ALLIED PARTNERS RETREAT #2, November 7, 2007

Present: Mike Bodden, Susan Corrado, Dan Haupt, Alice Howard, Marge Lyford, Leslie McAllister, Shirley Robbins, Jack Tiffany.

The meeting opened on a high note: Susan has been named "Nurse of the Month" on Fox 47, nominated by an Allied resident. She was interviewed by Fox today, and this will be broadcast on the 9:00 news Sunday evening.

1. We reviewed our mission statement in the brochure and revised it to read as follows:
The Partners are people of faith, committed to service, who join together with a common goal to assist our neighbors in the Allied-Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood on Madison's southwest side. We also work with residents, organizations, and agencies active in the area.

2. Question: What does Allied Partners membership do for member congregations and organizations?
--Helps meet their mission -
--financially (giving money, food, other items, and volunteers)
--opportunities to share experiences with neighborhood residents.
--awareness of needs, challenges, and strengths of people living in poverty.
--feeling of hopefulness by having opportunities to "do something" about problems.
--direct relationships of neighborhood residents and agencies with the people of the congregations, as in mission moments, exhibits, sermons.
--opportunities for persons and groups to advocate for the neighborhood with agencies and government bodies.

3. Question: Are we meeting our commitment to our four projects?
Food Pantry
--Needs: a Board; more volunteers, both regular and available in "crisis"; leadership in fundraising, dealing with donations, and scheduling and recruiting volunteers; dependable sources of money; backup supervision and people ready for transition of major leadership.
--Suggestion: Written information detailing specific tasks and times for volunteers. Mike will produce this.
--Idea: PR materials and a way to get this to all member churches.

Special Projects
--Uses of this fund has changed over the years. Discussed possible uses, consensus is that there should be a mix of regularly occurring needs and "unplanned" needs, with emphasis on the latter.
--We would like a goal of $100 from each church; this will be on an AP regular agenda.

Eviction Prevention
--The present procedure is working well. The need has increased; $21,000 will be spent in 2007, with a goal for 2008 of $21,000. Needs: To share some of the family stories, now appearing in Dianne's reports, with the congregations. To know the outcomes of the situations where we gave money (how to get this information?). Offer Dianne's flower cards for sale at churches.

Wellness Center
--Funding: Inconsistent, while the Center has fixed expenses. Allied Partners provide one-third, the City one-third, and grants and donations one-third. We have not met our commitment for 2007; $3,000 short. Needs: specific fundraising? get this need to the congregations (with what "hook"?).
--Volunteers: What needs could congregations fill? We will get a list of the appropriate person(s) at each church to receive information from the Wellness Center.
--PR: Need a speakers bureau? Susan will speak to congregations. We have a display board, and the AP slide show. Can the Wellness Center Board develop other materials?

4. Question: Do we need a committee structure?
--"In theory" we have a Finance Committee (Jack, Marge, Dianne, Barb Park) operating by phone mostly. AP has several fiscal agents, the committee just assembles a report.
-- A decison was made to begin with two Standing Committees, Finance and Membership, and one ad hoc Committee for fundraising.
Jack, Marge, George Anderson (MUM), and Dianne and Barb if they consent to continue.
Should include residents. Functions: monitor church representatives to AP and how they connect AP with their congregations; identify potential volunteers, recruit new congregations, develop a job description for representatives to AP, know whom to contact in the congregations other than the official rep, keep track of the membership list (active/contributing), develop an outreach strategy.
--(Ad hoc) Funding:
Susan, Linda K., and Mike
Develop a strategy.

5. Question: What is Allied Partners' role in advocacy and public education?
Dan noted that his congregation is comfortable with the four tangible projects but not with political advocacy on social issues which are divisive within the church.
Jack suggested that our role is to facilitate dialogue, make information and opportunities known to members as individuals, to discuss these issues, but not to vote a position.
This will be an agenda item for future Allied Partners meetings.

6. Finances: Jack
Jack gave a printout of a Draft Report on 2007 work and 2008 budget; a sheet of "How to Contribute" instructions; a sheet describing the four projects and their financial needs; and a cover letter. This pack will go to each Allied Partners representative and to each pastor.

7. Meeting adjourned. Shirley Robbins, Recorder