outreach-9085One of the ways CCN is improving is by moving towards a more client-centered approach so we can create a culture of reciprocity. In order to meet this goal we are creating opportunities to get our clients involved with CCN in as many ways as possible. Currently, we engage clients through volunteer opportunities around the office, feedback forms and a public board with feedback and ways to contribute. We definitely can and want to take this engagement further though, and therefore we are forming a Client Advisory Council.

 
The Council will be made up of client members who are nominated and voted for by other clients. They will have regularly scheduled meetings with Megan during which time they will receive updates about CCN from her and provide her with ideas and suggestions about our programs. So we can ensure that this council will be meaningful and not merely “window dressing”, the group would be responsible for designing and implementing projects that would be of benefit to clients and CCN alike. We’ve already seen a strong positive response to this in our conversations with clients.

 

By forming this council, not only will we be boosting client participation at CCN, but we will be providing these individuals with another way to add value to our community. Our clients have a lot to offer, but they are used to being on the receiving end – often disregarded – and they aren’t presented with a lot of ways to give back. This is a great chance to provide our clients with the opportunity to contribute and experience all of the good feelings that go along with that. Not only will forming this council be beneficial and transformative for clients, but it also will put CCN on the cutting edge of best practices for community organizing and engagement.

 

– Tessa Carlson, Resource & Outreach Intern

 

Tessa has been working on this project for the past two months: helping to create the structure, promote and discuss the opportunity with clients, and getting board approval. In the coming months, she along with Executive Director Megan Vizina will continue to find possible council members and by the fall, we hope to host our first Client Advisory Council meeting.