Welcome to 2020! May you have clear vision and make the Empowering Changes that will make your club, your world and your relationships a little brighter and a little better than before.
Because of the fires, evacuations and power outages, SIA has granted an extension to clubs in Founder Region and other California regions to continue to accept Live Your Dream Award applications through December 15, 2019! The Live Your Dream online portal is also allowing a grace period until Wednesday, November 20th for applicants to finish applications that were already started in the portal. Applicants who had not yet started the process in the portal will need to submit a paper application to the club by December 15th. Please contact your Live Your Dream District Representative if you need any assistance. Clubs that receive multiple applications are encouraged to communicate with their District representative for the ability to share applications with clubs who have no eligible applicants. The writeable Live Your Dream Application for the December 15th deadline is available on the Founder Region website.
We were glad to see many of our members at District Meetings and we hope those who attended are sharing the importance of Creating Positive Club Experiences in order to make volunteering with Soroptimist more fun for everyone! We especially want to thank our District Directors and the host clubs for doing a great job in helping to coordinate these successful meetings.
Has your club registered to attend your District Meeting? Deadlines are fast approaching.
The District Directors have been working hard to make this an informative, inspiring, and fun meeting. Sell your tickets and bring your club’s basket with a theme “Empowering Global Connections” for the Fellowship fundraiser. If you have any upcoming fundraisers, you are welcome to bring flyers to share with other clubs, just coordinate with your District Director. Districts IV, V, and VI have social events planned, as well. And District VI Leadership Training will be on October 27 at the J Walter Cameron Center on Maui.
We’re looking forward to seeing you at your District Meeting!
We are renewed, rejuvenated and rejoicing to welcome our newest club, Soroptimist International of West Sonoma County! We had a lovely Charter Party on August 11th at the Gravenstein Grill in Sebastopol. It was my privilege to facilitate the induction of 14 new members and the installation of officers and then to present the gavel to President Elizabeth Smith. Region Membership Chair & Past Governor Bobbi Enderlin emceed the event and presented the charter for the new members to sign. We were happy to have the entire region board in attendance and assist in pinning the new members and officers. Additionally, several members from other clubs came to show support for the new club, including SI/Modesto which is the club Elizabeth Smith belonged to before moving to Sebastopol. Past Governors MaryAnn Redden, Amelia Benko, Bobbi Enderlin and Pam Parker attended to share the celebration, as well.
The Soroptimist International Convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was an inspirational experience. The global connections our organization provides opens amazing opportunities for women and girls to be empowered to change their lives and live their dreams. It allows all of us to feel united and that we are truly making a difference in the world. Soroptimist has a voice at the United Nations and this means our input is sought by powerful decision makers and puts us on the world stage. Our clubs should capitalize on this prestigious distinction by bringing awareness to our own communities of the role we play at the United Nations.
Refined Branding Statements
Your SIA Board of Directors refined our mission and tag line statements during their June 2019 board meeting.
Here are the new statements. You may begin using them immediately.
Vision: Women and girls have the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and live their dreams. (this did not change)
Mission: Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.
Tag Line: Investing in Dreams (matches and supports our next Big Goal statement: Invest in the Dreams of half a million women and girls through access to education.)
Here is a link to the FAQ regarding the refined statements:
Dear Founder Region Members,
Congratulations to Founder Region for having 100% participation in Club Giving! SIA President Elizabeth Di Geronimo presented our certificate at the SIA Recognition Banquet in Montreal. Thank you for your generosity and support of our Dream Programs!
Governor-elect Kris and I had a great time in Montreal, Canada. We were able to take a Hop-on-Hop-off Bus tour around the city to see a few sites. We attended the SIA Recognition Banquet where we received the 100% Club Giving Award, and where the new SIA President Tina Pan was installed. Then we spent two days in the Governors Roundtable sessions where we learned a lot and can’t wait to share the updates with you at our District Meetings in October.
We are so excited to be chartering our first new club in this biennium! Soroptimist International of West Sonoma County has set a charter date for August 1, 2019, and a charter party will be held on Sunday, August 11th at the Dutton-Goldfield Winery in Sebastopol. We would love for members to come and share the celebration with this new club; see the “save the date” announcement below for more details. There are a few other charter clubs “in the works” that are moving forward, as well so we’ll keep you posted as they progress!
Increasing membership is so important to giving our organization a Brilliant Future. Think about who you can invite to a meeting or event and empower change in their life by introducing them to Soroptimist and the life-changing work we do to improve the lives of women and girls.
