March's Question: Looking toward graduation for the seniors in our group, does anyone have a suggestion for a special graduation ceremony? What about diplomas?
We would love to attend the annual Leadership Training Conference in November, but cost is a problem and not all of our board members can leave their children for the entire weekend. Is it ok to incorporate the cost of the conference into our support group budget? Also, can just one or two leaders come to the conference, or do we need to come as a group?
Answer: The short answer is, YES, it is ok to incorporate the cost of the conference into your support group budget.
Here are a few ideas for making that happen (The cost can range anywhere from about $150 per person to about $250 per person depending on how many people you bring and where you choose to stay.)
1. Increase your membership fees slightly. A cost increase of $5 per year per family (in a group of 50 families) would pay for one leader to attend the conference.
2. Have a fundraiser. Our group has a used book sale each year. We charge $5 for families to participate and keep 10% of the total sales. This usually completely pays for any in our group that can go to the conference. You could also have a car wash, bake sale, or any number of other fundraisers.
3. Ask those going to contribute for gas and pay their own food on the way to and from the conference. For our group that amounts to about $10 per person for gas (if we carpool), one meal on the way up, and one meal on the way back.
Childcare can be an issue, as well. Some of our board members have been able to leave their children with family or friends. One year, a board member, that was not able to attend, volunteered to help with kids so that others could go. You are a team, and working together so that at least some of you can go should be a priority.
Also, can just one or two leaders come to the conference or do we need to come as a group?
Again, send whoever is willing to go. We recommend that AT LEAST two leaders attend. It has a much greater impact if two people come back with the same level of excitement and renewed vision, than if only one goes. Our real advice is...take everyone! We know that isn't usually possible. So take as many as you can. You won't regret it.
Thank you Arlene Alderman and Becky Ryan with REACH for answering our February Social Waters question.
Email your reply to the question for February to email@example.com. If you have a question you would like to see featured in an upcoming Leader Letter, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we will navigate the "social waters"!