For more than two years, American Legion Auxiliary members have worked tirelessly to achieve the five goals of the ALA's 5-Year Centennial Strategic Plan. Going into the third year, it's crucial for all members to keep the momentum going.
For more than two years, American Legion Auxiliary members have worked on ways to achieve the five goals of the ALA’s 5-Year Centennial Strategic Plan.
The future of the organization literally depends on it. Going into the third year, it is crucial that we keep the momentum going to make sure the ALA is around to serve future generations of veterans, military, and their families.
To ensure the Auxiliary’s future, an increased emphasis was placed on the ALA Centennial Strategic Plan at National Convention in Cincinnati. During five breakout sessions, one for each of the five goals, attendees learned what has been going on since the National Executive Committee adopted the strategic plan in 2014.
Members left the sessions with more insight on how they can help achieve the goals, specifically what needs to be done over the next three years. The breakout sessions were a highlight of the convention, with many of them filled to capacity.
To keep the momentum going even further, more than 100 ALA members and ALA National Headquarters staff who make up the implementation and strategy captain teams met for a strategic goal forum in September in Indianapolis.
The one-day meeting allowed teams to review and celebrate their accomplishments, and plan next steps. It also gave them an opportunity to examine, adjust, and prioritize the 150 initiatives designed to help achieve the 21 strategies, and, ultimately, the five goals.
ALA members, even with the passion we have for helping veterans, military, and their families, have struggled to retain members. About 45 percent of new members leave the Auxiliary within the first three years after joining, according to the ALA Organizational Effectiveness Assessment conducted by Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates in 2015. The ongoing drop in membership retention is one of the reasons it is so important to resource the Centennial Strategic Plan and achieve the goals so that we can share who we are, what we do, and why we matter.
Since its inception, the plan has undergone a few changes, including a revision to Goal 1 to make it more attainable. However, the ultimate goal remains the same: To ensure the ALA exists to carry out its mission for generations to come. Every member must help achieve the five goals by implementing initiatives to accomplish the strategies. The goals and strategies are:
Goal 5: With The American Legion, Build Brand Loyalty
• Define our brand identity and promise
• Build awareness and preference for the American Legion Auxiliary brand
• Invest in internal and external marketing and communications
• Recognize brand loyalty and excellence in promoting the ALA brand
Goal 4: Strengthen Departments and Units
• Build capacity of all departments and units to be effective
• Optimize mission delivery
• Support departments in the development of their strategic plans
• Collaborate with departments in developing innovative ways to improve organizational and financial performance
• Invest in training at all levels
Goal 3: Develop Leadership at All Levels
• Remove barriers for considering and selecting leadership
• Define and build leadership capacity
• Invest resources in identifying and developing leadership
• Reward innovative leadership recruitment and development practices
Goal 2: Create an Internal Culture of Goodwill
• Enable members at all levels to demonstrate goodwill to internal and external audiences
• Define, cultivate, sustain, and implement best practices to fulfill the ALA’s Core Values
• Build trust within the American Legion Auxiliary and with the American Legion
Goal 1: Enhance Membership Strength
• Invest in opportunities to attract, engage, and retain
• Engage and strengthen membership that represents the diversity of our U.S. military
• Create multiple pathways to serve
• Excel at communication
• Expand internal and external alliances
We are mid-way into the ALA’s 5-Year Centennial Strategic Plan. Year 3 is about maintaining the momentum needed to achieve the goals by continuing to invest in our future.
One way the organization is doing that is by developing “ALA Academy,” a series of training modules developed by the training company Briljent and based on input from volunteers and the JGA Assessment of the ALA’s Organizational Effectiveness.
The online learning course will provide training and encourage individuals and groups at all levels to continue the good work being done.
Another way the organization is investing in its future is by continuing the professional news release services of MSL GROUP, which began earlier this year. MSL GROUP, along with National Headquarters staff, created four articles featuring the ALA, covering topics ranging from flag etiquette and ALA Girls Nation to the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival and Veterans Day.
Although there are many tools and resources available, all members are crucial in keeping that momentum going.
It will take every member at every level to ensure that the ALA is here to serve the next generation of military, veterans, and their families. the good news is, members at the unit, department, district, and national level are already working together on the plan to make that possible.
