its final form.

(Nov 78; rev Oct 89)

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Guidelines for Developing and Writing Policy Statements on Medically-Related Issues

Position statements on breastfeeding and medically related issues by LLLI or any constituent entity will be issued only when adequate professional/medical review has been obtained. Potential medical and legal liability implications will be considered. The preference will be to refer to and rely on statements of global health organizations (such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and clinical protocols of professional organizations supportive of breastfeeding, such as the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM).

The LLLI Board Chair and the ED or designated staff person will approve LLLI position development and position statements prior to release. LLL entities that issue position statements will follow a similar procedure of consultation within LLL and approval by their governing council.

(April 1993, August 2020)

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Responsibility for Policy

It is the responsibility of the LLLI Board to set policy for LLL.

LLL policies or the philosophy, as described in the ten concepts and concept explanations, and in the mission, vision, and purpose of LLL, are not changed or made without input from the DCEs as set out in the Bylaws Committee and DCE Review Panel process.

Any active Leader, LLLI professional advisor, LLLI committee, LLLI staff member, and any LLL entity may make a recommendation to the LLLI Board of Directors for a policy or philosophy revision, creation, or deletion.

Recommendations are made to the LLLI Board in writing. The LLLI Board acknowledges receipt.

Suggestions are added to the list of policies to be created and reviewed. At the next Annual Session of the Board, the list of policies is prioritized. The Bylaws chair(s) then create a schedule for the year and proceed to shepherd the policy through the consideration process.

When the policy schedule has been considered, the LLLI Board informs the person or entity making the recommendation whether that recommendation is on the Bylaws policy schedule for the coming year.

(Apr 93, rev Sept 21)

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  1. Board Elections
  2. Board Members: Term of Office
  3. Board Nominating Selection Guidelines
  4. Board Representation
  5. LLLI Board Vacancy
  6. Nomination to the Board Guidelines

Board Elections

Election Administration

Annual Board elections will be administered by the respective DCE Board Election Committees in cooperation with the LLLI Board and its Nominating Committee.

Each DCE shall devise an election that fits the needs of their Leaders per their DCE/Area Agreements and/or Bylaws, follows LLLI Bylaws, and respects the laws and regulations of government where the DCE operates.

Each DCE will establish a Board Election Committee. The purpose of this committee is to identify and determine the eligibility of potential Board candidates, work closely with the Board Nominating Committee to assure candidates will be a good fit for LLLI Board service, and conduct the election of Board members within their own.

This committee shall be constituted with five members, or a number and composition as defined by the DCE governing agreements. Anyone who wishes to be considered for the upcoming election as a Board candidate is not eligible to serve on the DCE Board Election Committee.

Voting Electorate

Each Leader has the power to cast an individual ballot within their DCE. Where local laws and regulations require otherwise, that system shall be honored and recognized for LLLI Board elections.

In DCEs where proxy voting is part of the DCE/Area Agreement and/or Bylaws, every effort shall be made to have the voting electorate be as broadly based as possible. Proxy voting is defined for LLLI purposes as an LLL entity casting a ballot on behalf of one or more Leaders.

The DCE shall decide on the voting processes that it will recognize during its election and share that information with the Board Nominating Committee no later than five months prior to the election. See current election timeline for dates.

Timing

The Board Election shall take place at least 30 days before the Annual Board Session. DCEs may elect to schedule their election at an earlier date than the 30 days requirement as long as all other Bylaws and PSR timing provisions are satisfied.

Protocol

In order to assure fair and equitable elections throughout the global organization, each DCE shall:

  1. Elections shall be conducted such that all Leaders in good standing have full access;
  2. Ensure that the election occurs via confidential ballot;
  3. Allow at least 24 hours (1 day) for a voting window, not to exceed 168 hours (7 days).

In the event a Leader cannot vote during the specified period, an absentee ballot may be requested by a written or electronic request to the DCE Board Election Committee at least one week prior to the scheduled election.

Translations

Accessibility of nomination- and election- related materials in a language easily understood by local Leaders in each entity around the world is a top priority for LLLI. Where volunteer resources are not available to translate materials in a timely manner, LLLI will identify and pay for translation services for candidate nomination materials, candidate information, election information, and ballots.

To meet language needs equitably and in a well-defined and cost-efficient manner, the DCE Board Election Committees will work with the Board Nomination Committee to identify the translations required for each annual election. No later than five months prior to the election, the members should collectively decide on what translations are necessary and identify whether volunteer or paid translation services are required. This should provide adequate time for needed translations during nomination and election processes. See current election timeline for dates.