Speaking of the work we do, the Live Your Dream Awards portal will be open starting August 1, so let’s get the word out to potential applicants on how to apply.
Governor-elect Kris and I are packing our bags again, and heading to Kuala Lumpur for the Soroptimist International Convention, along with a few members from Founder Region. This destination is closer for me than for our California members, so I plan to hit the ground running. We will look forward to meeting Soroptimists from around the world, and we’ll be sharing the experiences with you on Facebook and when we see you at District Meetings.
Thank you for all you do to empower change in your clubs and your communities!
Dear Founder Region Members,
I want to thank every member of Founder Region for all you do to improve the lives of women and girls. Some may say, “well I haven’t done much this year”, and others may be saying, “if you only knew how much I’ve been doing”, and some members are somewhere in between these two extremes. But the truth of the matter is that every member contributes by just continuing to be part of the organization. Sometimes our work and home circumstances don’t allow us to participate as much as we may have previously, and that is OK. We are “no-guilt” clubs – meaning we will not make you feel guilty when you cannot say, “yes” to every request. Being part of an organization expands our individual contributions to improve the lives of women and girls, and it generates that increased collective impact that we are always talking about and we multiply our efforts by working together as a team. Keep up the good work!
As our club year is winding down and new officers are being installed, club members are renewing their commitment to continuing the mission to improve the lives of women and girls. It is an exciting time of year as we look forward to Empowering Change in our clubs with renewed enthusiasm. We want to capitalize on this momentum and encourage all club members to renew their own membership and invite someone to join your club, too.
It was great to see so many of you attending our Leadership Training Sessions in Eureka and in Oakland. The Leadership Handbook is a valuable tool for all members, not just club officers and it is posted on our Founder Region website. Look for it under the Club Resources dropdown then the Leadership Training tab. The presentations are also posted there for those who may want to review or those who were unable to attend.
Dear Founder Region Members,
Thank you to all who attended our 2019 Founder Region Conference and were Empowering Change!
We were Empowering Change at our conference by bringing a fresh topic to our Legislative Advocacy sessions, and one that tied directly to our SI/International President’s Appeal – Women, Water and Leadership. We were Empowering Change by having both our Soroptimist International President Mariet Verhoef-Cohen and our SIA Federation President Elizabeth Di Geronimo as visitors and presenters at our conference. It was enlightening to many of our members to bring an international perspective, as explained by SI Director of Advocacy Bev Bucur; she helped us all to see the work that our organization is doing globally and showed us that we have many strong voices at the United Nations.
We were Empowering Change by conducting our business in an efficient manner and we thank you for seeing the reality of the change that was needed and by accomplishing our District Realignment. We were Empowering Change by incorporating a group project into the event, and like any first-time fundraiser or event, we will learn and improve on the ability to execute these types of projects again in the future. We were Empowering Change by our District Directors reporting club activities in the form of posters that clubs can take back and share at events or in their communities and a PowerPoint presentation showing club photos.
We were Empowering Change in the lives of our Fellowship recipients by giving $100,000.00 in Fellowship Awards to women in the final phase of their Doctoral programs, and we learned that we will have to give generously to be able to give as many awards in the future since we have brought down our Fellowship reserve funds over the last few biennium. We were Empowering Change in the lives of our Violet Richardson Award recipients, Ruby Award recipient, and our Barbara Stevenson “S” Club Award recipient by acknowledging and appreciating them for the good they are doing in their work, schools and communities, And we were Empowering Change in the lives of the Live Your Dream Award recipients who showed us it is never too late, too hard, or too daunting to overcome obstacles and achieve success.
Dear Founder Region Delegates,
Thank you to those who participated in the April 7/8 Caucus Conference Call. There were requests for additional information and clarification that we would like to address in advance of Founder Region Conference.
Additional information Post Caucus
The Bylaw 9.3 Proposed Amendment has accompanying procedural language that the Region Board felt belongs in Procedures rather than Bylaws. For the delegates awareness, in the Founder Region Procedures revision dated August 2018, the Founder Region Board added 7. d) (Please note this language works with the current, as well as the proposed Bylaw 9.3)
7. Special Accounts
a)The Administrative reserve is maintained to ensure long term financial sustainability of the organization by providing a cushion against unexpected events, such as significant loss of dues revenue, or, to meet unfulfilled contractual commitments. The Founder Region Board may authorize expenditures from the reserve and a disclosure of the reason for use of any portion of the reserve must be reported at the annual Founder Region conference. The report must include a strategy statement and timetable for replenishment of the reserve. In order to maintain the reserves at the agreed level, the Budget Committee will review the ratio of reserves to budgeted expenses on a biennial basis and present any suggested change to the Region Board.
