SIA’s clubs are committed to providing an engaging & meaningful, mission-based experience but, we realize we are all busy women. And serving disadvantaged women and girls – locally & throughout the world – can be a tall order!
To make it easier to accomplish our organization’s goals, SIA developed a simple club roadmap with only 4 pillars…all centered around the organizations Dream Programs:
- Program: increase the club’s involvement in Live Your Dream, by increasing the number of awards given, and Dream It, Be It projects. That means give more Live Your Dream Awards and engage more club members in a Dream It, Be It Project.
- Membership: Recruit & retain members by providing a superior club experience & increasing participation in our Dream Programs. Recruitment, retention and member engagement is key to a successful club…and I would like to make a special shout out to Sylvia Harsin, whose generosity in giving us a place to have our retreat on August 26 as her “treat” is so appreciated. You can learn more about Sylvia in an upcoming blog on our website in September.
- Public Awareness: Gain greater recognition by sharing the story of your club’s impact through our Dream Programs. Facebook, Twitter, Club website, media coverage and shouting from the rooftops all work to increase public awareness.
- Fundraising: Support the global impact of our organization’s Dream Programs by contributing at least 10 percent of your club’s annual fundraising to Club Giving. Club giving gives back to our Region!
Very simply, by doing these 4 things, SIA guarantees we will be providing a superior member experience, fulfilling our mission and strengthening Soroptimist’s global brand.
Another way to look at the 4 pillars would be to call them by these names:
Impact….Engagement….Recognition….Philanthropy but regardless of how you refer to them, this is how Soroptimist Huntington Beach stacks up:
Pillar #1 – Program:
Live Your Dream:
In 2015-16, SIHB gave 2 Live Your Dream Awards at $1000 each for a total of $2000.
In 2016-17, SIHB gave 4 Live Your Dream Awards: one @$1500 and 3@1000 for a total of $4500.
In 2017-18, SIHB will give out 5 Live Your Dream Awards, one@$1500 and 4@$1000 for a total of $5500.
In addition, SIHB goes beyond the Cash Award by mentoring past honorees, inviting them to Program Meetings to update us on what they and/or their children are currently doing, inviting them to our Day of Self-Esteem (whose name will be changing to Soroptimist International Huntington Beach’s Day of Empowerment), inviting them to be on the most current Live Your Dream Committee, giving past honorees graduation gifts when they graduate, assisting with past honorees school expenses and more.
Dream It, Be It:
In 2015-16, SIHB had one participant in SI Westminster’s Dream It, Be It Program
In 2016-17, SIHB had one participant in SI Westminster’s Dream It, Be It Program
In 2017-18, thanks to the efforts of Cathy Standiford, SIHB will be joining SI Newport Harbor Area in their Dream It Be It Program plus, Cathy delivered two training workshops for all interested members from both clubs.
While SIA isn’t asking any club to give up its pet projects or its community service, it is asking and hoping that each club will put Soroptimist and the Dream Programs first, and I feel that SIHB is doing exactly that!
Pillar #2 – Membership:
SIHB has been on a growth path for the past several years. At one point, our membership was down to 28. On the 2017-18 membership roster, updated July 2017, I counted 47 members which includes 2 life members.
In 2015-16, the club added 4 members who are still with us.
In 2016-17, the club added 5 new members – one being our current recording secretary, Leslie Miller, who found us on Meetup.
In 2017-18 to date, the club has added 6 new members and our official year hasn’t even started yet! I’d say that is a BIG WOW!
And, I would have to say, the club has a pretty good retention rate, too. In fact, Ellie Nixon, who was a member who left for a few years, came back and is now our co-VP of Programs. And Phyllis Nichols, who moved to Florida is still an SIHB member-at-heart!
Pillar #3 – Public Awareness:
SIHB has been recognized by the DCR Region Public Awareness Chair more than once for our website, which creates public awareness, attracts new members and allows all members to keep up with what we are doing. Our Impact Page features our Dream Programs and will be enhanced in the months to come to further promote them.
