Goals and Strategies

of the

Des Moines Women’s Club

Presented March 25, 2015

By Kathy Crall

Based on the 2014 Future Planning Survey sent to all members, the SWOT workshop held for members of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors to identify our current strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities, input from Club members, and discussion at Board meetings, the future goals of the Des Moines Women’s Club and the strategies to accomplish them are:


1.    Learn more about each other.


    a. Continue lottery seating once a month. Operational

    b. Have a member’s only section on the Web page. Implemented: February 2015. Ongoing.

    c. Encourage individual to join departments, committees, chorus, and/or work on fundraisers and/or club events. Ongoing.

    d. Provide ice breakers (such as hobbies/interests, family, embarrassing moment) or a topic of the day (such as when do children learn a foreign language the best) at lunch to use a conversation starters. Coordinate with lottery seating day. Implement: Occasional luncheons 2014 - 2015 Club Year. Ongoing.  


2.    Get all members involved with recruitment.


    a. Encourage members to invite friends, neighbors, “sisters” in other organizations and others to Club luncheons and events. Ongoing

    b. Provide members with a purse-sized prospective member information booklet for them to distribute. Implemented February 2015. Ongoing.

    c. Provide business cards with information including social media channels for members to distribute. Implement March 2015. Ongoing.

    d. Give constant reminders in the newsletter and/or at lunch for members to invite someone to join. Ongoing.

    e. Maintain a membership of 180 paid members per Club year. Provide membership with regular updates on the number of members. Implemented 2014-2015 year. Ongoing.


3.    Recruit members 55 and older.


    a. Contact various retirement groups.  For example, Society of Human Resources Professionals, Compass, large company retirees, retired teachers, etc. Implement 2015-2016 year. 

    b. Contact groups such as the Ray Society, Senior College, PEO groups, sorority and fraternal groups. Implemented 2014-2015. Ongoing.

    c. Provide information about the Des Moines Women’s Club in public places such as libraries, fitness centers, Healthy Living Center – Mercy, hair salons, the Bridge House, coffee shops, etc. Implement 2015-2016. Ongoing.

    d. Liaison with other organizations & businesses such as Sherman Hill Association, Inc., Bravo, AARP, Council on Aging, Senior Living Communities. Implemented 2014-2015. Ongoing.


4.    Increase visibility of the Des Moines Women’s Club


    a.    Have information in the following:  DSM Magazine – try to get a feature article—not an ad; Loft, Boomer, various High School Alumni Associations, Neighborhood section and/or other sections of the Des Moines Register, and/or Datebook Calendar. Ongoing.

    b.    Send Tweets regarding events, speakers—those upcoming as well as recent speakers. Implemented 2014-2015.  Ongoing

    c.    Post information on Facebook regarding events. Increased postings began January 2015. Ongoing


5.    Continue to offer quality programs.  Status Quo


6.    Continue to expand scholarships offered. Board approved March 2015 expanding STEM scholarships offered from one to four.  Implement: 2015-2016. 


7.    Continue to present financial information at Club Update meetings. Operational


8.    Have the President of the Club select a community service project for the Club year. Implemented 2014-2015. Ongoing.


9.    Streamline the structure of the Club by evaluating the functions of each office, position, department and committee.

    Strategy:  A committee reviewed these functions and presented recommendations to the Board of Directors on February 11, 2015.



    The following recommendations (except where noted otherwise) would require amendments to the Bylaws. Implement: 2016-2017.




The Executive Committee be composed of the following:



Vice-president in charge of Membership

Vice-president in charge of Fundraising

Vice-president in charge of Communication

Recording Secretary

Corresponding Secretary



Rationale: This makes it clearer that being a vice-president is not an automatic step toward the presidency, something that is currently assumed by the membership although it is not stated in the Bylaws. These vice-president positions would clearly call for specific skills and experience. The past-president has no specific duties, so it was concluded that she does not need to be required to attend Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings. Past presidents would still be valued and called upon for their institutional memory. The immediate past president would continue to serve on the Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation Board.


The Vice-president in charge of Communication would oversee all publications including the newsletter, yearbook, website, Facebook, and promotion of the Club and events to insure consistency in the message and uniformity in printed and posted materials.

Rationale: The Club needs to present a uniform message to the community for greater recognition and professional appearance.


The Vice-president in charge of Fundraising would be chair of the Fundraising Committee and would supervise the committees responsible for the individual fundraising efforts of the Club.

Rationale: This would allow for better oversight of fundraising projects and enhance results. 


The Vice-president in charge of Membership would chair the Membership Committee and may appoint a chair of the Memorial Hour. The Vice-president would be responsible for the Prospective Member Coffees and the Meet the New Member programs.

Rationale: This makes the title of this position consistent with the other vice-presidents.




No change in the composition of the nine members elected at large for the board, or changes in how members are nominated, is suggested at this time. It is recommended that alternates be eliminated. 

Rationale: It is not necessary to have alternates for conducting the business of the board, even if this means that the board completes its term with fewer members. This eliminates the expectation that alternates will become board members the next year and gives the Nominating Committee more flexibility.



Add the following sentence to Article V Section 2: The Historian shall serve as a member of the Archives Committee. Board approved March 2015.


Add Article V Section 5. A Website Administrator shall be appointed by the President to maintain the Club’s Website. Board approved March 2015.


Add Article V Section 6. A Facebook Administrator shall be appointed by the President to maintain the Club’s Facebook page.  Board approved March 2015.



It is recommended that the Drama and Music Departments be combined into a Performing Arts Department.

Rationale: This is based on the results of the survey and gives additional possibilities for programs in other performing arts fields.



Give the Interior Decorating/Art Possessions Committee responsibility for the Antique Black Cabinet in addition to providing seasonal displays and recommending improvements to house furnishings. Eliminate the Antique Black Cabinet Committee as a separate group.

Rationale: The responsibilities of these two committees are closely related. 


Dissolve Marketing as a separate committee and place its responsibilities under the Vice-president of Communication. 



Eliminate the requirement that all department chairs serve on the Fundraising Projects Committee. Have the chair of this committee be the Vice-President in charge of Fundraising.  Invite all interested Club member to attend.  

Rationale:  The chairs of departments are charged with arranging for programs, but they do not necessarily have any information related to fundraising. Members of the Club at large might have ideas on fundraising that they would like to put forth.


Article X Standing Committees Section 12 to read as follows:  A Fundraising Projects Committee composed of the President Elect as chair, the First vice President, the chair of the Finance Committee, the chairs of the Fundraising Project Committees, and the Recording Secretary shall meet as soon as convenient after the 1st of January to arrange fundraising projects for the ensuing club year and report to the Board of Directors.  In addition, all interested Club members shall be invited to attend.  Board approved March 2015.


Move the responsibility of arranging for the invocation to the Hospitality Committee. This committee would have a chair who is not an executive committee member. Responsibilities would include arranging for centerpieces, seating at the president’s table, and the invocation.

Rationale: These activities do not necessarily need to fall under the tasks of the Executive Committee


Make the Hoyt Place Gardens Committee inactive.  Implement:  March 2015.

Rationale:  Maintaining the grounds is a task that calls for continuous work best provided by an employee.


The May Day Committee would no longer fall under the responsibility of a vice-president. 


Add a Communication Committee composed of the newsletter editor, the yearbook editor, the website administrator, the Facebook administrator, and other interested members.

Rationale: This would result in greater consistency in communication about the DMWC.