I would first like to thank everyone that attended the board retreat, and for taking the time and energy to come to this retreat and help bring Dr. Blair’s work to the masses. We all have busy lives, practices, families and I think Dr. Blair and Muncy are smiling down on us now as we start the beginning stages of bringing this work to a larger audience.
I am happy to say that the society is in a different position than it was since our last retreat. And to steal a few words form Dr. Lenarz….”He said that the retreat in South beach would be pivotal in the Blair society’s history!” Many of our board members who were dormant in the past are now stepping up contributing valuable time and energy, and we are in the first steps of making our vision statement a living reality. At the retreat Dr. Lenarz built on our first steps that were created in South Beach and has most of our committees pointed in the same direction and working towards a common goal.
Since the South Beach retreat we have accomplished the following:
- Hired Traci Jones to run our society full time. Traci has been instrumental in bringing organization and accountability to the society and we all need to thank her for doing an awesome job. I can say as president that she is doing a great job. We talk regularly (several times weekly) and discuss things that need to be done on the website, within the committees, etc. etc. I can tell you, and most of you that have dealt with her know that she is prompt, accurate, and doesn’t quit until tasks are complete.
- All committees are now having regular committee calls and Traci is tracking all calls with notes, action steps, goals, and checking things off when they are accomplished.
- Monthly membership updates sent out highlighting society changes and events happening. These updated help our members to feel more connected to our mission and vision. As a result we are now starting to pick up new members on our committees, this is crucial to our continued growth going forward.
- Amazon smile has been setup and badge/link added to website and Facebook group and page for fundraising purposes.
- Q&A/troubleshooting section added to members only section of website. Over 90+ posts from Dr. Forest have been uploaded in sections weekly.
- Student information page has been setup with instructional videos for students to view.
- Donor page has been setup on website to recognize society donors.
- Archived Blair publications page has been setup for members only to view. The publications have been provided by Dr. Forest.
- Quicker turn-around time for seminar payment to instructors.
- Committee minutes and updated committee action plans posted to board member discussion page on website.
- Online banking being finished up, and Quickbooks online setup.
- Delinquent member accounts have auto-generated emails coming from website. Traci personally emails each member to remind them to renew membership and includes list of member benefits.
- Monthly donations setup on Authorize.net to process automatically on the 15th of each month.
- Monthly payment membership option for Primary and Associate Doctor’s setup.
- New patient testimonial videos uploaded to website for viewing.
- Conference audio available on members only portion of website.
- Society mission, vision, and core values on website for visitors to view.
- Consistent member/student communication through website email system.
- Email blasts setup to go out biweekly for annual conference.
- Annual conference member, student, and vendor registration up on the website. Hotel accommodations for annual conference up on website and open for reservations.
- All new members are now receiving a welcome letter after their joining the society.
- The society has 10 new students and 5 new members since our retreat in Florida.
- The board passed a motion to have all Blair seminar registrations run through the society and a 15 percent fee back to the society on all seminar revenue is now coming back to us. Already in 2015 the society has made approximately 950 dollars in the first month from seminars. Also the site allows us to generate a report and instructors are being paid in a more timely manner than in the past. Once online banking is live the time lapse on these types of transactions will be days not weeks and months.
That is where we have been and now I would like to talk about looking forward.
Our committee calls have brought forth some great ideas. The problem is that most of them involve spending money. I would like to speak about our finacial position and what I think we need to start considering about our future.
We have three things we need to consider from a finacial standpoint at this time:
In my mind we need three accounts.
1. Operational account: This is account is responsible for running the day to day operations of the society.
2. Research account: This money is surplus money that the society generates and is budgeted for projects the society would like to carry out and also for projects that come from outside sources such as Jaison project.
3. Endowment Fund: This fund should be actively managed and is money that is surplus outside of operational costs.
The society needs to come up with guidelines that we use to our financial advantage. We will never become endowed unless we start saving for endowment now. We should have a percentage of money that comes in set aside into the endowment fund and research funds.
These three funds will help the fundraising committee with their efforts. When fundraising campaigns take place the donor should have a choice (gives them control over where their funds are spent).
A financial committee is being setup to start working on a financial strategy that works toward a plan and policy of how the funds of the society are distributed, create an operational budget and work on what it will mean for us to be endowed. The committee will also work on determining what number we need to get to in order to run the society off the income of the endowment fund going forward. And then determine where the endowment is held (actively managed) so that the financial position of the society outlives us all and is self-perpetuating.
Strategies we need to be mindful of and look at going forward:
We need to develop an internet strategy- sick people are on the internet searching for answers. The time is ripe to capitalize on this and add value to our membership in the capacity of new patients and revenue.
- 1. Video testimonies are powerful and people are more likely to watch a video than read three pages, especially sick people looking for answers to their health issues. I would like to see more of our members publish testimonial videos that are linked into our site. We need to engage membership in building out a massive amount of content on our site.
- 2. Need to have a strategy in place that members are aware of…..When members get on TV, have blogs written about Blair and their patients online, are written up in the newspaper etc etc etc….. There needs to be a policy in place and strategy where these bits of information are not only linked to our site but to our members sites. We need to create a web of internet information that is linked through out that builds are SEO and puts our information in front of people who are searching Google for health answers. This is a no brainer, however we need to come up with how we will do it and how we will involve membership to help with this process. We have done some of this on the site already but it is a shotgun approach. The internet is literally a gold mine for membership if we can capitalize on this shift in the WAY PEOPLE shop for health these days. Another committee needs to be formed and someone with some expertise in this area needs to map out a strategy with Traci and involve membership and it needs to be implemented ASAP.
- 1. Next week I am having lunch with a gentleman who has raised over 50 million for non-profits. I will have pen and pad ready and will pick his brain and report back to the fundraising committee on what I learn.
- 2. Dr. Liz Hoeffer and I are joining forces to set up a silent auction dinner in the LA area. I have several patients that run non-profits in Palos Verdes Area and have been very successful at raising large sums of money. I will be going out to lunch with an individual who has run successful fundraising galas in the past. We will be negotiating a deal for her payment (percentage of profits) and it appears that she is willing to use her database of wealthy individuals in the South Bay for our event. She is very detail oriented and we will be creating a template so this can be used across the country by other Blair docs. Imagine the opportunity to raise money for a non-profit and at the same time deliver the upper cervical message to movers and shakers with money in your locale. This originally started as a beneficiary for the society until I realized that not only will this benefit the society (money) but it is a great way for a doctor to promote himself through a non-profit and generate new patients with people of affluence in the community. More details to come on this…
In closing we have made great progress over the past few months and this past weekend at the retreat Dr. Lenarz lead us through a strategic planning process which will continue to solidify our commitment to our vision statement of bringing “Blair Upper Cervical Care to every community in the world.”
Lets do this!
Dr. Drew Hall