Governor’s Report

Presented by Governor Jennifer Reeves

Presented by Jennifer Reeves, SCR Governor 2018-2020

Please follow this script as you go through the presentation.

Better Together: Building Strong Relationships for Organizational Success

Slide #1 Welcome

Good afternoon! Today I am going to talk about

  • how contributions fund our global Dream Programs
  • the relationship between the Fundraising Council and Region Fundraising Chairs
  • the role of corporate and foundation philanthropy
  • and our Centennial Campaign celebrating SIA’s 100th anniversary

Slide #2 20,000,000 Women & Girls

Within our 21 countries and territories, there are 20 million women and girls who stand to benefit from our Dream Programs. As Soroptimist members, we want to help them live their dreams and reach their full potential. 

In order for our programs to grow, we must focus on building meaningful relationships with donors. Sharing impactful stories that align with a donor’s passion is a primary way to let them know how their contributions are making a difference in the lives of women and girls around the world. This is important because it:

  • builds trust
  • embraces stewardship
  • provides knowledge
  • and creates engagement

However, we need the support from our clubs, members, staff, Board of Directors, and SIA leaders including Governors, the Fund Development Council, Region Fundraising Chairs & Donor Relations Task Force to increase the number of women and girls we reach through our Dream Programs.

Slide #3 What is “relationship fundraising?”

Relationship fundraising is also called donor care, or supporter loyalty. Building relationships is not optional in fundraising; it is inherent in the definition of what fundraising is.

To create a culture of philanthropy with those who are able to make ongoing transformational gifts begins with relationship building. Relationship fundraising is more effective than transactional fundraising because you are building lasting interpersonal relationships by sharing impactful stories of how their gifts make a difference. Transactions bring in important single gifts today, however, the sustainability of SIA relies on relationship fundraising.

Slide #4 How Contributions Are Used

When building relationships with members or potential donors, they want to know how their contributions are used and the impact of their gift.

Membership dues pay for member services, governance, and administration to support our more than 1,200 clubs and 30,000 members across 21 countries and territories; Annual contributions support our Dream Programs and fundraising expenses.

Slide #5 Funding Our Dream Programs

In FY17/18, contributions from individuals, clubs, and corporate donors only cover 83% of the total cost of our programs and fundraising efforts. Our goal is for contributions to cover 100% of our program and fund development costs by 2021.

  • 4% of our members financially supported the extraordinary impact our programs have on the women and girls we help. In FY17/18 individuals contributed $1.1M. Could you imagine if 8% of our members contributed in FY19/20? Together we would have twice the impact!
  • Club Giving helps make our global Dream programs possible. 80% of clubs participated in Club Giving – this means we have the opportunity to build relationships with the remaining 20% to increase our collective impact.

We need to work together to increase the number of donors —individuals, clubs, corporations and foundations—in order to expand our global Dream programs. With every dollar raised, our clubs have the ability to improve the lives of women and girls in the local community, AND around the world.

But how do we increase our funds and grow our global Dream Programs? By educating members, building relationships and through our work with SIA leadership. Next, I am going to explain the relationship between the Fund Development Council and Region Fundraising Chairs who are both responsible for increasing engagement with our clubs and members.

Slide #6 Soroptimist Volunteer Efforts

The Fund Development Council works directly with region governors and region fundraising chairs to increase contributions to Club Giving and Individual Giving.

The Region Fundraising Chairs work directly with clubs and members to increase awareness about how contributions are used to support SIA Dream Programs. In the coming months, SIA staff will be working with you to ensure you have the information you need to make your region fundraising chair selections for the upcoming biennium.

During the 2019-2020 recognition period, we will be working closely with the Fund Development Council and Region Fundraising Chairs to promote our new Club Giving benefits. This year we are encouraging clubs to give at least 10% OR to increase their gift over last year by at least 10%. I’ve included our 2019-2020 Club Giving Benefits for additional information.

The work that our volunteers do in their local community is truly life changing. In addition to local efforts, we need to build strong relationships, not only with members, but also with potential corporate and foundation partners.

Slide #7 Corporate and Foundation Philanthropy

Over the last few years, we significantly changed our corporate and foundation strategy, shifting from transactional, sponsorship-based solicitations to philanthropic relationships.

Here are some key takeaways:

• It takes time to build relationships with corporate and foundation funders.

• It is important to have SIA leadership in the field making connections and developing relationships for funding, especially for international relationships.

• Shifting to philanthropic relationships has resulted in stronger engagement between SIA and corporate partners.

As part of our overall Annual Giving strategy, which includes Individual Giving, Club Giving and Corporate and Foundation Philanthropy, we are focused on cultivating and building solid relationships.

While Annual Giving drives our day-to-day operations, we are also actively working to raise funds for future sustainability. How can we help more women and girls through the Live Your Dream Awards and Dream It, Be It programs? We need to build our organizations capacity.

Slide #8 Your Role in Relationship Building

We will need the support of the entire fund development team from the Board of Directors, Governors, region leaders and chairs to build relationships and identify members who either are prospects themselves, or can introduce us to funders. How can you help?

  • Be a Champion for our Dream Programs
  • Invite others to Engage
    • Introduce one person to staff who has the capacity to make a major gift of $5,000 or more
    • Connect us with decision makers at corporations and foundations that align with Soroptimist’s mission
  • Invest with a personal commitment

Slide #9 Teamwork

Everyone in the organization has a shared responsibility for building relationships with those able to invest in SIA’s mission. Whether you are an ambassador, connector, cultivator, solicitor, or steward – a culture of philanthropy brings all of us together to work towards one common goal: to increase our capacity to reach more women and girls.

Relationship building means understanding our donors values, and how supporting our global Dream Programs fulfills their passion and interests which creates a bond between a donor and SIA.

As Past SIA President Cathy Standiford says… “…It takes money for resources, to help clubs to do more. It takes money to offer more awards. It takes money to do research. It takes money to make sure our Dream Programs achieve the goals we set. So I do it [donate] because I see our potential as an organization to do more, and I want to help with that.”

Slide #10 Thank You

Remember, relationship building means understanding our donor’s values while connecting them to the impact of our global Dream Programs that fulfills their passion.

Thank you for all you do as leaders in our organization.  YOU are key to making a difference in the lives of more women and girls worldwide! 

  • “I want to show my daughter that you can be anything you want by working hard and getting a good education. I want her to grow up knowing she is loved and has a bright future.” – LYDA Recipient
  • “I learned I am more powerful than any obstacle.” – DIBI Participant

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