Why Do We Have a Strategic Plan?
June 13, 2017
By GFWC President-elect Mary Ellen Brock
GFWC’s Strategic Plan contains our Mission Statement, our fundamental reason for existence and the scope of our activities; our Vision Statement, an inspirational description of what we would like to achieve in the future; our Core Values, the basic elements of how we go about our work; and the particulars of the plan. GFWC’s Strategic Plan helps build consensus and clarity of GFWC’s mission, values and goals.
What is a Strategic Plan? Let’s say I asked you to go outside right now, get into a car that’s waiting there, turn it on and drive away. You may, and rightly so, be puzzled by this, and ask “Where am I going and how do I get there?” You would want a map with your destination and directions. A Strategic Plan is just that—a map for an organization. It identifies destinations or goals and outlines directions or strategies to reach them. If I handed you such a map, you would be able to know where you’re going and how to get there.
GFWC’s Strategic Plan charts a course of action for GFWC by focusing on the future and providing an opportunity to influence that future. The Strategic Planning Committee developed the current GFWC Strategic Plan and the Board of Directors adopted it in June 2016.
Within the next week, I want you to become familiar with GFWC’s Strategic Plan. It is available on the website. Click Resources, scroll down and click on “Strategic Plan.” Download it! Read it!
The Strategic Plan identifies six major issues facing GFWC. We remember it as two Ms, two Ps, an L and an F. Or, try this method: “Many More People Prefer Live Flowers.” Commit it to memory and you will always remember our issues.
Two Ms, two Ps, an L and an F. Two Ms stand for Membership and Management. Two Ps refer to Public Awareness and Programs. L stands for Leadership. And F represents Financial Stability. Membership, Management, Public Awareness, Programs, Leadership and Financial Stability.
Let’s look at these in more detail.
Our goal is to increase GFWC membership. One of the strategies is to reinforce the concept that membership is everyone’s responsibility. For example, a club or state could provide monetary incentive to a member for bringing in a new .
Good management leads to a well-governed and well-run organization. We want to provide ongoing education and information to ensure fulfillment of Board responsibilities. In this instance, a Club or State might hold a meeting for incoming and outgoing officers and board members to exchange files, ideas and job descriptions.
Public Awareness is recognized universally as GFWC’s key strategies. This may mean using approved GFWC emblem and/or logos on shirts or other items.
Programs, both Special and Community Service Programs, measure the value and impact of Club activities on the community. A yearly evaluation procedure for each program/project recognizes what is and is not working. End programs or projects that don’t show results.
Leadership comes from educating and fostering GFWC leaders. To this end, a Club or State could provide “Parliamentary Pointers” in its newsletters or at its meeting.
All GFWC Clubs aim to assure the organization’s Financial Stability goal. For example, celebrating the 1922 purchase of 1734 N Street, GFWC Headquarters, through donations to the Capital Campaign-Campaign for the Future is a means to that end. A Club/ State might celebrate by having a cake with members purchasing a candle with the proceeds going to the Campaign for the Future.
It is very easy for your club or state to implement a part of the Strategic Plan in your ongoing or planned events, and we are here to help and advise you along the way.
There is one more very important letter: U. You are a vital component, necessary for the success and fulfillment of GFWC goals. Every GFWC Club member is vital to reaching the destinations and accomplishing the goals.
We are all on the road to success together. I need you to take the drive, but don’t drive alone; carpool with your Club, district, region and state to reach the destinations and accomplish the goals together.
Your GFWC Core Value Implementation Toolkit: ‘Putting the Strategic Plan into Action, Step by Step’ is available on the GFWC website to help you start or fine tune your projects. And of course GFWC also offers roadside assistance. Just call GFWC and one of the volunteer or staff mechanics will answer your questions and help you get back on the road.
In ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ the Cheshire cat tells Alice, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” To that we say, read the GFWC Strategic Plan so you know exactly where we are all headed.
So now it’s time to start your engines! See you at the finish line!.
An eight-year Air Force veteran, Penny has been a GFWC member since 2008, and is currently serving as the club president of GFWC Helena Woman’s Club (Montana).
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