Leadership Advancement Plan
Rotating Presiding Officers
The GFWC Salem Woman’s Service Club (OR) involves each of their members in club leadership. While there is one club president for official purposes, the task of serving as presiding officer rotates each month. The month’s presiding officer is involved in planning the meeting, sending out notices, preparing the agenda, and then presiding at the meeting. Each member gains skills and feels she can handle leading “just one meeting,” which provides great mentoring opportunities.
Leadership Team Training
GFWC Tampa Woman’s Club (FL) taught newly installed leaders protocol and parliamentary procedure, courtesies relating to emails, policies and procedures, and familiarity with club Bylaws and Standing Rules. The new team set goals and reviewed what has worked and what has not. In addition, new officers created a strategic plan and a succession plan with roadmap, timeline, and leadership development opportunities with prospective club president candidates to help them prepare for the role of president.
Past Presidents Committee
GFWC of Holden Beach (NC) values the experience, knowledge, and passion of members who have served as club president or State President. They created a Past Presidents Committee, which provides leadership ideas to the club and works with and supports the current club leadership. They make personal phone calls to club members and also help coordinate the State President’s special project efforts in their own club.
GFWC Atlanta Woman’s Club (GA) invests in the training of its future leaders through a 10-month Leadership Academy providing structured training in diversity, time management, board position training, GFWC history, and more. Graduates are more deeply invested in the club and encouraged to join other local nonprofit boards, spreading the word about the club and building their own career and networking opportunities. The first class will graduate in 2021!
The Palos Park Woman’s Club (IL) restructured their club activities during the pandemic and formed six Project PODS within their club of 10 to 15 members each, who live close to each other. A leader in each pod coordinated group efforts, led communication, and volunteered her home as the base for donations. The PODS picked fun names and competed with each other in donation collections. New leaders emerged and the PODS helped members feel connected.
Focused Leadership Development
The Diamond Bar Woman’s Club (CA) intentionally focused on leadership development in 2020. Several board members read Good to Great and Difficult Conversations and taught the principles and strategies in meetings, especially the conflict resolution techniques. They developed and began to implement multiyear plans for intentional leadership development and other goals, and each Executive Board member created a procedures notebook for her successor and then mentored her in the new position.
GFWC Legacy Woman’s Club (AL) built greater member buy-in and participation and encouraged leadership skills by conducting a club-wide planning meeting for the year. Proposed activities, categorized as local, short-term, long-term, GFWC Alabama, and GFWC projects, as well as guest speakers, were researched and presented to the whole membership. Members voted on the options in each category to determine the club’s plans and schedule for the year. Clubwomen involved in decision making become active participants.
Past President Leadership
The GFWC Taunton and Raynham Juniors (MA) resolved a president vacancy by asking past presidents to run monthly meetings. Each past president showcased her own style and strengths, demonstrating to the members the value of diversity and unique expertise. They also honored their last active founding member of the club, now 95, as the club celebrated their 70th anniversary.
The Junior Woman’s Club of Jefferson Township (NJ) took advantage of COVID-19 pandemic conditions to gradually introduce technology that helped the club continue to function smoothly and enabled members working full time and raising children to stay engaged. Once Zoom was taught and mastered, file sharing through Dropbox was introduced. SignUpGenius and Evite were then introduced. Phone calls were also used to check in with members. Prioritizing communication and education kept the club successful.
Team Approach to Leadership
Chalets GFWC (CO) has developed a team approach to leadership in their club. Members are divided into two teams, each responsible for speakers, projects, and activities at specified club meetings. One team is responsible for organizing and hosting the annual Christmas Party, and the other team handles the Spring Banquet. The team concept gives club members more opportunities to learn leadership skills and teamwork in a smaller group, and prevents individuals from becoming overwhelmed.
As a single mother of two boys requiring emergency medical care in the past, GFWC Oconomowoc Junior Woman’s Club member Elizabeth Davy was determined to work with her club and Emergency Medical Services for Children to fund pediatric jump kit bags for Wisconsin EMS departments.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
Junior Woman's Club of State College
When Robbin Zirkle moved back to the area after grad school, she addressed the challenge many people face as adults—making new friends— by joining the Junior Woman’s Club of State College (Pennsylvania). GFWC provided her a place to connect with like-minded women who shared her passion for community service.