Making Change Count! A letter of introduction from President Linda Hoy. Please share with your membership.
Welcome to the new Triennium.
The FWIC Convention was a wonderful opportunity for WI to come together to share and plan for the future of this organization. We held a plenary session where we asked for input from all convention attendees on how to ensure the viability of our organization. These key words and phrases were repeated many times:
• Be more visible • Publicize • Promote • Recruit • Reach out
Many of our members at the branch level may not realize how uncertain the future of our organization is. We continue to lose members at a steady rate that even our most successful recruitment strategies at the provincial and national level have not been able to combat. In many branches, WI continues to function as it always has. It is perceived that there is no need to do anything differently or that change will come from above: the provinces or the national level. The truth is, we must all be proactive to revitalize this great organization for women. As a grassroots organization, the power to thrive lies is in the hands of the individual members and the WI branches themselves. The future of WI lies within you and must happen in your community first.
It is imperative that you understand that we need to do things differently. We need to market and promote and be more visible.
Here’s how you can help: if WI is to survive, we need to make ourselves available and open to attracting new members. We need to be visible to gain credibility among other nonprofits and for-profit agencies and funding bodies. This means we must be proud of our organization and promote ourselves.
Get into the habit of alerting the public of upcoming meetings and special WI events by writing press releases and reports before and after your events. Designate someone in your branch as Media Coordinator: it could be considered THE most important role if the WI is to succeed.
In most areas, the local newspapers are eager for content and will print your meeting and event reports in their entirety. Take pictures and include them. Remember to smile!
Once you’ve tackled print media, set your sights on social media. Facebook has been credited over and over for outstanding marketing success. It’s free, it’s fun. It’s folly to ignore it.
Let us all continue to work together, For Home & Country,
Linda Hoy, President
Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada
Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.
The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.