This was just announced by newly-appointed CFI National Director Derek Pert:
Dear stakeholder, supporter, volunteer,
We have finished the relocation of our national head office in Toronto, and our efforts are now being fully directed to bringing some great new improvements.
Several weeks ago, our Board of Directors asked me to assemble and lead a representative team of stakeholders to work with an expert consulting firm, the intent being:
- To clarify and streamline our brand — what people think of us — making it easier for potential volunteers and donors to identify us as an organization they want to support
- To guide national and branch management in making effective and coordinated programming, activism, and messaging decisions, based on focused goals and long term vision
The Brand Team consisted of myself and seven others: two branch leaders Seanna Watson (Ottawa) and Jamie Williams (Vancouver); two activism leaders, Michael Kruse (Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism) and Greg Oliver (Canadian Secular Alliance); one board member, Kevin Smith (also leader of Living Without Religion in Toronto); and two exemplary, long-term volunteers, Ed Archer (Toronto) and Judy Chau (Toronto). The team worked very hard under excellent guidance and now our Board of Directors is currently reviewing and refining the proposal.
As a sneak preview, here are some of the exciting results and benefits we hope to realize in the months ahead:
- More tightly coordinated national activism and advocacy committees to educate professional and regulatory bodies about the benefits of critical thinking
- A new team of specialized spokespersons, making us the premier source for critical thinking viewpoints in the media
- New ways of engaging potential donors, with the help of a recently created Advancement Committee within the Board of Directors
- Bigger guest-speaker events featuring popular figures like James Randi
- More active volunteer recruitment at our monthly social events such as Cafe Skeptique
- The Extraordinary Claims campaign, to be launched in 2012, will be better supported by our new and clarified branding
- More opportunity for supporters to meet our Directors and other team members, and learn how their contributions are making a difference
These goals are ambitious. However, they are possible given the new leadership which our Board of Directors and I aim to provide, and the skill, talent and energy of key supporters like yourself.
We look forward to working toward these goals over the following months and ask for your continued patience while we enter this next phase of growth for the organization.
Thank you again,
It’s not clear yet what this means to volunteers on the ground or the community programming that CFI Canada has established across Canada. We’ve already seen one discussion group break from CFI.
It will be interesting to see how this branding initiative gets implemented. There are definitely advantages to taking a small group and doing things behind closed doors, but CFI is playing a risky game by keeping many of its volunteers and attendees in the dark.
I do appreciate that they made the Brand Team public. They will likely receive criticism for having only two women and one person from outside Ontario.
Interesting times indeed.