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Dear Friendship Force Clubs and Members,
Ahead of a more formal year-end review, I wanted to share a summary of the most recent Board of Directors meeting that took place here in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, from October 14-17. This was our second meeting together since I began at FFI, and it offered both the Board and myself the opportunity to take stock of our accomplishments this past year and what needs our attention moving forward.
Before I share some of the highlights, it is important that we acknowledge three dedicated Board Members whose terms end this year; Viv Caulfield from Australia, Loes Epping from the Netherlands and Dave Kalan from the United States. Thank you for all you have done these past few years to help move Friendship Force forward!
2017 marks the beginning of our 40th anniversary celebrations and with this comes a defining opportunity for the organization. Not only will we be celebrating four decades of international friendship, but also a vision that will carry us forward.
At the World Conference in Morocco this past September, I began to outline this vision, but the critical step of endorsing, approving and committing to this vision was still needed by the Board of Directors. A step, I am pleased to report, that was ambitiously and unanimously taken at the meeting together!
Details will be shared over the next several months but for now, here is a summary:
- The Board accepted a comprehensive report on the efforts underway to strengthen clubs and club membership through stronger international marketing, public relations, and communications.
- The Board unanimously supported developing opportunities for youth, family and individuals to join us in eliminating the barriers that separate people.
- The Board approved raising the recommended host fees from $100 to $150 USD in the Policies and Guidelines for Clubs and Exchanges.
- The Board unanimously endorsed the concept of establishing a global membership option for those individuals who do not have access to a local club.
- The Board endorsed the recommendation by the Fund Development Committee to launch a fundraising campaign that will coincide with our 40th anniversary.
Extensive conversation and research has accompanied each of these decisions, and we will continue to share further updates and announcements in future communications. For now, let us begin the work of celebrating the important role Friendship Force has played in the world these past 40 years
More to come!