What makes a house a home? For the Junior League of Cleveland, deciding what was next for its League House presented opportunities and challenges, and raised the passions of its committed members.
Junior League of Cleveland
Research + Analysis
The Junior League of Cleveland (JLC) has a long history of service to the local community. As an accredited branch of the Association of Junior Leagues International, this women’s organization is committed to developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
Changes in how women work and volunteer have impacted the JLC’s membership, and the JLC faced choices about how to respond to its changing demographics to best position itself for another century of service. The most immediate issue was the future of League House in University Circle. The property needed extensive renovations, and members were split, with some seeing the League House as an embodiment of the JLC’s values, and others viewing it as a costly impediment to the JLC’s mission.
The JLC asked Inbloom to offer an outside voice on the issue, and asked for four things
- Engagement with JLC members and leaders, to learn about the history of the organization, and the members’ opinions on the best use of League House.
- An analysis of the potential costs and benefits of League House through three realistic and viable facility plans, including a renovation or a sale.
- A feasibility assessment of a fundraising campaign to support the renovation of League House.
- An informed recommendation on the best use of League House
The project spanned thirteen weeks and encompassed multiple forms of research and engagement, including a large group discussion, breakout sessions and an individual survey at a Junior League General Membership meeting; in-depth interviews with 25 stakeholders; and a feedback session with JLC leadership.
Inbloom delivered three interim reports: a summary of the General Membership Meeting Survey results; a Preliminary Assessment evaluating messaging and presence, and outlining four proposed facility plans; and a Stakeholder Interview Summary, with feedback on fundraising feasibility for a house renovation. The final report provided go-forward recommendations for Junior League leadership based on Inbloom’s research and analysis, in addition to messaging guidance and a framework for achieving consensus within the group.
Using information, analysis and recommendations provided by Inbloom, JLC leadership chose to pursue transformational and fiscal opportunities presented by selling the house. Using Inbloom’s final report as a springboard for action, the JLC is exploring a new strategic planning process, focusing on creating a big-picture, shared vision of success tied strongly to place, purpose and community.
“Under the leadership of Megan Bush-Granson, Inbloom Consulting led our organization through a tremendous change management effort which resulted in decisions that will allow our organization to continue to evolve and thrive for years to come. Their ability to design and implement a process that allowed our members to feel heard, engaged and understood, was essential for moving our organization forward to continue to be relevant and financially sustainable.”
Stephanie Dorsey, Senior Executive, Forest City Realty Trust / Past President, Junior League of Cleveland