Most of us welcomed 2021 with high hopes and an eagerness to leave the uncertainty of last year behind us. COVID-19 has certainly changed the way Dining for Women works, at least for now, and we will continue to assess how the pandemic has changed the world around us. In 2020, we asked our grantees to patiently wait until this year to receive their full grants as we experienced uncertain cash flow; we asked our members to transition to meeting virtually; and we asked our staff to work remotely. Every week seemed to bring a new challenge! We heard the drumbeat that one-third of US nonprofits would close in 2020 and carefully made decisions to ensure DFW would still be standing here now.
The pandemic has impacted DFW in many ways, but none so deeply as seeing that the gains in global gender equality have been quickly sliding backwards, and will continue to do that until the pandemic is stopped and even beyond that time.
With gratitude and my heart filled, I can report that you, our members, expressed your commitment to the longevity of our work by exceeding our annual appeal goal of $400,000 by $70,000, and we welcomed 50 new people to the Founders’ Circle in 2020! Our gallant Major Donors gave more than $150,000 over the previous year’s donations. This phenomenal combination made up for the dip in monthly chapter donations and, overall, we exceeded what we raised in 2019. I’m thrilled to tell you that there is no question that we will be completing our 2020 grant commitments this year.
Another way that members expressed commitment to our organization is the support we saw for our new mission and vision statements. Our Board of Directors made the bold decision to respond to member voices and move forward with our new mission and vision statements, and we heard loud and clear support for this move.
Soon, we will release a new name, tagline, and logo which will honor our organization’s past while bringing us into an exciting new stage of growth and increased impact for women and girls! Our new name will serve to better reflect why we exist and what we seek to accomplish in the world, rather than how we raise money.
Our new look has been designed to match who we are on the inside, not to change it! It’s time for who we appear on the outside to match up with the great impact and strong sense of connection we have with one another — and we want the whole world to see that!
I hope you will you join us for the launch of this new name on March 6 at 1 pm ET. Please register ahead of time by going here.
It is your unflinching dedication to our mission that guides all of our decisions, and we are so proud that we have your support to be so courageous in times when fear is all around us.
Please join me this year as we look forward to continued progress on our strategic plan, re-engaging our chapters when the pandemic wanes, and opening new chapters (virtual and in-person). Thank you for standing by us through thick and thin. Together we will continue to rise to the ongoing challenges ahead.