LEADERSHIP MONTGOMERY - Legacy Class - "connecting"
LEGACY CLASS XXXII PROJECT TEAM SEVEN
SUPPORTING ONE PLACE FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER
CHAIR PERSON: Jenny Gola-Smith
TEAM MEMBERS: Jenny Gola-Smith, Charlie Kendall, Elmarko Magee, John McWilliams, Dawn Owens, Ben Venable, and Stephen Woerner
THEMATIC AREA: QUALITY OF LIFE/POVERTY AND THE LESS FORTUNATE
DATE(S) OF IMPLEMENTATION: From September 2015 to May 2016
DURATION OF THE PROJECT: 8 months
PROJECT LOCATION: One Place Family Justice Center; 530 South Lawrence Street; Montgomery, AL 36104
FINAL PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Located in downtown Montgomery, the One Place Family Justice Center seeks to provide a single venue where victims of family violence can receive all of the assistance that they need. Victims can find an advocate, talk to a police office, receive legal assistance, plan for their physical safety, receive medical assistance, obtain information on shelters, and receive sexual assault services. In essence, One Place serves as an umbrella organization that partners with many other organizations and agencies to provide that support.
From the very beginning, our project focused on learning from the center staff about critical needs for the One Place Family Justice Center to see how our group could support those needs. Based on interviews with Nathan Cook, Executive Director of One Place FJC, we identified three areas of support that defined the vision for our project:
(1) the revitalization of the One Place Family Justice Center website
(2) the production of a promotional video for One Place Family Justice Center
(3) the creation of a model for a sustainable fundraising event.
Through these efforts, we believe that our project has the potential to help the One Place Family Justice Center promote its vision for supporting victims of family violence to the Montgomery area, enhance their online presence, and create more sustainable avenues of fundraising and donor relations throughout the River Region.
MEDIA OUTLETS CONTACTED: None (as of 4/18/2016)
WHO WAS SERVED AND HOW MANY PEOPLE BENEFITTED? At this point, our primary work has directly supported the staff & board of the Family Justice Center. However, we believe that, in time, the website and promotional video will have the opportunity to reach thousands of individuals as they learn about the support provided by One Place Family Justice Center to victims of family violence. Furthermore, we believe the creation of a sustainable fundraising event has the potential to create a larger donor base for the center and increased visibility throughout the River Region.
OTHER AGENCIES AND GROUPS WHO WERE INVOLVED:
One Place Family Justice Center Board of Directors (fundraising for video; vision for fundraising event)
G2 Productions (video production)
Revolution MGM (website production)
Capital City Club (location for fundraiser event)
Poarch Band of Creek Indians (funding for food & beverages at fundraising event)
VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF THE PROJECT: We hope that the website and the video will aid in promoting the mission of One Place to the Montgomery community, and we hope that the fundraiser will be a sustainable resource of valuable support for the center and will increase awareness and a potential donor base in the future.
WILL THIS BE AN ONGOING PROJECT OR WILL IT BE A ONE-TIME PROJECT? The promotional video and website revision are one-time projects; we hope that the fundraiser will be ongoing.
IF IT WILL BE ON-GOING, WHO WILL CARRY THE PROJECT FORWARD? The board of One Place Family Justice center will (hopefully) carry the project forward.
DESCRIBE EXACTLY HOW YOUR PROJECT WAS IMPLEMENTED:
In September, our group met with Nathan Cook, Executive Director of One Place, to explore possibilities for our project. At first, we thought we might work with them in creating a clothes closet for victims. We quickly learned in our first tour of the facility that they had recently created this type of resource for victims already, so this really was not a need. However, we did learn about some of the challenges that they were facing as a center.
Those challenges were: promoting the center’s mission to the community and fundraising. Over the course of several meetings in September and October, we started to focus our attention on ways that we could help in those areas. In October, we contacted Joe Bryan at G2 productions to explore the budget needs for a promotional video, and we examined the center’s website to see what improvements could be made.
Specifically, we identified several important needs for the website including the following: maintaining current information about the Board and activities of the center and addressing the ability of FJC staff to easily update the site and support online fundraising.
A November meeting with DA and FJC Board Chair Darryl Bailey focused on discussing the possibility of creating a fundraising event. Specifically, we brainstormed about creating a sustainable “Walk in Her Shoes” event in which male community leaders would wear high heels on a runway at a cocktail party in downtown Montgomery. We all liked the party idea as a way of increasing funds for the center and an awareness for the mission. We followed the discussion with a meeting with Executive Director Nathan Cook to make sure that he supported the fundraiser; he agreed and invited us to present the idea to the board of the FJC at its December meeting.
In December, members of our group presented the ideas at the monthly FJC Board Meeting to get their endorsement and support for the ideas. We emphasized the need for a board committee to support the fundraiser and shared the fact that we would need the names of potential donors for the promotional video. However, in January the board experienced a transition in board leadership, and by late February, we still had not heard about board support for our project.
In the meantime, we continued to work on conceptualizing a fundraising event. We secured a location and funding for food & beverages and discussed a time and date and decided on May 3, 2016, as the potential date. At the same time we planned a social media rollout and identified potential community leaders to participate in the “walk in her shoes.” In addition, we secured RevolutionMGM to support the revitalization of the One Place website. The goal was for RevolutionMGM to organize a “hack-a-thon” to implement the revisions for the website.
At the FJC Board Meeting in early March, members of our project team presented our specific needs regarding the promotional video and the fundraiser, and we pledged to fill the gap between the funds the board could raise and the total amount needed to implement the project. The board pledged $1000 for the video and agreed to involve our group in its next Marketing Committee Meeting to work through plans for the May fundraiser. (Unfortunately, that meeting has yet to occur.)
In mid-March, we renewed our contact with G2 productions to share the news that money had been raised to begin work on the promotional video. We discussed possible visions for what the video would look like, and a meeting was held in early April with one of the group members and Joe Bryan of G2 productions, Nathan Cook and Michael Briddell, a One Place FJC board member.
We agreed on a vision for the video and a process for interviewing specific individuals on camera to produce the video. Board member Michael Briddell agreed to work on the script for the video, and once the script is completed, filming will begin. Joe Bryan anticipates a two-week turnaround from beginning of filming to the finished product, provided we can consolidate interviews into as few filming days as possible.
Project Results (as of April 18):
- At this point the plans for the website revitalization have been completed after RevolutionMGM hosted the initial brainstorming session on Sunday, April 17, with a completion date scheduled for May 3.
- The script of the video is still being finalized, but the production company is ready to go as soon as the center shares its specific plans. We are working on securing dates for interviews, and we anticipate its completion in early May. However, it may not be ready in time for the project team’s presentation.
- Regardless of the schedule for completion of the video, we still have the venue reserved for the fundraising event. However, it has not yet been promoted because, as of April 18, we have not received an endorsement from the FJC marketing committee. It is critical that this event have board support and participation to ensure its sustainability. We are hopeful that the event will still occur, but we have to admit that it is possible that there will be a delay. Our team will attend the FJC Board Meeting on April 20 to make final plans for the fundraiser.
HOW MANY VOLUNTEER HOURS WERE DEVOTED TO THIS PROJECT?
Approximately 90 hours so far. There will be more if the fundraising event occurs in May.