Members are implementing initiatives, or action steps, needed to accomplish the strategies that make achieving the five goals possible. The American Legion Auxiliary is our members, and their work in keeping the Centennial Strategic Plan a top priority will make achieving the five goals possible.
Want to know more about how you can help your state achieve the ALA’s 5-Year Centennial Strategic Plan? Contact strategicplanning@ALAforVeterans.org or visit www.ALAforVeterans.org for more information.
American Legion Auxiliary Annual Impact Report
The value of American Legion Auxiliary members’ mission service this year
VOLUNTEER HOURS SERVING MISSION OUTREACH
VOLUNTEER HOURS SERVING VETERANS AND COMMUNITIES
RESOURCES RAISED & SPENT ON VETERANS, MILITARY FAMILIES
RESOURCES RAISED & SPENT TO SUPPORT YOUTH, SCHOLARSHIPS & COMMUNITIES
2015–2016 results estimated and projected through September 1, 2016
The American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, not just based on our membership, but because of the collective impact we make actively serving our timeless mission! For 96 years, our outreach programs have made a difference in neighborhoods across the country. And added together, our volunteer service impact in just one year is worth nearly $2 billion. The impact numbers on these pages illustrate our collective mission outreach in a concise, compelling way that lets the world know who we are, what we do, and why we matter. We selflessly honor the service of our veterans and the valued principles for which they’ve fought by volunteering and raising/spending nearly $100 million in resources to support our mission. According to the Independent Sector, a coalition of charities, foundations, and corporations that publishes research important to the non-profit sector, the 2016 estimated value of one hour of volunteer service is $23.56. This past year, based on reported and projected figures, American Legion Auxiliary members volunteered nearly 20 million hours and donated nearly $100 million in resources delivering our mission to help veterans, military families, and communities!
Who we are. What we do. See why we matter.
Reporting matters. Based on annually reported numbers, the impact of the American Legion Auxiliary serving our mission the past four years averages about $2 billion a year!
Number of Departments 52Percentage of Departments Reporting 100%Number of Units 8,636Percentage of Units Reporting 56%
IMPACT MADE SERVING AMERICA’S VETERANS
Hours volunteered 5,114,000Dollars spent $5,872,890Value of in-kind donations received $13,069,128Total amount of contributions made to other veterans organizations (excludes American Legion Child Welfare Foundation) $806,724.77Number of veterans assisted 833,889Number of Veterans in Community Schools presentations 3,250Number of new Service to Veterans volunteers recruited (previously known as Home Service and Field Service, now combined into one category, “Service to Veterans”) 38,420Number of poppies or poppy items distributed 16,769,636Dollars raised from the poppies or poppy items distributed $2,499,975Number of veterans who made the poppies or poppy items for distribution 367Total amount paid to veterans who made poppies $314,157
IMPACT MADE SERVING ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY
Hours volunteered 1,904,508Dollars spent $796,454Number of U.S. servicemembers served 195,682
IMPACT MADE SERVING MILITARY FAMILIES
Hours volunteered 372,056Dollars spent $1,014,954Number of military families served 110,461
IMPACT MADE THROUGH SCHOLARSHIPS
Total number of scholarships presented 2,673Total dollar amount of all scholarships presented $1,084,832Total dollar amount donated to scholarship funds throughout your department $399,462
IMPACT MADE THROUGH ALA GIRLS STATE
Total number of volunteer hours spent on and at ALA Girls State 194,963Total number of volunteers 3,853Total expenditures for ALA Girls State $2,966,473
IMPACT MADE THROUGH CHILDREN & YOUTH PROGRAMS
Number of volunteer hours served to help military and non-military children 475,338Total dollars raised to benefit children, including military children (excludes American Legion Child Welfare Foundation) $2,656,360Total dollars given in direct aid to children $2,330,796Number of children served 597,030Number of presentations about patriotism presented by Auxiliary members, such as flag etiquette and Star Spangled Kids (excludes ALA Girls State) 124,330Number of volunteer hours presenting patriotism programs above 93,800
IMPACT MADE THROUGH SERVICE TO OUR COMMUNITIES
Total number of hours volunteer service in community service projects not included in the paragraphs above 1,406,695Total dollars spent on community projects not included above $5,360,843
For inclusion in the 2016 ALA National Convention Guide & Annual Report, data represents actual numbers received by national committee chairmen in June, projected to reflect 12 months of reporting with 100 percent participation of units.