Response from UUA Secretary Re: Sponsored Organisations

Thank you for your inquiry and I’m sorry for the delay in replying to
you. The Board did not discuss your letter at its April meeting and will
not meet again until the days before GA, but I can try to provide you with
some information on your questions.

The Board votes to make YRUU and later CUUYAN “sponsored organizations”
were made years ago. When those decisions were made, it does not appear
that any definition of “sponsored organization” was created. Since then,
we’ve noted that lack of clarity but have never put together a detailed
policy on what exactly “sponsorship” means, criteria for that status,
relationship to the UUA, etc.

The best description I can give you is from June 2005, when we passed a set
of policies outlining the relationships of UU organizations to the
UUA. That text includes a passage on sponsored organizations that I’ve
pasted below:

Sponsored Organizations

  • There are currently two Sponsored Organizations: YRUU and CUUYAN.
  • Sponsored organizations are organizations with distinct identities
    functioning as programs of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and
    operating within the Association’s corporate structure, identity, budget,
    and 501(c)(3) status. A sponsored organization serves an
    extra-congregational constituency, offering interpretation, advocacy and
    programming for members of that constituency and for congregations wishing
    to serve and engage that constituency.
  • A sponsored organization may operate with its own governance structure,
    bylaws, staff, board, budget, and programs, as negotiated with the
    Association’s Board and administration.
  • Sponsored organizations have a covenantal relationship of accountability
    to the Association. This relationship may be embodied and implemented
    through a staff position related to the sponsored organization, but
    operating as part of a UUA staff group.
  • Recommendation to the Planning Committee: two workshop/program slots plus
    caucus space at General Assembly as is currently the case.
  • The Administration will provide a web link to these organizations.
  • The Administration will continue to list these organizations in the UUA
    Directory along with a description of them and contact information.

This passage provides some helpful information, but a more detailed policy
is probably needed to fully clarify the murky waters that you mention. The
Board would be very open to further discussion with representatives of YRUU
and CUUYAN on this.

In faith,
Paul Rickter, UUA Secretary


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