Frequently Asked Questions
What is NOW?
NOW stands for the National Organization for Women. NOW is dedicated to making legal, political, social and economic change in our society in order to achieve our goal, which is to eliminate sexism and end all oppression.
NOW strives to:
o eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society;
o secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women;
o end all forms of violence against women;
o promote equality and justice in our society.
NOW achieves its goals through direct mass actions (including marches, rallies, pickets, counter-demonstrations, non-violent civil disobedience) intensive lobbying, grassroots political organizing and litigation (including class-action lawsuits.)
NOW was established on June 30, 1966 in Washington, D.C., by people attending the Third National Conference of the Commission on the Status of Women. Among NOW’s 28 founders was its first president, Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique (1963). Another founder, the late Rev. Pauli Murray, the first African-American woman Episcopal priest, co-authored NOW’s original Statement of Purpose which begins:
The purpose of NOW is to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men.
How many members does NOW currently have?
NOW is the largest feminist organization in the nation, with more than 500,000 contributing members. NOW has more than 500 local and campus affiliates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These affiliates include chapters and Campus Action Networks.
NOW’s official priorities are pressing for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will guarantee equal rights for women; achieving economic equality for women; championing abortion rights, reproductive freedom and other women’s health issues; supporting civil rights for all and opposing racism; opposing bigotry against lesbians and gays; and ending violence against women.
No, NOW is a non-profit organization that receives all its operating funds from private donations and membership dues.
No, NOW is a non-partisan organization. Candidates of all political parties are eligible for endorsement by NOW/PAC and by state and local NOW Political Action Committee.
What is NOW/PAC?
NOW’s Political Action Committee, or NOW/PAC, supports candidates in federal elections (for Congress and the Presidency.) You must be a member of NOW to contribute to NOW/PAC. NOW/PAC is the only part of the national organization that can endorse federal political candidates.
NOW Equality PAC (NEP) supports candidates for state, county and city offices, from governors to school board members. Many state and local NOW chapters have political action committees which can endorse candidates for governor, the state legislature, and local offices.
The membership, meeting yearly in Conference, is the supreme governing body of NOW. NOW draws its broad grassroots strength from a nationwide network of local chapters, which are chartered by national NOW and which engage in a wide variety of action programs in their communities.
State organizations serve to develop chapters, coordinate statewide activities and provide resources to the chapters.
There are nine regions that, in Conference, elect members to the National Board of Directors, the body which governs the organization between national conferences.
The national level of the organization is led by four elected national officers, by the national Board of Directors, and by national issues committees. These national leaders are responsible for implementing policy as formulated by the annual National Conference, for coordinating national actions, and for providing membership services.
Current membership fees are as follows:
Regular Dues: $40 covers national, state, and local dues.
Reduced Dues: A sliding scale is available from $15 to $39 (for any reason)
If you are interested in joining and feel that you are not able to cover the $40.00 yearly membership fee, please contact us. We will be happy to work with you to ensure that participating in NOW GR is affordable and accessible for everyone: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2-Year Membership: $65 ($75 in states listed above)
3-Year Membership: $95 ($110 in states listed above)
Lifetime Membership: $1,000
Included in your NOW membership are:
· Membership at local, state, and national levels
· Access to local NOW chapter activities
· A subscription to the National NOW Times (NNT), mailed four times a year
· Any information or national alerts from NOW
· E-mail action alert network (by request)
You can join online!
You can order NOW products through our online catalog or calling 1-800-507-7007 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday. Credit card orders may be faxed to (202) 785-8576. All proceeds benefit action programs of NOW.
How can I contact NOW?
NOW of Greater Grand Rapids
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6633, Grand Rapids, MI 49516
Email Address: email@example.com
Web Address: http://www.nowgr.org
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 860, East Lansing, MI 48826
Phone Number: 517-485-9687
Web Address: www.michnow.org
National Organization of Women