MKP USA Annual Report 2016
by Julien Devereux
2016 was a challenging year as we progressed along the continuum from Unification to Integration of all regions, communities, areas and societies into one cohesive but diverse global brotherhood. This process has had challenges but we are moving closer each day to evolving, integrating and sustaining a powerful force for change in the world called the Mankind Project
I want to first say how blessed and grateful I am to have been able to serve as your chair this year and want to thank each of you for all that you do for the Mankind Project USA in terms of your time, your money, your energy and your wisdom. You are our most valuable resource.
It is my plan to continue as an unpaid volunteer in MKP USA as the Lead Link of Risk Management, Ethics and Right Relationship, Curriculum Development and Acquisition and Training and Event Circles. I have already, as MKP USA Chair, appointed Jose Mondelo as the Lead Link for the Lead Organizational Circle that answers to the MKP USA Board of Directors.
Areas of Achievement in 2016
Organizational Integration and Capacity
Due to the flexible structure of Holacracy, Support Services has been able to continually review each role and circle more than once this year to better strategically align to the constantly changing context we find ourselves in. The Lead Organizational Circle is the strategic response circle that was birthed out of the Lead Operating Circle pursuing the primary purpose of evolving, integrating and sustaining an organization where men act on their individual and collective responsibility for the future of humanity by initiating and supporting men on a path of emotional maturity, spiritual awareness and deepening community.
As each role and circle was reviewed in the last year, some were cut and some were reconfigured and collapsed like one would trim a tree or bush. Some were welcome, others were painful and included a staff reduction of Greg Gondron, a five year loyal employee, due to a sharp decrease in NWTA revenue in May 2016. Greg continues to be active in the Project as a full leader and has joined the Equitable Community Initiative Launch Team.
Additional re-alignment was to capture all the roles that provide support for operations into an Operations Support circle which focuses primarily on infrastructure capacity and efficiency and does not require them to attend meetings that are outside the focus of their specific roles.
An additional role of Equitable Community Initiative was added to the Lead Organizational Circle to assure that issues of Diversity and Inclusion would have a seat and voice at the main strategic circle of the organization. This circle will be driven by an Equitable Community Launch Team which has just been formed and has had its first meeting. They will be making a statement soon about their purpose and role in the organization.
Cross Links have been established from MKP International, Global Assistance, and MKP USA Board of Directors to maintain relationships among these entities.
MKP International and Global Assistance
As a part of the ManKind Project global brotherhood, MKP USA has a seat on the recently renamed International Circle. Replacing the former MKPI corporation with a collaborative association of Regions, the International Circle focuses on the core accountabilities that lie outside the individual Regions’ domains. These are:
1) supporting men in the international communities and the emerging and developing regions in their path to regional status. MKP USA is the supporting region for Mexico.
2) protecting the integrity, spirit, and reputation of our international offerings (primarily, the NWTA, YWTA, LKS, and Elder protocols).
3) assisting the Regions and Societies, upon request, in resolving issues that may arise among and between them.
The Circle has recently approved the MKP USA MKPConnect system as the international information platform and is working with Support Services to improve and enhance that system. To that end, the MKP USA representative to the International Circle, already a Board member, energizes a Cross Link role in the Lead Organizational Circle.
The Global Assistance Circle includes members of MKP USA support services as well as their counterparts from the other nine regions. This circle will attempt to maintain a consistent brand and integrated information across all the regions.
Curriculum Development and Acquisition
2016 was a great year in the Curriculum Development and Acquisition Circle because four new products were launched and added to the Training Catalog. The IGFT developed by a team of the I Group Council created, tested, vetted and submitted their product to the Curriculum Development and Acquisition Circle and was provisionally and then finally approved and is now offered across the project in 2016 and will continue in 2017 and beyond. A certification process is also under way to create IGFT trainers in as many areas as possible.
Epic Leadership was also approved for an initial offering and was well attended and is beginning its second iteration in 2017. This course provides leadership skill training at the six levels of systems and personal self care to create a sustainable leadership path.
