About Our Organization
Georgians for End of Life Options (GAELO) is a newly formed, state-wide not for profit organization. We were established in May of 2021 and are currently operating as a (501(c)(3)) under the Death with Dignity National Center (DDNC) umbrella. We plan to continue to operate under DDNC throughout 2022, with the goal of being able to name a board of directors and form as an independent not for profit organization in Georgia by 2023.
In May, 2021, we received a $5,000 Dignity50 opportunity grant which we are using to establish our organization and build out our web presence and social media platforms. The grant is our only source of funding for 2022.
Once we are independently formed as a Georgia 501(c)(3), we will begin fundraising. In the meantime while we can still accept donations, please be aware that during the time that we are operating under DDNC, any donations made to GAELO will go to DDNC.
Internal Structure and Organization:
GAELO administration is currently comprised of a steering committee, a formal advisory board, informal advisors, and an interim Executive Director. All members, advisors and our executive director serve on a volunteer basis.
The Steering Committee, with the advice and counsel of the Advisory Board, and under management of the Executive Director, is responsible for the governance of GAELO. Committee members are the decision makers and are responsible for the development and implementation of a plan of action to reach our goals and uphold our principals.
Steering Committee members meet monthly, and with the advisory board quarterly. Their agenda for this first year is: (1) to identify and elect a governing Board of Directors and Executive Director; and (2) to identify bi-partisan support for a bill to establish an End of Life Options Study Committee in the Georgia General Assembly. Members will also establish, oversee, and manage membership and activities of Subcommittees.
Once we are ready to form as a Georgia 501(c)(3), steering committee members may opt to take a position on our Board of Directors, remain on the steering committee, or take an advisory role as either a formal or informal advisor.
The Advisory Board is not a governance board and will not be required to attend regular meetings or assume responsibilities related to the day-to-day work of the organization. Advisory Board members are external advisors who act as a sounding board for the Steering Committee now, and for the Board of Directors once elected. Committee and Board Members may access Advisory Board members for a number of reasons, such as strategic thinking, expertise, or connections that may not be available by other means.
The purpose of the Advisory Board is to help GAELO’s decision-making body gain insights and advice to solve problems and explore new opportunities by stimulating critical thinking through robust, high-quality conversations. The role of the Advisory Board is not to make decisions, but to provide expertise, current knowledge, critical thinking and analysis to assist with the decision-making.
The Advisory Board’s membership will be comprised of both formal Board Members, and informal advisors. Formal Advisors are required to attend quarterly meetings with the Steering Committee and offer their advice and guidance on proposed plans and strategies. Informal advisors are not required to attend any meetings, and serve only for the purpose of assisting the Steering committee with specific guidance according to their expertise.
The Executive Director is responsible for management and direction of both the Advisory Board and the Steering Committee, and generally for all aspects of the governance of the organization. Once a Board of Directors is in place, the Executive Director will report to the Board and manage the Steering Committee.
Board of Directors
Once we are name a Board of Directors, we will move forward with the process of organizing as a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization in Georgia. As part of the Steering Committee’s agenda this year, they will be searching for those Georgians who can offer professional expertise and experience in the area of end of life decision making, and who are willing to make a commitment to serve on our Board of Directors.
The key role of the Board of Directors is to oversee fulfillment of the organization’s mission and vision. The Board will act in an advisory capacity to the Steering Committee and make governing decisions for GAELO which align with its vision and mission. The Board of Directors at minimum will include a Chair, Vice-Chair, and a Treasurer.
Board membership will be established by vote of the Steering Committee, in consultation with the Advisory Board.