2010 Annual Report – Organization

Organization Standing Committee
Betty Anne Brown Davidsone, Chairperson
2010 Annual Report

National Life Member Liaison – Suzanne Kiazyk

Every organization’s most precious resource is its members. Without the delight, enthusiasm, energy, creativity, loyalty, quantity and talent of members, nothing could be accomplished. The organization standing committee’s main focus is on members:

•  Recruiting and maintaining them
•  Recognizing the gifts of outstanding members
•  Offering them opportunities for leadership training
•  Providing the resources they need to do their work well “For God and Canada”
•  Reporting annually on the collective work of members  

Recruit Members and Maintain Membership
Personal invitation remained the best way to attract new members. In Quebec they adopted “smiling as a recruitment tool”. The benefits of having over 95,000 women praying for one another was promoted as a source of spiritual strength to members. The addition of more spirituality and prayerfulness to meetings helped prospective members to realize that the League offers more than a strictly business gathering. Seven provincial councils chose to gift a one-year membership to new brides, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults candidates, guest speakers, women in financial difficulty and/or to members over 80 years of age confined to nursing homes. Some councils in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario offered an “early bird” draw of a free membership to those who paid before Christmas. A CWL envelope in the parish bulletin or box of envelopes assisted in collecting annual dues in six provinces.

Recruitment was fostered as an everyday activity by the convenience of on-line membership subscription and electronic updating in parishes across Canada.

Transportation to meetings, telephone and e-mail trees and holding meetings in members’ homes who could not get out to meetings made it easier for members to feel involved in their council activities. Catholic Girls’ Leagues continued to be fostered as a source of future recruitment.

Recognition of members through pins, awards and appreciation dinners was a very important way to keep connected. Many parish councils provided membership lists to facilitate communication. Members were encouraged to be visible by wearing the League pin, scarf and sweatshirt, if they had them. The best promotion of the League continued to be an enthusiastic, dedicated member. Ceremonies held for the installation of officers and for new members instilled a sense of pride in serving and belonging.

Both Manitoba and Ontario reports noted the importance of conventions as a means of promoting the League; members were encouraged, and in some cases subsidized, to attend. Reports to their councils served to promote the League to members.

It was noticed that younger members, as well as women of different ethnic backgrounds, were being attracted by the faith, fellowship and fulfillment they experienced in the presence of League sisters.

Leadership Development
Leadership development remained the key to the future of the League. Some councils gave an orientation session to new executive members. Fairly often, the national and provincial development funds subsidized diocesan and provincial development days wherein members received concentrated opportunities to learn practical skills, grow in faith and foster League friendships. These idea-sharing workshops have yielded positive results, as members seem to have acquired new confidence to take on executive positions and leadership roles. Very often women who attended such study days returned to their councils and passed on this knowledge to others unable to participate in the event. The Quebec provincial team offered councils WOW (Workshop on Wheels). In Ontario, the diocesan presidents-elect and chairpersons of resolutions gathered for an intense weekend of leadership enrichment that they hoped would pay off in the future.  

League Resource Material
All materials passed down from national and provincial executive counterparts were forwarded to diocesan and parish levels. It is hoped that these suggestions were massaged to fit the local needs of God’s people. In over half the provinces, new members received welcome folders containing League prayers, a pin, brochures, a Constitution & Bylaws and other information. The new promotional postcards and brochures from national office were used widely at the time of recruitment of members. Other resources such as Leading the League , the National Manual of Policy and Procedure and theExecutive Handbook were regularly consulted as touchstones for good council management. The use of the CWL Day of Peace & Hope Activities Kit was reported by British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.

Many parish councils developed policy and procedure manuals. One council in Ontario put together its own executive duties book The Military Ordinariate councils were called upon (perhaps more than usual) to prepare transfer papers for members.  

Annual Reports
Council executives in most provinces generally met to write the annual report. This allowed activities to be reported only once, under the pertinent standing committee, and often turned into a social event. This practice was adapted in smaller councils with the whole membership taking part thus providing an opportunity for fellowship at a time of fulfillment for the council. The minutes of meetings, committee reports and a monthly calendar of activities was of great assistance. To ease any confusion or hesitation, provincial councils offered guidelines and annual report forms to diocesan and parish councils. Annual reports are success stories and used as a reference, available to members at meetings, in parish lobbies and at diocesan, provincial and national conventions. The use of e-mail to forward reports to the next level in the League was noted as a positive experience.  

Life Membership
Life members continued to offer their services as mentors and trainers. “They are a tremendous source of knowledge” to the League. Communicating prayer requests and news among the life members is timelier now with the widespread use of e-mail. Provincial life member liaisons respectfully honoured them with cards, greetings and special luncheons at convention time.