MESSAGE from the Chair and Executive Director of the Women’s Y Foundation
THE YEAR 2015-2016 WAS ONE OF MAJOR CHANGE FOR THE WOMEN’S Y FOUNDATION.
The Foundation’s decision-making bodies underwent a transformation. Sophie Fortin is now chairing the board of directors. And, after the departure of executive director, Luce Moreau, Hélène Lépine assumed that role in addition to continuing as chief executive officer of YWCA Montréal. The board of directors also welcomed two new members and formed three new committees: the Visibility and Communications, Generation W, and Second Signature Event Committees.
This new team immediately started thinking about short-term action priorities to properly position the Foundation in a changing philanthropic context. To this end, we adopted a 2016-2019 strategic plan and revised the foundation’s mission, vision, and values. This reflection was necessary so ensure the Foundation’s ability to effectively fulfil its role of indispensable ally to support the YWCA Montréal financially and further its reach; and diversify and increase its own funding base, thereby increasing its support for the YWCA Montréal. Current and potential donors were the focus of our reflection in this area.
As part of this wave of renewal, we developed a new approach for soliciting donations and maintaining donor loyalty and established the groundwork for a second signature fundraising event. We also conducted a thorough strategic analysis on the positioning of the Women of Distinction Awards and benefit evening with a view to strengthening its visibility and financial results.
Meanwhile, the Foundation’s two principal fundraising events, the 22nd Women of Distinction Awards Benefit Evening and the sixth edition of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, garnered nearly $285,000. In addition, we welcomed a new initiative, aimed at raising the Foundation’s profile and promoting the YWCA Montréal to women aged 20 to 35: the Soirée InspirationnELLE. On June 22, 2016, the Generation W Committee held the first event to celebrate the accomplishments of 5 young women. It was a great success and we know there will be many more.
Our heartfelt thanks to the Foundation’s board members for their contributions and commitment. Particular thanks go to our departing Chair, Anne Mezei, for her warmth and the professionalism with which she carried out her duties from September 2012 to September 2015. We also acknowledge the commitment of three departing board members: Chantal Belzile, Lisa Giannone, and Marcelle Langelier. And, we take this opportunity to welcome Louise Dufour and Robert Beaudoin, whose respective expertise in human resources and marketing and communications will be of great benefit to the board.
We conclude by thanking the Foundation staff, who, despite their reduced numbers, demonstrated unparalleled resourcefulness, availability, cooperativeness, and professionalism in the face of every challenge. Special thanks also to Sonia Wong, Hélène Simonin, and Ève Cardinal, and the many volunteers and YWCA Montréal staff members who supported us throughout the year.
The year 2016-2017 will be filled with new challenges, and we intend to meet them because the well-being of women and girls is central to our concerns and action.