A Few Words from Our President

As incoming president, I am honored to help guide this already great organization as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Highlighted by an improved, interactive website and a scheme for assessing project outcomes in a more tangible way, 2013 was a very good year for IDS.  As a result of our project-assessment methodology, we and our donors can be more certain that targeted beneficiaries are benefiting from IDS intervention. Our website is part of a new, more sophisticated way of branding, and improved branding plus our ability to report tangible outcomes has resulted in greater fund raising. In the past few years, IDS has made significant changes, changes we can be proud of.  Fundamentally, and in terms of direction and assessment, I believe we are very sound.  But change means new ways of doing things, and change is sometimes accompanied by instability. It is my belief that we need to embed and settle ourselves, maintain directions we’ve chosen, improve what we need to improve, and adjust if we see the need. I have three general goals for IDS. First, as stated above, I want IDS to capitalize on its recent progress rather than seek new directions; I want IDS to be comfortable with its changes, tweak direction if necessary, improve what needs improving. For example, I believe we need to continue to refine our ways of measuring projects so that all projects deliver tangible results. Second, I want to increase our visibility. I believe that we should share our successes with and learn best practices from other NGOs, and network with organizations that can help us be more visible. We’ve already established a student conference, which we could expand and open to a non-academic audiences, and we’ve already initiated a proposal to network with Chicago Public Radio. Third, I want all IDS board members to be familiar with all of  our projects.  I want a greater number of our meetings to focus on projects so we can help our project managers do a better job of improving the lives of project beneficiaries. Thank you for this opportunity to serve IDS. I look forward to continued prosperity in our goals and outcomes. Sincerely, Jerry Gosenpud