Ford Foundation ready to train UR leaders in effective organization

The Ford Family Foundation is offering a new opportunity to rural communities including Eagle Point, Shady Cove, White City, Butte Falls and Prospect. About 30 people, mostly graduates of the Ford Foundation Leadership Program, attended a meeting on January 28 at the Rogue Family Center in White City to learn about a program designed to help organizations become vital, sustainable entities.


Residents and representatives from the communities, county, school
district and girl scouts were among those present. White City had the
largest representation by members of the community improvement
association, charitable foundation, strategic planning committee and
planning commission.
   
Ford Foundation Director, Tom
Gallagher, opened the meeting by explaining how the Ford Foundation got
started and by welcoming graduates of a leadership program sponsored by
the foundation.
   
The Ford Family Foundation was started by
Kenneth and Hallie Ford who owned Roseburg Forest Products. When
Kenneth died in 1997, he left a quarter of a billion dollars to be used
in small towns in Oregon and Siskiyou County (CA). The money grew to
about $750 billion until six-months ago when it dropped to about half a
billion. The foundation received additional funds when Hallie died
about two years ago at age 103, said Gallagher.
   
Under law,
the foundation has to spend five-percent a year which is about $25
million. Some of these funds are used for student scholarships but the
other part of the foundation benefits projects by giving grants,
Gallagher explained.
   
Because it takes citizen involvement
to know the needs of a community, the foundation board of directors
implemented the Institute for Community Building. And in 2003, the
first leadership class consisting of members of small communities
began. The 12-year program is now in its seventh year helping about 723
communities. "There are an awful lot of good strong people who will
make the state better," declared Gallagher.
     
After Gallagher
concluded his remarks, meeting Facilitators Roi Crouch and Mary Ward of
Roi Crouch & Associates, Contractors to the Ford Foundation,
discussed a 20-hour program called "Effective Organizations." This
program will give Upper Rogue organizations the tools to help members
of boards, staff, and volunteer leaders strengthen their organizations.

   
The program consists of four modules. The first- Strategic
Positioning consists of assessment, visioning and planning.
Participants explore where their organization currently is, where they
are going and how to help get it there. Roi discussed developing
strategic plans to become sustainable.
   
The second module is
Leadership/Governance. This is the art and science of building and
working with effective boards and executives. It will have a focus on
leadership in an organization, including working with staff,
volunteers, board members and others. Getting and retaining volunteers
will be discussed. This module also looks at legalities.
   
Resource
Development is the next module. Strategies for developing resources
including human (volunteers and other), financial and strategic
partnering will be explored for the purpose to grow and sustain
organizations. Running good meetings, how to transition when new boards
take over and how to present the case for financial support will be
highlights of this module. Grant writing is 90 percent planning and 10
percent writing, said Roi.
   
The last module is Resource
Management where the big question is, "How do you manage those
resources?" This is the fun module, Ward said, with interactional
opportunities while learning sound and practical ways to create and
manage the structure, systems and processes needed to realize your
vision.
   
There was a positive reaction to the ideas presented
and the leadership graduates and others present at the meeting were
asked to volunteer by reaching out to non-profits and service
organizations to solicit participation in the program. Organizations
will be contacted for enrollment. Each organization may have two or
three representatives in the class.
   
The meeting then turned
to what groups in the Upper Rogue would benefit from this training.
Some organizations discussed were Friends of the Library, schools,
watersheds, Booster organizations, historical societies, youth sports
teams, community centers, parent-teacher associations, churches and
more. The volunteers will look in their communities for appropriate
groups that would benefit from this program.
   
There is no
cost for the program that will most likely be held in White City. Meals
(including Saturday breakfasts) will also be provided free of charge.
The program will be taught for two weekends: The first is Friday and
Saturday, March 13 and 14 and the second weekend is April 17 and 18.
The Friday sessions are 3 to 8:00 p.m. and the Saturdays are from 9:00
a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
   
For more information or for your group to
be included in the seminar contact Roi Crouch at (541) 488-6234
(roic@mind.net) or Mary Ward at (541) 488-4086
(humansys@earthlink.net).Yvette Rhodes of the Ford Family Foundation
may be reached at (541) 957-5574. In Shady Cove and Trail contact
Margaret Bradburn at 878-3568.
By Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent

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