Live Your Dream.org Logo
 

Translate this site:   日本語    한국어    Portuguese    Español    中国

   
Loading

An international volunteer organization working to improve the lives
of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world.

WHO WE ARE     OUR IMPACT    NEWS & MEDIA     GET INVOLVED     CONTACT US Twitter facebook YouTubeTwitter YouTubeTwitter 

MembersDonateFocus on Women BlogLive Your Dream

  Home : Transformation: A View from Spruce Street

Transformation: A View from Spruce Street

Elizabeth Lucas
Elizabeth Lucas, CEO and Executive Director

We are fortunate to be Soroptimists. It gives us the opportunity to have two new starts to our year—the “club” year and of course the “new” year.  A new year is like a fresh start, a new beginning and a chance to welcome change into our lives.  Change keeps us fresh, evolving, alive!

Are you ready to make the change we want to see with Soroptimist … to increase the organization’s collective impact on the women and girls we aim to serve?

Part of assessing our impact is making sure there is greater clarity in the organization—that we are aligning our intentions with our vision and mission. In so doing, the federation Board reviewed our vision, mission, core values and strategic outcomes. Your Board realized our vision and mission should be about what we do and why, and not who we are. This led to the board fine-tuning the federation’s direction. While not very different, it’s a change in mind-set to move from who we are to making our focus completely about what we do. Here’s what that looks like.

Our Fine-tuned Vision Statement
A vision statement describes what an organization wants to be, or how it wants the world in which it operates to be. It is a long-term view and focuses on the future. 

Our previous vision statement from the 2012-2013 Strategic Plan, “Be the leading international organization of business and professional women united through volunteer efforts to enable women and girls to live their dreams, take control of their lives, and live according to their own values,” was mostly about who we are, and less about how we want the world to be. We want the world to be a place where women and girls will be able to realize their dreams.

The board developed a vision statement they believe encompasses everything Soroptimists want the future to be regarding women and girls: “Women and girls have the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and live their dreams.”  It’s precise, sensitive, and tells what our organization wants to see for the future of women and girls.

Our Fine-tuned Mission Statement
A mission statement defines the fundamental purpose of an organization, succinctly describing why it exists and what it does to achieve its vision.

Our previous mission statement from the 2012-2013 Strategic Plan, “To improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world,” did not really give a definitive answer to what we do to help women and girls have the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and live their dreams. I know when I have quoted our mission statement, I’m usually asked, “That’s wonderful that you work to improve their lives, but how and what do you do to improve their lives?” 

It became clear to the Board that SIA must transform itself from being about who we are and what we do to what we do and how we will achieve it. That is, we need to focus on what and how will get us there, and not on ourselves.  That is why the board included the “how” we work to improve the lives of women and girls and kept “what” the outcome would be.

Our fine-tuned mission statement is, “Soroptimist improves the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.” It states exactly what all of our clubs want to do—improve the lives of women and girls; how we do it—through programs; and what results we want—social and economic empowerment! And, it’s easy to remember!

Our Core Values and Strategic Outcomes
An organization’s core values are the beliefs shared among the members. Values drive an organization's culture and priorities, and provide a framework in which decisions are made. Our previous core values from the 2012-2013 Strategic Plan were:
Soroptimist International of the Americas is committed to:

  • the belief that all women deserve to lead full and productive lives
  • women working together to help other women
  • international diversity and fellowship.

Here again, the board reviewed our core values and felt there were several concepts that should be included:

  • GIRLS: We are an organization that focuses its support on women and girls and yet our first two core values do not reflect that; it reflects women only.
  • EDUCATION: U.N. and other research points to quality education as the key to women and girls leading full and productive lives.  While the U.N. can have a multitude of challenges it works to address, Soroptimist does not have the resources to support that type of diverse work. This is why we have agreed to support SI’s 10-year theme, Educate to Lead.  Further, SIA’s cornerstone program, the Women’s Opportunity Awards, demonstrates our impact by investing in women’s empowerment through education.
  • GENDER EQUALITY: The right of women and girls to live free from discrimination.
  • EMPOWERMENT: To increase the freedom of women and girls to act in their own best interest.

Taking these concepts into consideration, the board discussed and came to agreement that our core values should reflect these concepts. Effective September 1, 2013 our core values are:

Soroptimist International of the Americas is committed to:

  • GENDER EQUALITY: Women and girls live free from discrimination.
      • EMPOWERMENT: Women and girls are free to act in their own best interest.
      • EDUCATION: Women and girls deserve to lead full and productive lives through access to education.
  • DIVERSITY & FELLOWSHIP: Women from varied backgrounds and perspectives work together to improve the lives of women and girls.

Lastly, the board voted to add one additional strategic outcome or goal in our strategic plan:

  • Philanthropy: Members and supporters of SIA will financially support federation programs.

Without the financial support of our member and donors, we cannot fulfill our mission. A “culture of philanthropy,” where leaders, members and staff embrace SIA as their cause of choice, must exist if our organization is to sustain itself.  

This additional strategic outcome joins three others:

  • IMPACT: All levels of SIA will collectively provide a sustainable impact on the lives of women and girls.
  • ENGAGEMENT: Members and supporters will find value through engagement with the SIA mission.
  • RECOGNITION: SIA is recognized for its efforts to improve the lives of women and girls.

And now…
PHILANTHROPY: Members and supporters of SIA will financially support federation programs.

The full, translated strategic plan document can be downloaded at: http://www.soroptimist.org/members/fedinfo/fed_info.html

I learned an African proverb recently, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  I believe we want to go far ... and if that’s true, then, as this proverb says, we are better doing it together.  

Together is what we need to Shape our Future through Increased Collective Impact. That means working together to make a measurable difference in the lives of women and girls—a bigger difference than one club can make.

We also want to make a bigger difference for Soroptimist by combining our efforts and letting the world know what we accomplish when we work together.

Let’s make the change we want to see by:

  • Increasing the number of people involved with our mission
  • Participating in the Women’s Opportunity Awards program so we increase our reach, demonstrate we work together ,and collectively measure the impact we have
  • Designating SIA as your club’s cause of choice rather than another organization.

Here’s to new beginnings … together. Happy new year!


 
     

 

Twitter facebook YouTubeTwitter YouTubeTwitter Bookmark and Share
       
Soroptimist Logo   Home   |   Privacy Policy   |   Disclaimer
Copyright © 2012 Soroptimist International of the Americas. All rights reserved.