American Partners Summit | September 2011

Summit Synopsis

The first annual Mwandi Summit was held at the First Presbyterian Church in Mooresville on October 7-8, 2011. There were approximately 50 representatives from churches and other organizations supporting the mission. Eight members of the board of trustees were also in attendance. On Friday evening, board chair Verna Case presented an overview of the April trustee meeting and summarized the current status of the mission. Charles Newsome followed with a brief history of American partnerships with the mission. On Saturday morning, attendees broke into small discussion groups to discuss and present ideas around the following topics:

  • align collaborative partnerships to focus on a common vision and purpose for Mwandi.
  • help create a sustainable future for Mwandi through shared ownership of clearly identified and prioritized goals.

Groups identified three primary issues: CommunicationOrganization, and Fundraising. Below is a summary of specific actions suggested by summit participants.

Communication issues

  • Provide regular communication and transparency
  • Report on
    • activities of all partners
    • accomplishments
  • Consider trip coordinator positions – One in Mwandi and one in US
  • Assess visits to Mwandi – request evaluations and feedback from each group
  • Establish a list of all Mwandi stakeholders and partners
  • Create a talent inventory of individuals who are available to contribute to Mwandi
  • Utilize internet for communication among stakeholders
  • Hold yearly or regular Summits

Organizational issues

  • Proceed with strategic planning for the Board of Trustees – Establish mission, vision, goals (SMART), and priorities
  • Define American board responsibilities and distinguish from the responsibilities of the local board in Mwandi (e.g. American board responsible for fund-raising, local board prioritizes needs in Mwandi)
  • Increase board accountability and leadership
  • Consider the best board composition for fund-raising and expertise.
  • Generate buy-in and involvement from people in Mwandi (local leaders who are trained)

Fundraising issues

  • Establish 501c3 status
  • Include a Paypal option on website
  • Recruit fund-raisers/ambassadors who are good story-tellers
  • Engage a videographer and professional marketing expert to assist with fund-raising efforts
  • Plan “vision” trips to Mwandi that will introduce potential contributors to the mission’s needs
  • Pursue grants from foundations
  • Make PowerPoint presentations available for use by fund-raisers
  • Recognize donors and provide annual reports to account for use of funds
  • Establish a database of donors
  • Build the Mwandi endowment fund

A detailed Mwandi Summit Summary and an Action Strategy Diagram compiled by Eric deNeve (Summit facilitator) are provided.

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