Campaigning and Electioneering

To ensure that the electoral process is fully democratic and equitable, any effort to influence the selection process in a positive or negative manner by campaigning, canvassing, electioneering, or otherwise is prohibited, and any candidate engaging in or permitting such behavior may be withdrawn from the election upon the mutual agreement of the Board Nominating Committee and DCE Election Committee.

Validity

  1. A simple majority vote of those participating in the election shall constitute an election of a Board candidate.
  2. In order for the election to be valid, at least 10 percent of Leaders in each DCE must participate in the election and results of the election must be reported to the LLLI Board Nominating Committee within 48 hours of its conclusion. A proxy vote on behalf of an Area, Area Network, or Affiliate exceeds the 10 percent minimum requirement, as the vote represents a simple majority of represented Leaders.
  3. In the case of an election where voting is open to every Leader in the DCE, at least 10 percent of Leaders in the DCE must cast a vote. In the case of an election where voting is cast by an appointed group, the group’s own rules for passing a motion shall apply. Results shall be reported to the LLLI Board within 48 hours of the conclusion of the election.
  4. If an election fails to reach the required level of participation or the DCE Board Election Committee is unable to report the results within the 48-hour deadline, the DCE Board Election Committee shall contact the Board Nominations Committee to determine appropriate steps.

Election Tie

In the event of a tie, a second election will be scheduled no later than 14 days from the initial election, with the winner of that election becoming the Board member.

(Dec 17, Jan 18)
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Board Members: Term of Office

The Secretary of the Board shall be charged with maintaining an accurate record of each member’s date of first election and total number of terms served, enabling the Nominating Committee to notify DCE (Direct Connect Entities) representatives when a member has reached the maximum term of service and is not eligible for re-nomination. Notification to the DCE of the need to submit nominees shall be completed at least five months prior to the election, in writing, to designated DCE Board Election Committee members or other persons identified by the DCE as responsible for securing nominees. Nominations shall be received by the Chair of the Nominating Committee at least three months prior to the Annual session, as outlined in the Bylaws. See current election timeline for dates.

The primary purpose of the schedule for elections of Board members is to allow for three-year terms and ensure that all three-year terms do not begin and end in the same year. Board members serving staggered terms allows for continuity on the Board, along with opportunities for new perspectives.

Terms for Board members from DCEs will be scheduled in a three-year cycle, such that no more than a third of the DCE’s seats (rounded up to the nearest integer) will be elected each year.

Based on DCE representation and current Leader population counts, terms will commence on the following schedule:

  • In 2019 and every third year afterwards, one seat each will be open for Alliance, Canada (English), Ligue La Leche, New Zealand and USA.
  • In 2020 and every third year afterwards, one seat each will be open for Alliance, Europe, Great Britain, International and USA.
  • In 2021 and every third year afterwards, one seat each will be open for Alliance, Europe, International and USA.

All seats are elected prior to Annual Session. A replacement candidate, regardless of when elected, completes the term of the Board member they are replacing.

(Feb 96; rev Oct 00; rev Mar 06, Sep 13, Dec 17, Jan 18, March 18, May19)

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Board Nominating Committee Selection Guidelines

To be considered as a Board member for La Leche League International, a candidate must:

  1. Agree with the philosophy of La Leche League and to work within its policies.
  2. Comply with the La Leche League International Conflict of Interest Policy and declare any relationships and/or potential conflicts during the nomination period.
  3. Respect and follow the World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions in all aspects of their work within LLL and outside of LLL.
  4. Be able to work collaboratively and respectfully with fellow Board members, Leaders, Staff and other La Leche League volunteers to determine and accomplish organizational goals. Recognize that working towards consensus and encouraging healthy communication is desirable.
  5. Be willing to be an active, working member by serving on a minimum of one committee and chairing a standing or special committee, if required.
  6. Be able to attend Board sessions regularly (approximately 2-3 days plus necessary travel time, 2 or 3 times a year) and to participate in regular online Board sessions (typically monthly).
  7. Be prepared to maintain records and files of Board minutes and committee activities;
  8. Be free and willing to work between Board sessions, and willing to work to time commitments, currently around 20 hours per week.
  9. Recognize that the financial health of the organization is the responsibility of the Board. Be willing to participate in fundraising activities and support the organization financially according to one’s means.1
  10. Be willing to participate in Board orientation and continuing education
  11. If a Leader, a letter confirming good standing with the primary Area. Non-Leader: expectation of joining as member.
  12. Have significant administrative, professional, or organizational experience inside or outside of LLL beyond that of the local Group.
  13. Be able to bring the perspective of their Direct Connect Entity while maintaining a global strategic view without prejudice or judgment.
  14. Commit to ongoing communication with their Direct Connect Entity and its Leaders.
  15. Commit to ongoing, open-minded engagement with Board members from other Direct Connect Entities and, where appropriate, participate in global administrative symposiums.
  16. Understand the concept of diversity in all its forms.
  17. Be aware of the impact the presence of a Board member can have when posting on social media.2

