Hold Team Meetings . Monitor and Evaluate Your Efforts . Sustain Your SART . Know Your Team . Critical Issues
Developing the Plan
Determine and Assess Resources
You should determine the minimum and optimal resources you will need to sustain your SART and you also should assess any resources you have or you can tap.
Determining minimum resources is similar to performing an internal audit. The difference is that this step asks teams to think if anything can be cut from current expenditures to create a bare bones budget if it becomes necessary. For example, teams can assess budgetary items and ask
- Is it essential to the SART's mission?
- Is it something that the team believes it should be doing?
In determining optimal resources, you will be finding out what it will take (in terms of resources) to accomplish your long-term plans. Will your goals require more staff or better trained staff? A new building? Volunteers? Equipment? Training? For example, a team may be concerned with a high turnover rate in law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney's office and the importance for victims to maintain relationships with the same service providers. Teams may want to consider the resources required to initiate a vertical prosecution strategy (maintaining the same prosecutor throughout the case). Or teams may want to budget for the costs involved in teaching new team members about SART's expected standard of care.
Resource assessment can include reviewing
Team assets are resources and expertise that SART members and current volunteers bring to the table. For example
- Experience in writing funding proposals to government entities, foundations, and corporations.
- Experience in researching funding opportunities.
- Experience in implementing a business venture.
- Knowledge of local consultants who write grant proposals or coordinate special events.
- Contacts in local colleges or universities, faith-based organizations, and culturally specific organizations.
- Contacts in or members of service clubs and organizations.
When assessing community resources, look beyond merely fiscal support and look to companies, organizations, volunteers, and victims for help:
- Find out if community institutions (e.g., public libraries, educational institutions, governmental agencies) will provide free space for team meetings.
- Approach area businesses, college sororities, and faith-based institutions to recruit volunteers or to provide replacement clothing or toiletry items for the exam site.
- See if other community groups would like to show their support by providing comfort items for victims during the criminal justice process.
Most large corporations engage in some form of community outreach, such as providing in-kind matches for employees' charitable donations or the donation of equipment and supplies. Even smaller businesses may have something to contribute. Perhaps a local print shop could produce your brochures at a reduced cost. Or a local ad agency might be willing to donate some time to help market your SART. Perhaps a local law firm would assist with meeting the civil legal needs of victims.
Some businesses and organizations that typically don't interact with sexual assault services (e.g., realtors) have found the need to connect with local SARTs following an assault on an employee. Not only do these collaborations promote victim support and heighten awareness, they also create opportunities for collaboration, fundraising, and change in policies and procedures to promote safety.
Consider partnerships with
- Associations and organizations: Potential supporters could include anticrime groups, neighborhood block clubs, cultural groups, disability or special needs groups, education groups, groups for older individuals, health advocacy groups, men's clubs, mentoring groups, neighborhood clubs, recreation groups, religious groups, service clubs, social groups, or women's clubs. These organizations include members from a broad spectrum of the community, and getting the support of any of these groups can have a ripple effect in gaining support from other organizations.
- Private and public institutions: These entities may include universities, community colleges, hospitals, libraries, social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, fire departments, media, or foundations.
- Governmental officials or bodies: Getting the support of the city council, the mayor, the state legislature, or others in the government can go a long way toward making your SART permanent, especially in terms of funding. When approaching legislative bodies, it is important to be familiar with any lobbying laws and regulations that might apply to the team.
The Anti-Lobbying Act (18 U.S.C. 1913) was amended in 2002 to prohibit federal grantees from using federal funds to lobby governments at any levelnot just Congress. Federal grantees cannot use federal funds to
- Address the merits of specific legislation.
- Advocate specific legislative changes at the local, state, tribal, or federal level.
- Encourage grassroots lobbying for legislative change.
What can federal grantees do without violating the act?
- Collaborate with and provide information to federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial public officials and agencies to develop and implement policies to reduce or eliminate sexual assault.
- Identify codes that embody best practices.
- Educate policymakers about options for revisions.
- Lobby with non-Federal Government funds (keep detailed records).
Note: Bulleted lists adapted from a PowerPoint presentation by Marnie Shiels at the Resource Sharing Project Meeting in Denver, Colorado, 2007.
Consider whether there have been collaborative efforts in your SART's jurisdiction in the past. For example, if an individual or community agency provided your SART with grant writing services, you may want to bridge those connections again to mend misunderstandings, if any, and to access their assistance if they have been untapped for awhile.