Lacey Bowman, International Vice President of Finance, Chi Delta (U of Colorado)
Within our lives, many of us assess our own personal growth by goals we set for ourselves and the achievements we make on the way to fulfilling those goals. But how does that work for AOII? Our Ends (Ambition; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Leadership; Sense of Belonging; Service) can be considered our goals for the organization. Achievement of these Ends could be difficult to measure, and, as an organization, we want to make sure we are continuously improving and working towards our goals. Many of these Ends cannot be graded, like a test you’d take in school, or have a final accomplishment, like completing a marathon. Under the new Inspire Program, our Collegiate Chapters work with their CCAB and Network Teams to set SMART goals to measure their Chapter’s achievements of these Ends. To review the achievements of the Ends for the entire Fraternity, the Executive Board utilizes a similar process called monitoring.
Under monitoring, our Executive Director provides an interpretation of each of the Ends and accompanying policies, and evidence to support compliance (achievement) or noncompliance with these policies. The Executive Board then reviews and assesses the Executive Director’s interpretation. This is completed through reports that the Executive Director provides to the Executive Board on a set schedule each biennium. If additional review is identified, the Executive Board can vote to adjust the schedule.
The interpretation of some policies is straight forward, and the evidence is an item that demonstrates compliance. With our financial policies (Financial Conditions and Activities, Asset Protection, Investment Policy), the monitoring reports show compliance through specific line items or ratios on our Fraternity financial statements or insurance policies. However, other policies, as with our Ends, are more subjective and the Executive Director’s interpretation has to qualify how achievement is measured. Under Treatment of Staff and Treatment of Volunteers, a percentage of positive response rates is established, and a survey is used for certain items. The first step is determining data points that can be consistent over time. By asking the same questions annually, positive response rates can be tracked, and the Executive Director and Executive Board can assess areas of strength or if there is additional attention needed. As we operate under the Policy Governance model, we continue to build data to evaluate our progress as an organization.
The Ends were designed to build an organization and experience that will deliver value to our members. By utilizing this monitoring system, the Executive Director and Executive Board can consistently focus on the progress made toward the achievement of the Ends, and, in turn, an experience that will resonate with our members.