Jones Builds Foundation
Vision 2000–Business Administrator’s Conference
“We’re watching the problems of the world go right by us, and the Lord Jesus Christ put us here to work on solving them,” stated Major Tom Jones, national community relations and development director, as he looked at some “Public Relations Basics–Building a Foundation for Fundraising” with Business Conference delegates in the Community Relations track.
Jones suggested that the first essential step is “understanding the difficulties of the past.” He noted that the Army has a treasury of integrity that no other organization can match. We have a tradition of involvement that we must maintain, and we have a talent for innovation second to none. This talent captures our flexibility–our willingness to change the methods of our approach without changing our motive. “When Christ calls, he says: ‘come and die’,” Jones exclaimed.
We must be willing to understand and carefully define the problems we face. This is especially true in light of increased competition for the philanthropic dollar. People have a good feeling about us, but they have considerable ignorance concerning what we are all about. If we simply “keep on keeping on”–we fail. Our resolution will melt in the face of difficulty. What we must have is a spirit of revolution where we place ourselves on the “line.”
Jones identified a second important part of his foundation. “We must develop for the present,” he said. In order to do this we must activate our advisory boards. “The Board means everything.” He urged the delegates to identify the board’s individuality and intensify their interest. “You do this by becoming more of a part of their lives.”
Third, “We must broaden our base of communication.” Reach the media, revitalize what you are doing and resource corporate America, he urged, using as an example for this an interesting campaign built around the theme: Saved by the Bell.
Jones’ final point concerned a “design for the future.” This requires strong fiscal accountability, requiring absolute ethical integrity of spending dollars only for the reason they were solicited. It is also important to “find and fund the right programs.” This requires us to know our communities, be aware of their unique needs and be ready to march into action with a concerted plan. “Always,” Jones said, “we must focus on needy people. These are our people. This is our constituency. They depend on us, and we must not fail them.”