“Our board and staff team spent a great deal of time and resources to improve our programming and to measure the results of those efforts. Once we could clearly see positive outcomes, growing the number of girls we serve was a natural next step. We wanted to reach as many girls as possible with the experiences and opportunities that we knew in our hearts – and from our data! – would help them grow up healthy, educated, and independent.” – Roberta Wilhelm, Executive Director, Girls Inc. of Omaha
Why is it important for Girls Inc. to make growth a priority?
The answer is obvious: it’s the girls. Right now, we serve only a small fraction of the girls growing up in the United States and Canada who could benefit from the life-changing experience Girls Inc. provides. Even with our focus on girls growing up in poverty, who need Girls Inc. the most, there are untold thousands of girls that we have yet to reach. Their backgrounds put these girls at a higher risk of becoming pregnant as teens, dropping out of high school, or otherwise failing to realize their limitless potential.
Even with this clear need, the decision to grow isn’t one to be taken lightly. Serving more girls requires strategic and determined leadership. It means hiring and training new staff, building and sustaining new relationships with schools and other community partners, and developing long-term mentoring relationships with each girl we serve, and measuring the difference we make in her life. Committing to growth is also a risk that has undone organizations; it requires that we continue to build our network of friends and supporters to ensure that our gains are sustainable and fiscally responsible.
With careful planning, and a data-driven approach to continual learning and improvement, it’s a risk we’re willing to take. Over the last two years, Girls Inc. has committed $7M to 36 affiliates, who have collectively pledged to serve an additional 20,000 girls each year by 2019. By 2020, we will have invested an additional $7M to drive further growth. We also worked to launch our newest affiliate, Girls Inc. of Chicago, who began serving girls last fall. Collectively, we have a goal of growing the number of girls we serve by 10% or more each year.
Our commitment to growth is real and urgent, and with the support of those who share our mission, we can make it a reality.