Report from the National Advisory Board

from the desk of…

by Lt. Colonel Donald BellNot only was the recent National Advisory Organizations Conference an opportunity to celebrate, educate and inspire our officers, advisory organizations volunteers, and employees, it was also a time to strategize and align the priorities of the National Advisory Board (NAB) with the needs of The Salvation Army.

NAB Chairman Rob Pace, managing director of Goldman Sachs & Co., along with the National Commander, Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, and NAB member Bobby Lyle, Chairman and CEO of Lyco Holdings Inc., led a strategic planning process that asked the basic question: What is the National Advisory Board all about? Is it an advisory board to National Headquarters? Is it an advisory board to the Commissioners’ Conference? Is it an advisory board to the National Commander?

The board is being restructured around five standing committees to help The Salvation Army do what we cannot do for ourselves and to establish priorities to move forward into the future.

The Executive Committee is about organization and oversight. It will oversee strategic and operational planning, nomination, recruitment, and orientation of new NAB members and handle interim activity between meetings.

The Community Relations Committee is about external issues impacting the Army. It will advise on key media and public relations events including disaster relief initiatives and the National Kettle Kick-Off. It will address issues of connecting with the next generation and multicultural development. It will anticipate, review and help shape debate on key public policy initiatives, and provide perspective on non-profit best practices and governance. Finally, the committee will provide early guidance on key themes to incorporate in the National Annual Report.

The Human Resources Development Committee deals with internal issues affecting the Army. The committee will assist in developing a communication network between local advisory boards and the National Advisory Board. A new website has been launched to solicit and provide ideas from and to local advisory board members. It will cultivate and disseminate best practices from within The Salvation Army as well as outside the Army, and consider strategies that will enhance local advisory organizations. The committee will assist in officer mentoring and leadership education, as well as plan for future National Advisory Organizations Conferences.

The Business Administration Committee makes recommendations in regards to the operations of The Salvation Army. It reviews technology and operating efficiency strategies. Questions for discussion include: What should our technology and systems strategy be? What are at present the greatest savings or efficiency opportunities? Are there creative outsourcing opportunities? Can we better utilize technology in training and recruiting? What are recommendations in regard to our internal internet strategy? The committee members will also come alongside us in benchmarking and financial performance, and make recommendations in regard to the adult rehabilitation centers.

The Financial and Institutional Development Committee will serve as a resource in collaborative fundraising, strategic relationships with corporations and foundations, and helping the Army stay abreast of key opportunities created by changes in tax laws. The committee will recommend new fundraising product strategies, internet/technology enablers, and linkage to new media, alliances and programs.

The National Commander challenged the National Advisory Board with seven expectations for a 21st Century Salvation Army as NAB moves from our Mission Statement to a Vision Statement for NAB, to a writing of goals, and then objectives, in this forward movement.

Those seven expectations are:

1) We must be faithful to our mission.
2) We must maintain the integration of doctrine. (Deeds and our strategic engagements must mirror what we believe.)
3) Growth: A big Army.
4) Leadership: A prepared Army (We must have
committed, confident, and courageous leaders.)
5) Serve: A restless Army pressing to be ahead of its time, on the cutting edge, implementing strategies
that not only serve those suffering in poverty but
also confronting the cause.
6) Diversity: An inclusive Army identifying, preparing,
and releasing women and minorities for possible
leadership at the highest levels of the organization.
7) Responsive: A ready Army.

Praise God for our National Leaders and for the National Advisory Board members who have come alongside us to more effectively serve Christ and the coming age.

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