Do our activities and partnerships support our mission and meet our intended target group? Our time, energy and resources are finite – are we making best use of them?
The Soroptimist mission is to “transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities” so that we can achieve our vision of …
Women and girls will achieve their individual and collective potential, realize aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities worldwide.
So how do we do this?
We often work in partnership with other like minded organisations. Our statements that are presented to UN meetings are supported and co-signed by other groups: this makes our statement stronger.
Partner with men: One Federation has male members. I liked the philosophy one of these men had – he said that if we are focused on women only then we are “singing to the choir”. Our message needs to reach men too – because women’s rights are human rights; and gender equality will be better reached when we work with men to achieve it.
Are we focusing on the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff – why not turn our focus to the ambulance at the top of the cliff and bring about change to prevent the need for an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff?
Working with men as partners is a good step forward. Many of our Soroptimist clubs are already doing this – working with White Ribbon, a men’s group concerned with gender based violence.
The same principle could apply to those wanting to increase membership. We often ask those attending our meetings why we joined – in the hope that we will find ways to get more to join. There is value in doing this.
Another, additional, way is to find out from our target membership group what would attract them to join. Talk to our potential members and find out what they want. They may not be represented in our meetings for reasons we need to learn.
Singing to the choir can be fun. But singing with the choir makes a stronger voice. Embracing partnerships and new ideas, and new people makes the Soroptimist choir even stronger.