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I’ve been calling FDL members ever since we launched the membership program just to thank them for joining, but this week I’ve been calling members who have expressed interest in volunteering. It’s been an amazing experience. Our members have an incredible wealth of skills and expertise, and most have never commented on FDL before, so this is the first time we’ve had to speak with most of them.

One of the most interesting conversations I had was with David F., who advises nonprofits on brand identity and messaging. He said that he used to feel that FDL was all over the place, but that in the past couple of months, he noticed that we had become more cohesive and clear. He asked me what we had been doing differently.

I told him that was really interesting to me that he had noticed that, because over the past few months as we’ve been building the membership program, we’ve been really trying to be clear about what our mission is, and make sure that everyone knows how their job contributes to achieving that mission. Of course, that inevitably led to a discussion of what our mission is. As an organization FDL has changed over time (as organizations do), and it’s important from time to time and take stock of what principles unite us and guide us and inform the choices we make.

It has been an internal conversation thus far, but one that needs to expand and involve the entire community. And now seems like a good time. So as I’m calling FDL members today and talking to them about how we can find the best way for them to volunteer their time, I’ll pose the question that we’ve been mulling over internally: if 20 years from now we got everything we want and achieved the world that you envision, what would that world look like?