Always Evolving

NYWC Board Retreat

Two recent NYWC events explored our strategic priorities moving forward.

North York Women’s Centre couldn’t be more grateful for the tireless work of our team and volunteers over the past two pandemic years. On May 7th, we had an ideal opportunity to express that gratitude, celebrate our progress and discuss our next steps for growth.

Our virtual staff lunch included almost the entire board, staff and facilitators. Many of these attendees have been involved with NYWC for over five years. One of the themes that emerged during our lunch was how the diversity of our lived experiences makes us stronger as a team and better at supporting and empowering women. Maria Bazilevskaya also led an activity highlighting what we have in common – things like our pets and where we’ve travelled, not just our shared passion for social justice!

“It was wonderful seeing almost everyone together after two long years, even if we had to do it virtually,” says Iris Fabbro, executive director of NYWC. “We deeply appreciate every member of this team and thank them for being a part of NYWC and working towards our common vision of a world where all doors are open for all women.”

The virtual board retreat later that afternoon allowed us to review the NYWC strategic plan and prioritize next steps. We are midway through our current plan and happy to report growth on our digital marketing, revenue diversification and tech infrastructure investment, which helped us stay resilient and connected to women in need throughout the pandemic.

We prioritized three areas for the upcoming 18 months:

Boosting NYWC membership. We will be looking at how to better communicate the value of NYWC membership, including an upcoming membership drive to recruit new members and encourage existing members to renew. Membership demonstrates community support for NYWC and the work we do. Interested in becoming a member? Apply here today!

Enhancing engagement and communication. Working remotely offered new learning opportunities but also some challenges. Our goal is to increase connection and structure to ensure that the Board (who currently work remotely) have a clear view of what’s happening “on the ground” at NYWC now that we’re offering in-person services again.

Relaunching our volunteer program. Our volunteer program took a hit because of the pandemic. Our office was closed for two years, and safety concerns made volunteering difficult. So we’re planning to hire staff to support a renewed volunteer program. If you’re interested in helping out Toronto women, visit our volunteer page.

“So much knowledge, experience and critical insight was on display during the retreat, mixed with an unwavering passion for making women’s lives better and getting the work done,” says Fabbro. “I am confident that this will lead to tangible, beneficial results for NYWC and the women who look to us for support.”

Feedback after the event indicated that participants appreciated the opportunity to review the strategic plan and brainstorm solutions. As one team member said, “Really awesome work!”

These two events were a great reminder that NYWC’s services are needed more than ever, and that we’re more committed than ever to empowering women today and in the years to come.

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