(date unrecorded; rev Jun 84, Feb 97, Dec 17, Jan 18, Sept 18)


1. Point of information: Major donors and foundations in the United States, when deciding whether to donate, expect financial participation by all members of Board. The principle is important, not the amount donated
2. PSR Social Media: LLLI Board Member Participation in LLL Leader Social Media Spaces.

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Board Representation

La Leche League (LLL) Leaders elect the La Leche League International (LLLI) Board of Directors in order to reflect that LLL is an international, democratic organization.

Board seats are allocated for each Direct Connect Entity (DCE). The DCEs are currently

  • European Area Network
  • International Area Network
  • Ligue La Leche
  • LLL Alliance for Breastfeeding Education
  • LLL Canada 
  • LLL Great Britain
  • LLL New Zealand
  • LLL of the United States of America

Additional DCEs may be added in accordance with the DCE Rights and Responsibilities policy. 

The total number of DCE eligible seats is determined according to the LLLI Bylaws and the official annual Leader count that precedes the start of the nomination process for the election.

Founders serving on the Board do not affect the seats delegated to each DCE, nor does their service count toward the Bylaws-designated Board number minimum or maximum.

Each DCE receives at least one, and no more than three, Board seats.  

Allocation Method

LLLI Board seats are allocated by:

  1. Calculating the percentage of total Leaders in each DCE (# Leaders in DCE divided by total # Leaders x 100)
  2. Multiplying the resulting percentage of Leaders in the DCE times the greatest number of Board seats allowed by the Bylaws
  3. Allocating the resulting whole unrounded numbers as seats to each DCE, while ensuring every DCE is allocated at least one seat and no DCE is allocated more than three seats
  4. Determining whether an additional seat or seats may be available due to fractional seats
  5. Allocating any additional seats to the DCE(s) who are eligible for an additional seat without exceeding three seats. The allocation among them will be determined according to the highest fractional remainder, in descending order of the remainders
Board Seats Gained or Lost

If the annual Leader count shows that an entity’s seat allocation changes, that seat is gained or lost in the following election cycle. In the case of a seat being lost, it is the Board member closest to the end of their term who steps off.

Changing the Seat Allocation Formula

One or more DCEs or the LLLI Board Operations Committee may request that the formula for Board seat allocation be changed. The LLLI Board Operations Committee and all DCE Board Election Committees (BECs) meet to discuss and vote on recommended changes.  A simple majority vote of the DCE BECs and the LLLI Board Operations Committee, with each committee getting one vote, signifies approval of the proposed recommendation.

The Chair of the LLLI Board Operations Committee sends the recommendation to the Board.   The LLLI Bylaws Committee and the DCE Review Panel (DCE RP) review it at the same time as the Board and submit a recommendation to the Board.

The Board votes for final approval within 30 days after receiving the recommendation from the LLLI Bylaws Committee. Any changes to the proposed formula are approved no later than eight months prior to a scheduled election, so that there will be adequate time for the changes to go into effect. 

Scheduling of Terms

Terms for Board representatives are scheduled  in a three-year staggered cycle so that approximately no more than a third of the Board terms begin within one year. Terms for seats within the same DCE are also staggered. When a seat is gained, the Board Operating Committee will inform the DCE Board Election Committee whether the term is for 1, 2, or 3 years to fit with the staggering of the terms. (Refer to the current Board Cycle table.)

Reports

All Board representatives report regularly to their DCE Councils/Boards, and each Council/Board establishes a clear line of communication between the Board representative(s) and the DCE Leaders.

The Secretary of the Board maintains an accurate record of each member’s date of first election and total number of terms served, enabling the LLLI Board Operations Committee to notify DCE representatives when a member has reached the maximum term of service and is not eligible for re-election.

The Chair of the LLLI Board Operations Committee notifies the DCE, in writing, at least five months prior to the election, of the need to submit nominees to their designated DCE Board Election Committee or other persons identified by the DCE as responsible for securing nominees. 

