Our Organizations Vision, Mission, Core Values and Strategic Outcomes Authored by: Karen Haughey, SIA Board Member, 2012-2014 August 28, 2013 At the November 2012 Federation Board meeting, the SIA Board of Directors met and discussed a number of external events that are changing the way we approach our mission. One key point emerged from the discussionSIAs vision and mission should be about what we do and why, and not who we are. To help reevaluate if SIAs vision and mission were clear and relevant, the Board worked through a group exercise. First they explored the world SIA envisions. Then they discussed what we want SIA to achieve and how we want SIA to achieve it. Thats when the fine-tuned vision and mission statements surfaced. The statements, core values and strategic outcomes were reviewed at the March 2013 Board Meeting. Staff was directed to use them in their 2013-2014 planning. In June they were formally adopted and became effective September 1, 2013, along with our plan and budget to support them. The board feels this fine-tuning will better focus the direction of the organization. Our Fine-tuned Vision Statement A vision statement outlines 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. You can see from 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, it was mostly about who WE are, not 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. Its precise 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 enabling them to take control of their lives and live their dreams, did not really give a definitive answer to what we do to improve the lives of women and girls. I know that many times when I have quoted our mission statement, Im usually asked, Thats wonderful that you work to improve their lives, but how and what do you do to improve their lives? At the November 2012 Federation Board Meeting, the board worked through a group exercise to better define our mission statement. It became clear SIA is transforming itself from being about WHO we are to WHAT we do AND HOW successful we are at achieving it. Focusing on our mission is what will get us there, not by focusing on ourselves. To better define our mission statement, the board wanted to make sure we included the how we work to improve the lives of women and girls and what the outcome would be based on all the programs our clubs support.
Our new 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, its easy to remember! Our Core Values and Strategic Outcomes An organizations core values are the beliefs that are shared among the members of an organization. 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
At the March 2013 Federation Board Meeting, the board reviewed our core values and felt there were a couple of concepts that should be included: GIRLS: We are an organization that focuses their support on women and girls and yet our first two core values
do not reflect that; it reflects women only. EDUCATION: U. N. research as well as 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 areas it works to address, Soroptimist does not have the resources to support that diverse work. This is why we have agreed to support SIs ten year theme, Educate to Lead. Further, SIAs cornerstone program, Womens Opportunity Award, demonstrates our impact by investing in womens 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 our core values should reflect these concepts. This led to the following core values being adopted, effective September 1, 2013:
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, to address mission-centered philanthropy: 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 philanthropy 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.