Many thanks are due to Craig Saphin for his leadership during the past three and a half years. Craig put a tremendous amount of of work and energy into TELL, helping to transform the organization’s business operations by strengthening our community outreach and marketing and communications abilities, and pushing to install an executive director with responsibility for leading fundraising efforts and overseeing operations.
For several years, TELL’s first priority has been taking the Lifeline 24 hours. We are getting closer, but we are not yet there and we need to continue to push toward this objective. The establishment of a phone room in Kansai last year was an important milestone, and has resulted in significant volunteer phone counselor recruitment from that region. Another important goal for TELL is the introduction of chat/text-based Lifeline service. We plan to launch service in 2017 and expect this will be a valuable resource for young people all over Japan.
TELL’s Lifeline was founded 43 years ago, but TELL Counseling has been serving the community for 25 years as well, and I am surprised that many people in the community do not know TELL offers face-to-face counseling by professional therapists. We need to do a better job communicating to people in need that services are available to help them. We also need to ensure that our services are available to everyone. We want to offer subsidized care at reasonable levels, but this requires funding!
In Japan and throughout the world it has become more challenging for non-profits to raise funds. There is more competition for non-profit funding, and many companies have changed their CSR strategy, aiming now for “value for money” in their donations, they are not satisfied with just having their name on our webpage or their logo in the wine auction program.
Looking forward, we need to focus more on the community we serve and we need their support. This means we need to strengthen our outreach to communicate our service offerings, and to engage new donors.
My focus areas for the next 12 months are :
1: Community outreach: increase awareness of TELL
2: Optimize our existing services
3: Increase funding
4: Consolidate office functions
I want to thank the office staff and volunteers for all the hard work and enthusiasm they offer. You are the backbone of TELL!