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Membership Director’s May 2021 message

It’s the start of Membership Month! This is the month in the Soroptimist Calendar where we usually turn our attention inward to focus on improving our current membership, and also outward to create opportunities for recruiting new members. While it’s important for us to do this every single month, Membership Month truly gives us a fantastic opportunity to get creative about membership which, we can all admit is a crucial area for us.

This membership month I want to urge us not only to focus on planning activities and creating opportunities, but I also want us to all engage in some deep reflection. Let’s each start with ourselves and ask “Why am I a Soroptimist?”. This may seem like an obvious question but some of us have been Soroptimists for so long that it’s easy to forget the true essence of why we are members. Therefore, as yourself why. Truly think about the response and recommit yourself. We can only “sell” our organization if we first start with understanding why we are here ourselves.

Secondly, let us reflect on our clubs. How are we serving our members? Do we have succession plans in place? How are we mentoring and engaging new members? How are we serving our communities? How are we building fun and fellowship? These are critical questions. Often times we get so caught up in the day to day running of our clubs and ensuring we follow procedures and protocols that we forget about the simple fact that how we treat and interact with each other is also what makes us.

Thirdly, we must reflect and think deeply about our current context. We are celebrating 100 years and not only have we changed as an organization, but our entire world has changed. The question here is, have we adapted at the same pace? Therefore, as we reflect, it’s important to think about where we want to be in the next 100 years. Who do we want our members to be? How do we want our organization to function? We have to embrace membership and its issues as something that we all work on and contribute to.

Despite all of our challenges, however, I also want us to use Membership Month to celebrate! It’s been an extremely tough year for us but through it all we have truly witnessed our ability to be creative and to grow despite the circumstances. We have seen clubs become “virtual” and not just conduct meetings, but also have celebrations, coffee evenings and even baby showers! We have seen clubs induct brand new members as well as become extremely creative with their fundraising ideas. Program action has not only grown in some aspects but it has also thrived in many, as clubs were forced to think outside of the box as to how they could truly serve their communities during this time. If this isn’t worth celebrating, then I don’t know what is! It shows that we have been able to adapt and be resilient and these are definitely qualities needed for an organization that will survive and grow into the future.

Therefore, Happy Membership Month! Let’s all reclaim our focus and commitment to this wonderful organization and do our part to blossom for another 100 years!

Chevonne Agana
Membership Director