Episcopal Relief & Development to Emphasize Outcome-Based Programming and Engagement

April 2, 2013

With contributions from the organization’s board and staff, as well as over 2,500 survey respondents from across the Episcopal Church, Episcopal Relief & Development’s recently inaugurated 2013-2016 strategic plan sets clear goals to drive continued growth and success.

The plan defines targets for the organization’s international and US-based programs, outlines the expansion of engagement and advancement activities and establishes objectives for raising visibility and awareness among diverse audiences. In addition, the document announces the intention to celebrate Episcopal Relief & Development’s 75th anniversary in 2015 with special activities and events to thank friends and donors for their dedicated support.

“As Chair of Episcopal Relief & Development’s Board for the past four years, I have seen the organization make huge strides in both its international and US-based programs,” said Board Chair and Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, the Right Reverend Robert J. O’Neill. “I am grateful to the staff for their tireless efforts on behalf of others, and to the countless supporters across the Church who sustain this invaluable work. I believe the new strategic plan honors these contributions and sets goals that will ensure continued growth and excellence, for the mutual benefit of all Episcopalians and those whose lives are impacted by Episcopal Relief & Development.”

The 2013-2016 strategic plan follows on the success of the previous plan, which helped Episcopal Relief & Development establish itself as a results-driven organization with a focus on building partner capacity and a commitment to good stewardship.

During the strategic period that ended in 2012, the agency successfully launched and expanded its US Disaster Program, which supports preparedness activities and provides assistance in the relief and recovery phases of disaster response. Episcopal Relief & Development increased its engagement with Episcopal churches and schools through the promotion of its curriculum packages for children and youth, including the Abundant Life Garden Project and Act Out lesson series. The organization also played a major role in international efforts to fight malaria in sub-Saharan Africa through its award-winning NetsforLife® program partnership. The NetsforLife® Inspiration Fund, which was a church-wide, grassroots campaign to engage Episcopalians in raising awareness and support for NetsforLife®’s malaria prevention efforts, reached its $5 million fundraising goal in early 2013.

Episcopal Relief & Development’s plan for the current strategic period aims to sharpen the organization’s programmatic focus while broadening its networks of supporters, friends, church and ecumenical partners and colleague agencies. The goals are articulated as follows:

  • Celebrate Episcopal Relief & Development’s 75 years of healing a hurting world on behalf of the Episcopal Church in partnership with the Anglican Communion, and inspire others to join in this ministry.
  • Increase impact through integrated and transformational programs that fight extreme poverty and disease worldwide and provide relief and recovery in times of disaster, working primarily through partnerships within the Anglican Communion.
  • Help equip at least 75% of dioceses in the United States to work with congregations, agencies and communities as they respond to and recover from disasters that impact the vulnerable in their communities and elsewhere.
  • Engage members and friends of the Episcopal Church in a compassionate response to the world through the work of Episcopal Relief & Development.
  • Strengthen and expand Episcopal Relief & Development’s position in the Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion and the wider community as a valued partner and leader in healing a hurting world.
  • Increase and diversify revenue streams to support and sustain core programs and operations.

These goals and their accompanying objectives were developed by Episcopal Relief & Development’s Board of Directors in 2012, guided by best practices and informed by the board members’ collective expertise as well as input from the strategic plan survey in early 2012. The survey received 2,558 responses that helped shape program and engagement priorities and provided valuable insight regarding perceptions of the organization’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Of particular interest to the friends and supporters who responded to the survey was Episcopal Relief & Development’s forthcoming 75th anniversary. In response, the organization will launch numerous celebration activities, which will commence in early 2014 and continue through the end of 2015.

Episcopal Relief & Development’s anniversary year of 2015 happens to coincide with the final year of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), an ongoing mission priority for the Episcopal Church. Going forward, the agency will continue to support sustainable development in many of the areas highlighted by the MDGs, with special emphasis on helping families lift themselves out of hunger, poverty and disease.

“We are going to work hard on behalf of the Church to make progress, especially in the area of helping children and their families thrive, which is a particular focus of the final years of the MDG work,” said Rob Radtke, Episcopal Relief & Development’s President. “What more wonderful legacy can there be for our 75th Anniversary Celebration than to build on the success of our award-winning NetsforLife® program and extend our life-saving programs to even more people, especially children? I am grateful to everyone who has supported Episcopal Relief & Development’s work in these last 75 years, and invite the whole Church to join us in celebrating and sustaining this momentum through the next phase of our work together.”

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church and an independent 501(c)(3) organization. The agency takes its mandate from Jesus’ words found in Matthew 25. Its programs work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Episcopal Relief & Development works closely with the worldwide Church and ecumenical partners to help rebuild after disasters and to empower local communities to find lasting solutions that fight poverty, hunger and disease, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.