Dear AIM,

On Tuesday, March 31, we held our first ever virtual countywide meeting. Thank you to everyone who participated from the safety of your own homes! I was particularly moved to see how the strength of our public relationships, built through one-to-one listening and based on common interests, transcends physical distance.

Thank you also to Pastors Tapp, Xisto and Ladd and Jacqueline Barth from St. Camillus for leading us.

In the coming months, AIM’s focus will continue to be organizing to increase equity in Montgomery County around issues such as housing, educationjobstransportation and immigration. However, in a time of significant job layoffs, when many cannot access food, and while there is a major global health crisis swirling around us, some of our specific campaigns in these areas may change. 

We are also continuing to do everything we can to support our member institutions during these challenging times, particularly around money and fundraising. Congregations, nonprofits, and similar institutions are vital to the health of families and communities and provide anchors during stormy times. It is more important now than ever that our member institutions be able to fulfill their callings to serve their communities. 

At Tuesday night’s countywide meeting, we outlined the following next steps for AIM members to take in our pursuit of increasing equity in Montgomery County:

1. Meet with your institution’s core team

First (and most importantly!), gather the top leaders, or core team, of your congregation or school.

Come up with a plan to reach out and do one-to-one relational meetings with—

  • People from your institution
  • People your institution relates to
  • Specific groups of people that are particularly vulnerable, such as health care workers and front line service workers (delivery, grocery stores, transportation, etc.)

Take a look at AIM’s Sample Core Team Agenda as you plan your meeting, and check out AIM’s Relational Meeting Guide for calling scripts and ideas. 

2. Join an issue action team

We are launching three issue action teams around the issue areas of HealthJobs, and Education

These action teams will meet regularly to study these problem areas, conduct targeted listening to hear from individuals affected in these areas, and strategically move into action with all of AIM. 

Do any of these particular issue areas tug at your heart? Are you interested in researching strategies that could benefit all residents of Montgomery County? Then consider joining one of our three issue action teams by attending one of the virtual kick-off meetings listed below:

AIM HEALTH ISSUE ACTION TEAM

Thursday, April 2 | 4:00-5:00 PM
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Topics will include, but not be limited to:
—Protecting people in high risk areas such as high density apartments or senior living facilities
—Protecting health care employees
—Tracking and checking in with COVID-19 patients

URL to join Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/j/444858564

Don’t want to use Zoom? Simply call 301-715-8592 and enter meeting ID 444-858-564 to join the call.
AIM JOBS ISSUE ACTION TEAM

Friday, April 3 | 3:00-4:00 PM
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Topics will include, but not be limited to:
—Job creation
—Access to unemployment benefits for qualifying individuals

URL to join Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/j/269293082

Don’t want to use Zoom? Simply call 301-715-8592 and enter meeting ID 269-293-082 to join the call.
AIM EDUCATION ISSUE ACTION TEAM

Email Tanushree Isaacman if interested

3. Take advantage of financial resources for institutions offered by AIM and Metro IAF

AIM and the Industrial Areas Foundation are doing everything we can to help support the financial health and well-being of our member organizations. Below are links for videos of two finance-related workshops we’ve given.

PART I: HOW TO STABILIZE AND STRENGTHEN CONGREGATIONAL/INSTITUTIONAL GIVING IN THIS TIME OF CRISIS
This workshop focused on the income side of finances
Watch PART I
PART II: CONGREGATIONAL/INSTITUTIONAL FINANCES IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
This workshop focused on the expenses side of finances
Watch PART II

Additionally, we may offer individual consulting on fundraising campaigns specifically for AIM member organizations, free of charge, through the James Company, which provided the first training video above. Please contact Cynthia if you are interested. 

Our IAF partners in Illinois have prepared a fundraising campaign template for any IAF member institution to make their own. It can be personalized for any congregation’s name, financial goals, and causes to support. Read a description of the campaign, and view the template. We’re looking for a few IAF member institutions of all sizes and situations to try out this campaign. If you’re interested, get in touch with Cynthia to learn more. 

Finally, stay tuned for a workshop on CARES and Families First Acts and how the legislation might support your institutions.

For twenty years, AIM has invested in relationships with local leaders to build power that results in on-the-ground change in our communities. We know these same relationships are what will nourish and ground us today by connecting us to each other in a time of uncertainty. 

Just as in organizing and in life, “All of us need all of us to make it.” Thank you for all you are to your communities, and to AIM.

Peace,

Cynthia Marshall
Lead Organizer

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