August 2010
AAI E-News  
A quarterly e-newsletter from Advancement Associates, Inc.
In This Issue
Church of God research study
New vision caters to young
The difference between visioning and strategic planning
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Client at a Glance
Who: Living Branches 
What: Affiliated Retirement Communities
Southeastern PA

Originally three separate retirement communities, Living Branches was formed in November of 2008. Click here
to read its story.

 Upcoming Events
See us next at:

AAHSA Annual Convention
Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2010

Los Angeles, CA

TFA National Conference

Nov. 18-20, 2010
Columbus, OH

Our Team
Richard L. Gerig, MEd, Principal
Rebecca S. Drumm, CFRE,  Principal
Sherilyn R. Ortman, BA, Associate

J. Daniel Hess, PhD, Associate

Michael D. Wiese, PhD, Associate
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Church of God conducting major research study
Church of God logo

Several decades have passed since the four colleges and universities associated with the Church of God movement have conducted systematic and comprehensive research of their relationships with church constituents.

Now, some leaders believe the current environment of scarce resources and intense competition for students again demands intentional listening to core constituents. Within the movement, there is growing conversation about words such as "connectivity," "accountability" and "partnership." And there is awareness that another investment in formal research may well open the door to new dimensions of collaboration, mutuality and future thinking between the Church of God and its four institutions of higher education. Read more.

In Theory & In Practice
New vision for Presbyterian women caters to young
Fall women's retreat One year ago the women of First United Presbyterian Church (Bellefontaine, OH) were disheartened. Their local chapter of the Presbyterian Women's Association (PWA) had dwindled to about seven regular members, all of whom were 65 or older. Leadership had remained unchanged for over a decade. Year after year most of the group's funds--by that time tens of thousands of dollars--were invested, rather than spent or given to worthwhile projects. Younger women in the congregation felt little ownership and found it difficult to fit the traditional monthly, daytime meetings into their already busy schedules. Read more.

Ask the consultant


Q: What is the difference between visioning and strategic planning?


A: Visioning, while a critical first step, is only a part of the strategic planning process. If the vision is the desired destination, the strategic plan is how to get there.

To illustrate, when planning a vacation, we picture in our minds a particular experience at a specific destination. If it stops there, it is nothing more than wishful thinking. To make it happen, we need a plan that includes goals and action steps: What date will we leave? What route will we take? What vehicle will we need and who will drive?  If we work the plan, we're much more likely to end up having the desired experience at the chosen destination.

A strategic plan may be divided into a series of one-year plans, each of which outlines the steps to be taken that year. Plans will need to be evaluated and adapted to emerging realities in order for an organization to achieve its vision.

To read more about vision, strategic planning and their relationship to mission, click here.

Do you have a question to "ask the consultant?" Email us!

Building relationships. Advancing your mission.