Building on Foundation – The Future is now.
“We want the League of the future to truly reflect the strength and wisdom of its founders and embrace and envision a future where our purpose, values and mission are timely and responsive to the needs of others”
Margaret Ann Jacobs
As the League approaches 100 years, throughout its’ history adaptations have taken place when signs of the times indicated adaptation was necessary. Members are being called to do so again. Strategic planning was set in motion at the fall 2016 national executive meeting and a committee was struck with the understanding that the plan must address all levels of the League.
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Stakeholders are those who have an interest and/or benefit from being associated with the CWL, i.e., League members in general, life members, national office staff, clergy, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and national voluntary fund partners.
To date there are seven sub-committees led by the steering committee members:
1. Assessment of Current Programs and Activities
2. Best Practices of Other Organizations/Possible Future Innovations
3. Collaboration with Identified Stakeholders
4. Communications and Promotions/Marketing
5. Current Member Needs Analysis
6. Governance and Decision-Making/Review of Structure
7. Prospective Member Needs Analysis
We need to change because the world is changing. Membership is declining at an alarming rate, members are not willing to take on leadership roles, and women of today have limited time and want to make sure they are getting the most out of their investment.
There are any number of reasons for women not belonging, from not knowing about the CWL to finding the meetings uninteresting or to feeling there is little opportunity to really make a difference.
The CWL is the voice of feminine genius in Canada, advocating for justice for all and serving those in need.
A new vision for the CWL will hopefully reinvigorate the parish level and offer interesting opportunities for members to get involved. It will enable councils to flourish, grow and help members become the best they can be. Planning strategically is planning for a future that brings the best of the CWL to all women.
The end goal is to realize an envisioned future that encompasses what women are asking for and what they agree is needed. The envisioned future is “an inclusive community of Catholic women, growing in faith, strengthening the church through participation, a valued partner for social justice, a respected advocate at all government levels, connected to the world.”
The implementation phase is planned to span three to five years incrementally based on the priorities set out by members and as overseen by the national executive.
It is too early to know as this would be part of the implementation plan, but increasing dues is not a desire at this time.
You will know the plan is successful when all Catholic women want to join, when members grow spiritually and are comfortable proclaiming their faith, when members embrace their charisms and find ways to serve in the church and to society without feeling pressured or unqualified, and when the League is seen from the outside as the powerful organization it is.
Members have been consulted over the last two decades through surveys and committees, and have once again been involved through the cross country town hall session held at the annual national convention. Members are invited to share their thoughts and their feelings with the committee at any time. Presentations on planning strategically will continue to be given in the early part of 2018 where members are free to give input.
The cost to make the changes outlined in the strategic plan cannot be known until the plan is adopted. But it will cost the League more in declining membership if we do nothing!
Keep members informed. Check the website occasionally and share the progress of the committee. Invite members to participate whenever opportunities arise.
Nothing will happen until after the 2018 annual national convention when the strategic plan will be presented for adoption.
The difficulties encountered by parish councils have been identified in previous studies and surveys, and at the town hall. We are counting on the plan to address these difficulties!
The national executive, as the board of directors and governors of the League, will be entrusted to be caretakers of the plan. Any changes that affect members’ rights or the structure of the League as defined in the Constitution & Bylaws will be brought to all members for their consideration through the instructed voting process outlined in the National Manual of Policy and Procedure.
The strategic plan will be shared in the fall 2018 edition of The Canadian League for all members and through other forms of communication such as the website.
This will be up to the national executive and its implementation committee. We do hope so!
The steering committee is charged with making sure all ideas and plans are presented to the national executive who will make the final recommendations to the membership.
A thriving League is not only about membership numbers, although it is hoped a new look will attract new members.
No one will be left behind. The diversity of our membership will be considered by all committees.
Information regarding the progress that is being made will be posted here as it becomes available.
Help shape the League’s future by providing a one line answer to the following question. Questions will be updated periodically.[huge_it_forms id=”8″]
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