Miss a meeting, miss a lot! Go virtual

There are a lot of reasons to check out Dining for Women virtually. You might be out of town on business and miss your regular chapter meeting. You might not have a local chapter but still want to be part of the organization. Or you may just want to see what we’re all about. Find out more about how to get connected with DFW virtually.

By Ruth Bates
Virtual Chapter Leader

When I introduce myself and tell people I run the “Virtual Chapter” for Dining for Women, mostly I just get a blank stare or a nod.  And then someone says, “What IS the Virtual Chapter?”  So here are some things you might like to know.

The Virtual Chapter is an online and on-demand way to stay connected with Dining for Women’s activities if you want the benefits of membership but there is no chapter near you, if you are unable to attend your regular meeting or if you are just interested in checking us out. We meet monthly online using an online meeting service. You need no account, no technical acumen and no special hardware.

The Virtual Chapter started in early 2012 to meet the needs of members who couldn’t get connected to a convenient local chapter. Over the past two years, we’ve also realized that this is a great way for busy members who may miss their meetings in any month to attend, either live when the is initially presented, or on-demand matching their own schedule. You can choose to participate in your own way and that can change each month with your schedule.

So how do you connect to a Virtual Chapter Meeting? Using an online meeting service called Fuze, you can connect from your computer, tablet or smartphone. All operating systems work with Fuze including Macs, PCs, and Android and iOS-based mobile devices, which utilize a downloadable Fuze app. After the meeting is over, you can watch a recording via a published link – which will be shared on the Dining for Women website and on social media.

The Virtual Chapter meetings last about 45 minutes.  We take a few moments in the beginning to introduce ourselves. And we will discuss Dining for Women news and special projects, trips, campaigns and news. Then we talk about the featured program – where it is located, a little bit about the background of the issues, a summary of the program, and we watch the featured program video.  If there’s a Sustained Program we usually discuss that also.  We also try to leave time for Q&A when possible. Finally, we show you how to make your donation online (the preferred method).

How can you get more information on the Virtual Chapter meeting schedule?  If you are a Facebook user,  “like” our Virtual Chapter Facebook page. We post our meeting “evites”, instructions for connecting to the meeting, and the link to our recorded meetings there. We’re posting on other social media too, including Twitter (@dineforwomen), Instagram, and Pinterest.  You can also email me  to get added to our invitation list or if you have any questions.  I will be happy to help you in any way.

There are any number of reasons why the Virtual Chapter might be an alternative for you — as a regular way of participating in the important work Dining for Women does, or as an occasional way to catch up on a meeting you had to miss. Whatever your reasons, we’d love to have you attend and look forward to seeing you “virtually” soon!