The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) has embarked on a major strategic planning initiative whose goal is nothing short of transforming the Junior League to thrive for decades to come. At a time when many organizations are retrenching, AJLI leaders are taking bold steps to ensure the future of an organization that has contributed to the development of women as civic leaders and to meaningful community improvement since the first Junior League was founded in 1901.
The road to transformation actually began several years ago with an internal analysis of membership data and quantitative research among current, resigned and prospective members. The information told a story of declining membership in many of the 292 Junior Leagues, albeit a slow decline, and growing issues among members about the quality of the membership experience. There was a need to act boldly to ensure that an organization that has contributed so much for over 100 years was prepared to contribute in a radically different world for another 100 years.
We have retained the consulting firm and think tank, the Monitor Institute, to guide us through a strategic planning process. The Monitor Institute is the nonprofit consulting arm of the Monitor Group, and works with a range of nonprofit organizations and foundations. The Monitor Institute consultants are working with a steering committee of AJLI Board members, current and past League and Association leaders, AJLI Staff members and outside experts. The process has also been designed to engage as many of the 292 Leagues and their 160,000 members as possible. Through use of current technology including webinars, online video, online groups, Flip cameras and more, AJLI is reaching out to its membership to create a true conversation. Junior League member engagement in the development and refinement of a strategic roadmap with continue through 2009 and into 2010. ‘I am proud of what Junior League members have accomplished and are accomplishing today. We are an organization that truly makes a difference. But we exist today in a world where women’s lives are very different and where opportunities to volunteer abound,” says AJLI Executive Director Susan Danish. “We would be doing a disservice to our 108-year history if we did not address the future… who we can be and what we can mean to women and their communities in the next decades.”
View the Road Map's Task Force List Here.