ATN Moving Forward: Our Organization
Click here if you missed our latest vision casting blog.
Today’s vision casting blog will describe one of the most important changes we are making to All Things New in 2017 and beyond. It is a more subtle change in many ways but in the long run could be very important for our children and for our ministry. Today we are going to vision cast for the organizational side of All Things New and focus specifically on our stateside operations. Our stateside operations including fundraising, guidance, governance, wisdom, and especially prayer are the glue that holds All Things New together without which we could not exist. In this blog I will describe a little bit about the past and how we have operated to this point, but I will focus mainly on what we want our organization to look like moving forward. Included in this blog will be a way for each person who is a part of All Things New to get more deeply involved and to use your passions and talents to help us in the future.
Over the past few years, since All Things New came into existence, we have operated alongside different ministries. For the first couple of years we lived on Christianville’s campus and then moved onto the campus of Hope Rising prior to going out on our own. Throughout this period we investigated the possibility of joining together with other ministries and oftentimes thought that was GOD’s plan for ATN. Obviously we were wrong, and starting in February of last year, we have been operating independently of any other organization (although we still collaborate with KORE, Christianville, and Hope Rising in many ways). During our first 3 years of existence we really focused on learning to take care of children, learning how to live in Haiti, and learning from other people and organizations about how to operate in a different country. This, I believe, is exactly what we were supposed to do during this time of ministry. It was a learning experience that will never end and one that has prepared us for whatever GOD wants our future to look like. At the same time, it has shown us that we need to take some time to focus on how All Things New operates in America. It is funny how GOD worked this timing out for us. At the same time we really started looking at changing the way we operate stateside, GOD has given us some extended time in America. Because Elijah was born just 2 weeks ago, we will be spending at least the next 6 months primarily in Jacksonville finalizing his adoption and paper work. While we will be busy with that, we will also have the freedom and the ability to really work on specific things that will make our organization stronger. I am going to give you some of the bullet points of how we are changing ATN on an organizational level, but I will also go into more details on some of these points in the following paragraphs:
- We are expanding our board from 6 people to at least 9 in 2017 and at least 11 people moving forward .
- We will be reviewing and updating our by-laws to reflect our growing organization.
We are creating committees that will work alongside the Executive Director and Board to ensure that the work of All Things New is carried out.
- This is our newest and most important initiative for ATN supporters because this will give each of you a chance to get involved in new and important ways.
- We will think through and improve our fundraising plan both through a new fundraising committee and by making the most of Jessica’s and my time in America.
To start with, I will describe the need and desire to rewrite our by-laws and to increase the membership of our board. As far as our by-laws are concerned, they were written in very general terms specifically to allow ATN to learn what it would look like from a legal and governance perspective. The organization that wrote them for us, The Foundation Group, did an amazing job of leading us through the initial issues involved with starting a nonprofit including incorporating in Florida and applying for 501c3 status (which we have had since 2013). Their advice was to keep our board small and our by-laws general until we grew and were ready to expand. Now is that time for All Things New. We have a great and experienced team looking over the by-laws right now and they will begin making recommendations to our board soon. Our current board has been perfect for All Things New and each current member will continue serving for the foreseeable future. They have gotten us to where we are and we are grateful for them. We are increasing the membership of our board to increase its work capacity, to bring different viewpoints, to add expertise, and to ensure that All Things New is always moving forward. We will announce these new board members after they are voted in at our annual meeting in March and we cannot wait for them to officially become ATN board members. It is important for any organization to have steady, experienced leadership but at the same time to open itself up to fresh ideas and new leaders. Please pray for us as in both of these initiatives as we review and update our by-laws and increase the membership of our board.
Finally, I know that nobody gets overly excited when they hear the word “committee” because of the connotation that comes along with it. Most of us think of boring meetings in bland rooms where a lot of people do a lot of talking and very little gets accomplished. Please wipe that thought out of your mind! The committees that we are forming will be the mode by which the majority of the organizational work for ATN gets accomplished and we want each of you to be a part of this new initiative. In fact, let’s scrap the word “committee” and use the word “team” from now on. We are in the midst of creating “job descriptions” for each team and when we have finished writing those and the board has approved them, I will make sure to post them. For now, however, I just want to give you a list of the teams we are forming and ask you to pray about joining one of them:
- Advisory Team
- Finance Team
- Fundraising Team
- Social Media Team (Marketing)
- Haiti Team
- Spiritual Team
- LaGrange Team
We want everyone who loves our children and is a part of All Things New to be able to use their skills and passions to help us seek to follow and worship Jesus Christ. We also want you to have a say in how we operate and to be a part of who we are as an organization. We will have board members chairing each team, a job description giving each team direction, and a clear vision and mission for our organization so that these teams become the driving force behind All Things New. Please stay on the lookout for future communications about this new initiative and go ahead and start praying about where and how you would like to serve (and go ahead and let us know by calling or emailing) All Things New!