Building Bridges Part III: It’s All in the Details
In this Building Bridges series, I’ve discussed how best to host and spread awareness for your program, as well as the importance of partnering with local organizations to offer the Aging Mastery Program®. If you are not caught up yet, please give Part I and Part II a read. In this final article in the series, I’d like to share some lessons learned for handling the logistics of offering AMP in different locations.
First, let’s identify some of the logistics that need to be considered in providing AMP in all kinds of locations. These include selecting a day of the week and time of day that are convenient for potential program participants, facilitators, and community “expert presenters.” Ideally, the same location could host AMP for 10 consecutive weeks.
External factors include the physical location of the space available. Questions to consider include:
- Is the location convenient to program participants?
- Is public transportation available?
- Are there secure, ample, and accessible parking areas?
- Does the space accommodate those with special needs?
Internal factors to consider are:
- The hours that the space is available for programming
- The size of the space
- Potential costs for using the space
- The availability of tables and chairs and audiovisual equipment
- Potential rules and restrictions around serving refreshments
Ideally, the location will offer its space at little or even no cost to your organization. Perhaps, there are some in-kind contributions that may provide a mutual benefit. For example, in exchange for program space and use of some AV equipment, our organization, Pima Council on Aging (PCOA), offered a faith community one full program scholarship ($99 value) and four partial scholarships ($55 value). Both PCOA and the faith community co-marketed AMP, and we handled the registrations and fee collection.
With the goal of expanding the awareness of AMP in our community, we invited area retirement communities to provide light refreshments for some of the sessions and reached out to a national pharmacy to contribute gift cards for program incentives.
While there are many parts to “building a strong bridge” that enables an organization the ability to offer a vibrant and successful Aging Mastery Program® in their community, there are also many opportunities to expand program recognition, recruit participants, and secure new and varied stakeholders. Perhaps the most important takeaway for us is that there are many individuals and organizations who welcome the opportunity to share in the success of a program that recognizes and celebrates all aspects of positive aging.
Have you tried expanding AMP into multiple locations? What lessons have you learned? Please share with us in the comments below.