What is the essence of Dining for Women?

Certain keywords help define ourselves and our values. DFW has four that we think describe the essence of who we are, what we value and how we work toward achieving our goals. Tell us if you agree and how you see those words in action.

By Barb Collins
Chair, Board of Directors

Hyacinths, daffodils, and tulip bulbs seem to be dormant all winter long, only to shoot dainty-looking but powerful shoots through soil (and, for many of us this year, snow) to bloom.  Their startling, welcome appearance is a great reminder that those little bulbs weren’t sitting around all winter doing nothing.  They were working hard to create the energy that would cause that miraculous spring burst.

Like those bulbs, DFW’s board has been doing some serious work,  putting down roots that are now shooting up with great intention into a clearly defined path forward.  The kind of change we’re experiencing is transformative—consisting of incremental steps toward a shared vision until a critical mass is met and the vision is held by all.  Over the winter, the board engaged in an in-depth strategic planning initiative, resulting in an affirmation of our statements of mission, vision, culture, and identification of the four strategic issues to focus on for the next 18 months.

Strategic issues

  • Attract, engage, retain, and mobilize members
  • Administer successful grant programs
  • Build deeper, broader understanding, support and connections
  • Assure organizational vibrancy

During that process, we were encouraged to reduce  DFW’s “essence” to the fewest key words as possible.  We defined that essence in four words that we believe are timeless and applicable to every dimension of the organization. Now we want to know if these words match Dining for Women as you view it. We love what we came up with, and believe it is timeless and applies to every dimension of our organization.  But, guess what?  We need to have your feedback to know how it looks from your viewpoint!  We believe everything we say and do should demonstrate our commitment to Collaboration, Education, Inspiration, and Transformation.

We also know that words are only as strong as the actions behind them. We would appreciate any story you can share that illustrates one or more of these words in action. Like pixels in a single image, each of your stories is a piece of our story and spreading the word will help us advance DFW’s vision and mission.

Based on your earlier feedback, we have revamped our website to make it easier to use.  As part of implementing other action steps to address our four strategic initiatives, we’ll be engaging in refreshing our look and logo.  Look for progress on this front!

Our Regional Leaders recently shared their ideas on what determines a great chapter. They reminded us that we all come to the Dining for Women community for unique reasons, and what makes us thrive is the diversity of our chapters and highly engaged members. We are counting on this engagement to help us plan for our future.

To help us implement the strategic plan, we will be seeking further ideas from you through a member survey that you’ll receive in the next month.  Please take the time to complete the survey and help us achieve our full potential together.

Happy spring to all!

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About the author

Barb Collins is the co-founder and current board chair of Dining for Women. She has 30 years of experience in non-profit management and board development. Barb’s work with Dining for Women has been fueled by a desire to do something “impactful” with her life and her skills.