CEO David Cook (Hendersonville, N.C.; said his organization hosts a quarterly event to increase awareness in the community. It’s called IAM—A Closer Look and is targeted toward bringing new talent, skills and money into the organization.

The board and its chair have a role in the event, too.

“IAM—A Closer Look is a one-hour tour and orientation to our nonprofit that we do every three months,” Cook said. “It is aimed at new pastors, prospective volunteers, donors and interested business persons.”

When board members and Cook attend chamber of commerce events, Rotary Club meetings and other community functions, they issue an invitation to visit the organization for IAM—A Closer Look.

The agenda for the one-hour event covers these activities:

  • A reception hosted by the board’s chair.
  • Welcome delivered by Cook.
  • Introductions of those who will be speaking.
  • Remarks from Cook that explain who IAM is and what the organization does.
  • A facility tour, hosted by the organization’s volunteer manager.
  • Perspectives on IAM’s work, from various voices involved with the organization, including a pastor, an IAM volunteer and a video testimonial from a client.

Cook wraps up the event with a description of organizational needs.

A question-and-answer session follows, and then attendees are asked to complete a form to evaluate the event.

Everyone who attends receives a folder with the annual report, the bimonthly Faith Liaison Newsletter, a basic organizational brochure, the volunteer opportunities brochure and a one-page information paper with the mission and vision statements and 2015 statistics, Cook said.

“Eight to ten guests typically attend the event,” Cook said.

“In general, we have enjoyed continued support from churches with new pastors who have attended, gained some new volunteers and added several new sponsors for our annual fundraiser and several individuals who later became board members,” he said. One recent new board member addition is the new pastor of one of IAM’s largest founding organizations, he said.

Members of the press have also received invitations to attend. “I think that has helped us with the excellent local coverage of our ministry and our various events through the year,” Cook said.

New donors have also stepped up as a result of attendance at the event. “Most recently, a donor put up a $5,000 matching gift challenge for our capital campaign, and another donor who is also now a volunteer contributed $5,000 to our crisis services,” Cook said.

The event evaluations are used to fine-tune the orientation and tour. “They have garnered very positive feedback,” he said.