A grove is a group of Druids in one location with a common interest coming together to practice Druidry. A grove should have a clearly stated goal. However, that goal can be as simple as “coming together to honor the seasons” or as specific as “practicing Celtic Druidry as presented by So-and-so.” A grove can be focused on a particular aspect or flavor of Druidry or it can be communal where everyone shares their own particular interpretation of Druidry and everyone learns from one another. Of course, all groves must abide by the DONA Constitution and Bylaws. To that end, the following recommendations are being made:
1. Although a grove may be specialized to a particular ideal or tradition of Druidry, no one should be turned away due to differing beliefs or practices if they want to participate in the grove or grove activities.
2. The grove should have a designated leader or sponsor. Any other administrative positions should be created as needed by the leader.
3. The grove should, at least, have some recognition of the solstices and equinoxes.
4. The grove should foster the tenets of DONA. There are three classifications of groves. Grove is classified based on the number of DONA members in the grove. A seed grove has at least one member, the sponsor, who is also a member of DONA. He or she is able to start the work of building membership and planning events around the basic grove theme. When the grove reaches five DONA members it becomes a sapling grove. A sapling grove should be in the process of solidifying its objectives and principles. Finally, when a grove reaches seven or more DONA members it may become a full DONA grove. Of course, a grove may have members who are not members of DONA, but they do not count toward the status of the grove. The decision to allow non-DONA members to join the grove, or not, is left up to the grove sponsor and leadership. A DONA grove may do fundraising in DONA’s name. Any funds raised under DONA’s name are sent to DONA to comply with the Order’s non-profit status. A small portion (10% suggested) is kept by the Order for administrative processing and support, and the remainder is turned over to the grove. A DONA grove should have a clear mission statement, objective and principles, bylaws and, if the grove is going to be doing fundraising, what the funds will be used for. These should include the intention or tradition of the grove as appropriate and disclosure of any member duties or dues.
Donations are done through the DONA non-profit status. The process for accepting donations for the grove must be clearly stated when the fundraising is done. For example: “Want to donate to XYZ Grove? You can donate through our parent organization, Druid Order of North America at (web address). When you donate to DONA, 90% of your donation goes to XYZ Grove. The remaining 10% goes to support DONA and its other affiliate groves.” Where the funds are going MUST be clearly stated.
A grove is free to make money for its expenses through dues fundraising and the like. These monies are the property of the grove itself. It is advised that the grove keep track of its finances in detail and, if funds raised are enough, follow the proper business and tax procedures. Groves do not fall under DONA’s non-profit, 501(c)(3) status, or tax-exempt business status. If the grove would like to be able to have such a status it should seek such status through the proper government agencies. Many groves that do fundraising will make quarterly or yearly donations to DONA.
A grove shall make regular quarterly reports to DONA pertaining to activities, community service, membership, and financial reports. A quarterly report of how raised finances are spent is mandatory if the grove wishes to fundraise through DONA. These reports should be turned in to the state Regent. If there is no Regent for the state, the reports shall be turned in to the Membership Director.
Grove Application Process
Any member in good standing can apply to form a grove. The member will be given authorization as a seed grove. To be recognized as a sapling grove, the grove must submit the membership records showing at least five DONA members have joined. To be recognized as a full grove, the membership records showing at least seven DONA members, the mission statement, objective and principles, bylaws, and if the grove is going to be doing fundraising, what the funds will be used for must be submitted. This information shall be submitted to the appropriate Regent who will bring it to the Membership Director. If there is no Regent for the state, the application and reports shall be submitted to the Membership Director.