Question: On the Caucus Conference Call there was discussion concerning setting a minimum dollar amount for the administrative reserve account.
Answer: In effect, there is a minimum dollar amount which is associated with the projected budget for a biennium. It is a specific calculation and not a fixed dollar amount so that in the case of a catastrophic event or declining membership, the region board does not have to keep more funds in reserve than would be achievable.
Parliamentarian Barbara Lanier guided us to be mindful that the suggestion to set a minimum dollar amount is outside the scope of this proposal, therefore an amendment offering a fixed dollar amount at this Conference would be ruled out of order.
Question: Could we get more clarification?
Answer: Research regarding NON-PROFIT ACCOUNTING BASICS
Source: The Greater Washington Society of CPAs Nonprofit Financial Accountability Task Force is a nation-wide collaborative comprised of members of the accounting and nonprofit communities that seek to strengthen the nonprofit sector in the US by improving financial accountability in the sector through ongoing education initiatives and robust discussion of current topics.
Quoting from the topic: Policies and Procedures - Operational reserves:
“Operational reserves are funds an organization accumulates over the years by operating with a surplus. Consciously building a reserves fund allows the organization to:
• be prepared for the inevitable rainy days
• adjust to seasonal variances in revenue
• seize an unprecedented opportunity when it knocks on the door
Operational reserves demonstrate wise risk management and smart financial planning.
Each nonprofit must determine its own policy for operational reserves. There is no strict formula that applies to all nonprofits and appropriate for every organization. An educational organization looks at this issue from a very different standpoint than a relief organization.
The following questions can help the board with calculating the proper amount of operational reserves for the organization:
• What are our today’s needs vs. future needs?
• Do we have a moral obligation to serve today’s needs or should we consider the needs of our future beneficiaries?
• How secure are our funding sources?
• Do we function in a particularly vulnerable location or is our mission area susceptible to risks and set-backs?
• How important is additional income from investing our reserves?
The board may determine a three-month or a six-month reserve pool is enough. Or, it may calculate more precisely how many months it is possible for the organization to continue functioning without income and set the policy to reflect that goal.
The policy should specify that the board must give the green light before you dip into the reserve fund. Operational reserves are usually considered as board-designated funds.”
Above Reference link: https://www.nonprofitaccountingbasics.org/organizational-structure/reserves
Question: There was a question on the calculation of 7 months being to a 12 or 24 month ratio.
Answer: As the biennium is 24 months, the calculation is the total budget for the biennium divided by 24 months then multiply that amount by 7 to obtain the amount to be kept in the reserve account during that biennium.
Question: There was a request for more information concerning what happens in the event the region folds.
Answer: As per Founder Region Bylaw ARTICLE XIII Dissolution Upon the dissolution or winding up of the organization, all assets remaining after payment or provision for payment of all debts and liabilities of this organization, shall be distributed to a nonprofit fund, foundation or corporation that is organized and operated exclusively for social welfare purposes to benefit women and girls and which has established its tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Thank you for taking the time to review this information in advance of our Founder Region Conference.
It is exciting to know our “award season” is in full swing! Many clubs are having their awards luncheons, dinners, and banquets throughout the months of March and April, and it is exciting to know that the impact we are making in the lives of these women and girls is Empowering Change for their future. Each Live Your Dream Award, Violet Richardson Award, Barbara Stevenson “S” Club Award, and Ruby Award contributes to the collective impact we are making within our region. Congratulations to all of our award recipients!
Speaking of Award Recipients, we are looking forward to meeting our Fellowship Award recipients on Friday, May 3rd, and our District level recipients at our Awards Breakfast on Sunday, May 5 at the San Ramon Marriott. Our Call to Conference went out February 23, and provides a lot of details about our 43rd annual Founder Region Conference. I hope you are planning to attend! Check out the Complete Call to Conference at the link:
Our Caucus Conference Call will be held on April 7, at 7:00 p. m. California time see the Call to Caucus for the dial in phone number, as well as the online meeting link if you prefer to listen in on your computer. Get all of the details at the link:
All Basket Raffle tickets were distributed, and we encourage clubs to sell all tickets allocated to your club. We have a great incentive for clubs that sell all basket raffle tickets for Conference - there will be a drawing for $250 toward Club Giving.
As we continue to Empower Change in those women and girls we impact through Soroptimist, may each of us Empower Change in our daily lives which helps make the world a better place for our future.