We have also been fortunate to have media coverage at several events (Our Day of Self-Esteem and our February Awards Program, both of which highlight the women we serve and in particular, our Live Your Dream current and past honorees.)
Through our website, our Facebook page and our Twitter account, we will continue to promote the Dream Programs, increasing Public Awareness and our brand.
Pillar #4 – Fundraising:
The focus of this pillar is Club Giving. The following comes from the SIA website:
“We are incredibly PROUD of the impact our signature Dream Programs—Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women and Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls—are having throughout our organization. While our impact is impressive, in SIA’s 20 countries and territories, a reported 20 million women and girls could use our help. We already know that when women are educated and given opportunity they lift themselves up, and—ultimately—entire communities benefit. That means, if all of our nearly 1,300 clubs are working together by contributing 10% of locally raised funds to Club Giving, we WILL reach many more disadvantaged women and girls.
Focusing on our Dream Programs not only builds our collective impact, it also invites recognition from external funding sources and community partners that could grow our life-changing programs. We’re not asking you to raise more, we’re asking you to reallocate some of your funds toward these programs to create a united Soroptimist across continents, languages, and cultures. SI/Whitefish, Montana, pictured above, did a reallocation last year—and when they contributed 10% of their locally raised funds, it amounted to $20,000! We are strongly encouraging other clubs to follow the example of SI/Whitefish, and make Soroptimist YOUR CAUSE of choice. Ultimately, uniting around a common goal will benefit us ALL. SI/Whitefish gave a $20,000 contribution to Club Giving in 2016-2017. Join them in making a 10% club gift!
Dream Programs are not funded by member dues, but by contributions such as those to Club Giving. Just as member dues do not pay for our programs, contributions do not pay for administration, governance, or member service expenses.”
What does club giving mean to our region? In combination with having 100% participation in Live Your Dream, Our Region not only receives funds from SIA for our Region honoree but also for 3 of the other district honorees as well. In total, Desert Coast Region honors all 6 district honorees – 2 from each district. Currently, the Region funds 2 of them. Our region currently has 39 clubs in good standing. When our district reaches 40 or more clubs again, SIA will fund 5 of the 6 honorees – the Region honoree and 4 others and the Region will only need to fund 1 honoree.
So, what I am saying, is the money we give actually comes back to us in funds for our Region Live Your Dream honorees. And…for those newer members, SIHB has been proud to have 2 of our former honorees, Catherine Hollingshed and Janet DuBry, actually chosen as the Region honoree, 2010 and 2011, respectively.
One final note before I end my part. It has to do with increasing collective impact and our brand. I would like to read a press release from August 4, 2017:
Torrid Foundation Seeks to Help Women, Change Lives
Los Angeles, CA, August 4, 2017 —Torrid, one of the fastest growing retailers in the country announced today the launch of the Torrid Foundation which aims to raise funds in support of non-profit organizations that are dedicated to helping women. The Foundation is an extension of the company’s core values aimed at empowering women, whether by making women look and feel great every day or by bringing inclusivity to the biggest stage in fashion at NYFW: The Shows.
“At Torrid, we are dedicated to helping all women feel confident,” says Torrid CEO, Kay Hong. “But we want to do more to help support and raise awareness for women’s causes that can make a real difference.”
Torrid is raising funds for the Torrid Foundation through direct donations, rounding up both online and in-store purchases, events and possible product proceeds. One of the groups the Torrid Foundation will be supporting is Soroptimist/LiveYourDream.org, whose Live Your Dream Awards® program is dedicated to ensuring disadvantaged women have the opportunity to reach their full potential through education and training grants. For details go to Live Your Dream Awards® at LiveYourDream.org.”
Torrid designs and retails fashion apparel, lingerie, swimwear, accessories and footwear for stylish women sizes 10 to 30. Our exclusive collections inspire women to feel sexy, confident and downright irresistible. Torrid has over 500 stores across the U.S. and Canada, in addition to its online shopping destination, Torrid.com.