The Board Election Committees notify the Chair of the LLLI Board Operations Committee of their nominations at least three months prior to the Annual session, and conform to the actions described in the Board Elections policy.

(Oct 92; rev Feb 97, Mar 06, Sep 13, Dec 17, Jan 18. May 2019, May 2023)

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LLLI Board Vacancy

In the event that an LLLI Board seat is vacated for any reason during a term, timely replacement is important so the organization can continue to achieve its fiscal and strategic goals.

The Board Election Committee of the DCE whose seat has been vacated may ask the LLLI Board Nominating Committee for help, if needed.

If there are at least six months left in the vacant three-year Board term, the DCE fills the vacant seat either by election or appointment. The new LLLI Board member will serve the remainder of the vacated three-year term.

If fewer than six months remain in the vacant term, the position is filled at the next election.

In the event that a DCE cannot find a candidate within their own DCE to fill their LLLI Board seat, they have the opportunity to fill that position with a person from outside LLL or from another DCE.

A majority of LLLI Board members are Leaders (see Bylaws section 3).

A Leader serving as a Board representative for a DCE has a primary or secondary connection to that DCE.

For candidates who are not Leaders within the DCE, the DCE BEC decides upon a process that provides the Leaders in that DCE with an opportunity to learn more about the candidate prior to their possible election or appointment.

The DCE establishes ongoing communication between their LLLI Board representative(s) and their Council/Board/Leaders.

(Oct 92; rev Feb 97, Mar 06, Sep 13, Dec 17, Jan 18, Feb 2023)

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Nomination to the Board Guidelines

  1. The Nominating Committee of the Board will have a close working relationship with the Board Election Committee of each DCE so as to nominate appropriate Board candidates and conduct annual elections to the LLLI Board with respect, uniformity, and commitment to the organizational mission. (The DCE Board Election Committee is described in detail in Bylaws Article VIII Election.)
  2. The Nominating Committee of the Board shall prepare a report to be reviewed by the Board and shared with the DCEs at least five months prior to the election. The report shall include: Board members with concluding terms, Board seats available by DCE, and skill sets sought for potential nominees. This report will be reviewed and reported by the Board no later than five months prior to the election and promptly shared with DCEs. See current election timeline for dates.
  3. The number of overall Board seats available shall be determined by the formula described in the Board Representation section of the PSR.
  4. The Nominating Committee of the Board will work with the DCE Board Election Committees to create a “Candidate Information Packet” for review that includes but is not limited to a request for:
    • Candidate biographical profile, which includes disclosure of any real or perceived conflicts with the WHO Code or LLLI Conflict of Interest policy
    • Candidate questionnaire
    • 2 or more letters in support of the nomination
  5. Any candidate who wishes to serve on the LLLI Board will be required to complete the Candidate Information Packet by the stated deadline. Any potential nominee who does not return the Candidate Information Packet by the deadline will be excluded from further consideration unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  6. A Leader nominated for the Board must be in good standing at the time of nomination, which will be determined by checking with the Leader’s primary Area as a source of this information. Retired Leaders, who are seeking a Board position, must have been in good standing in their primary Area when they were active Leaders. The same checks should be performed. Feedback about non-Leaders who may be interested in a Board position may also be solicited from the Area/Area Network in which they may have a relationship. A negative comment by an Area or Area Network administrator will not automatically eliminate a potential nominee, although it will be carefully considered by the Nominating Committee. BOD members who during their term remain Leaders must remain in good standing throughout the term of office or can face removal from the seat.
  7. All members of the Nominating Committee of the Board and DCE Board Election Committee will review all candidates who complete the Candidate Information Packet by deadline, utilizing a mutually agreed-upon candidate assessment tool and decision process. These assessment and decision processes need to occur so that all Board candidates are announced preferably 45 days, but absolutely no later than 30 days, prior to the scheduled election. Every effort will be made to find 2 or more candidates.
  8. A final nominations report will be issued no later than 30 days by the DCE Board Election Committee prior to the annual election to the entity’s Leaders. The report should include only candidates who have been jointly approved by the Board Nominating Committee and DCE Board Election Committees. Candidate names shall be accompanied at minimum by a statement of qualifications.
  9. Uncontested seat(s) are put to a vote by entity’s Leaders, so to give them a chance to support or not the uncontested candidate.

Only candidates approved through the nomination process set out in this policy shall be eligible for election.

(May 89, rev Mar 15, Dec 17, Jan 18, Mar 19)

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