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Sustainability Planning

Page history last edited by Bill James 8 years, 11 months ago

Bill - With the success of the 2015 conference, some of us are wondering how to set up a structure that might enhance the sustainability of the conference, especially in terms of a longterm presence on the internet and better control of funds when we run a surplus and want to subsidize the next conference (this was especially difficult at the Austin conference). One option would be to set up a 501c3, probably in Nevada, and establish a board of directors. Another would be to find a home at one of the universities who would be willing to be the custodian for our funds. We might also consider hiring a management agency to keep tabs on things for us - I met the owner of this service http://julnet.com/association_management/ last year and they seemed to do a good job for the Team-Based Learning Collaborative folks. 

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Irene Becker wrote the following proposal in 2014 - it has a number of thoughts and considerations to take into account

Proposal: Providing Stability to the West Coast Child Welfare Trainer’s Conference

Background:  The West Coast Child Welfare Trainer’s Conference is now in its 24th year.  The original effort began between The Washington Child Welfare Agency and University of Washington.  Since that time, additional states were invited and through the efforts of dedicated volunteers, as well as hosts by either universities or training academies, the conference has continued to be held on a yearly basis.  Funding comes directly from participants’ registration fees   Presenters are considered participants and also pay the registration fees. WE have kept the registration fees as low as possible in order to cover basic costs.  It does not include staff time from the hosts, or planning committee members.


Currently we do use a free wiki to advertise and post information and materials about the conference. This is monitored by volunteers to keep it updated.  While the wiki is functional, the Conference could benefit from having a website with support to update and maintain the site.


Additionally, as the conference moves from site to site, there is much of the hosts’  staff time devoted to setting up a website, and a registration process and collection of the fees each year.  Having a central registration process that collects registration fees, pays vendors and handles fiscal issues, may result in freeing up host’s staff time for other activities related to the conference.


Proposal:  A Website and Registration and Payment System be established to support the conference: Additional funds could be used to offset conference expenses or provide scholarships for attendees of the conference.



  •  Asking interested  Academies, States, Counties, Training Agencies if they would be willing to fund a website and registration process ( staff time).  The entities could be asked for a 100.00 – 200.00 a year fee and would be considered a sponsor of the West Coast Child Welfare Trainer’s Conference.
  •  Individuals could apply to be an individual sponsor for 10 or 15.00 a year.  Individuals would also be considered as sponsors of the Conference.
  •  Registration fees- fund direct costs of the conference – refreshments, networking opportunities, potentially scholarships


In Kind Contributions:

  •  Committee members time whose agencies allow for staff participation
    • Chair, Planning Chair, Host Chair, Technology Chair – 40 hours each
    • Committee members 20 hours ( some committee members volunteer time and are not agency sponsored)
    • Host staff support per person -  40-60 hours per person


  • Staff time to maintain a website – 1 hour per week 52 weeks
  • Staff time to register participants  - 20 hours per year
  • Fiscal -  35 hours per year



  • Increased collaboration among all entities sponsoring the WCTC
  • More agencies who may be willing to host if some administrative functions were centralized
  • Recognition for agency who would host the website and registration for conference
  • Recognition to those who sponsor the conference
  • Centralized website that could be customized and provide information about future and past conferences
  • Planning committee could focus on further stabilization activities if support is provided (advertising through a subscription list, brochure development, professionalization of trainers, collaborating with other human services training entities such as behavioral health, CalWorks, Foster Parent training, etc).


Planning Committee Meeting: July 15th, 2014


Ideas that came up from the group:

  • Should we approach any current organization to sponsor us?  (Casey, CWLA, National Workforce Institute)
  • Is there some way to get IV-E funding for putting on the conference? Would a state be willing to take this on as a contract to leverage the funding?
  • Should we form a non – profit?  ( Tax implications, financial auditing, board of directors?)
  • Would a university be willing to host a permanent website?  ( Kris was checking with Katherine Cahn about this)
  • What about centralized registration?  We need to look at how a organization could pay across state, university programs.
  • Can look for host universities to use interns to help in providing support?
  • Is there some way we can regroup the wiki to be more user friendly – by topic rather than chronological)?
  • Are there any foundations we might consider applying to?
  • Should we charge a bit more and see about offering scholarships to the host as a way of offsetting all of the costs of staff time?
  • We want to keep the values of the conference, and having a sponsor might require us to change to conform to sponsor’s mission.
  • How can we get more trainers who come from CASA, foster parent, parent and youth partner , organizations who do not have the money to registration and/or travel?


Action:  Irene agreed to write up ideas and send to Shelly – Shelly will send out prior to first planning meeting for 2015 conference.  Irene has agreed to follow up on suggested action steps throughout the year to see what will be feasible in stabilizing support for conference.  Shelly will have this as a standing agenda item for conference calls.





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