A PIT Curriculum team was formed from members of Curriculum Circle and I Group Circle to review all existing and known PIT Manuals and add, subtract and edit the PIT Manual to be in alignment with the IGFT and the purpose of the PIT. This included a survey sent out to all known PIT leaders for input.
The MKP USA Mastering Mature Masculinity Coaching Network is being onboarded and will premiere in 2017 under Jan Hutchins leadership. Keep an eye out for it.
The online training offerings this year included a relaunch of The Man on Purpose Course, relaunch of the RISC Relationship Course, and the Conscious Men’s Summit which were well attended and created new connections for us.
Curriculum is currently reviewing 15 additional trainings that have been submitted in the last two years by determining their alignment with MKP USA values, training objectives, financial viability, and market acceptance.
This year we delivered 70 NWTA’s to 1533 men supported by 2474 Staff in the U.S. and one in our emerging region of Mexico supported by San Diego and now South Central. Our average number of participants was 21.9 and 35.3 staff men for each NWTA. In 2015, we initiated 1675 men but did so in 74 NWTA’s which means our average number of participants was only .7 men per training more than this year. In spite of cancelling 13 NWTA’s, this is a good crop of new initiated men into the world and still our largest source of revenue.
This circle was created to allow all the MKP USA Council representatives to interact and work on common solutions to shared challenges. Created as a holacracy circle it will meet to resolve tensions as they emerge. The purpose of this circle is for all Circles in MKP USA, inclusive of their unique purpose and characteristics, are aligned and working well together to express MKP USA mission.
Circle Support also supports new brothers following their NWTA and helps men connect in their communities and areas with resources and connection. The Membership program is energized in this circle by community volunteers as well as contracted callers to engage both new men and existing members to remain active with membership. We have 2480 members and look to increase that next year to 2800. Several Areas have started membership campaigns with local volunteer teams. Local communities and areas leaning in to membership is what it will take long term to become a membership based organization. Remember, anyone can be a supporting member of MKP USA.
In 2015, we had 80 chartered communities and we now (Dec 2016) have 105 chartered communities. Regular monthly calls for community coordinators have started and continue. This growth in the number and active engagement of communities is a very positive sign for 2017. The MKP USA Council approved the implementation of the BIll Kauth Community Builder Award which will recognize communities that have created strong and supportive communities. Surveys to gather data on communities has been distributed and will be compiled and analyzed.
Circle Support also initiated the Safer Circle project which yielded the I Group Tool Kit that was sent to every active I Group. This kit enables an I Group to understand current policy and operations of an MKP USA I group. Included were suicide prevention and intervention strategies and tools for a functional and reliable meeting.
Communications and Marketing
Because of the shortfall in our enrollment, our Marketing Lead has been in communication with many people in all areas to re-energize and focus more on our results beyond our efforts. In coordination with Organizational Development Circle several initiatives are being considered to redesign our volunteer outreach circle to be more focused on conversion to enrollments, engagement or membership in a way that can be collected, analyzed and strategies developed to increase our conversion rate.
Maria Shriver of the Today Show invited us to a featured interview. Marketing coordinated the men who would represent us and they did a great job. In anticipation of this, our Marketing Director redesigned our www.mkp.org website to feature this and create a funnel for contacts. Since the airing of the Today Show segment, we have received 180 contacts in three weeks, which is a huge boost from the previous norm. We continue to see brisk interaction on this site which is much easier to access and understand.
Revenue growth continues to be a challenge. The creation of new revenue from new trainings has taken longer than anticipated and revenue from current trainings has been flat or declining. The generosity of donors continues but volunteers willing to step up and ask have been declining. Membership has been growing but not as quickly as we had anticipated. Because of Unification we applied for foundation grants for specific projects as well as ongoing operations.
Expenses as the other side of the balance sheet have also been a challenge. Site rental increases, food costs, lodge rentals and personnel costs have consistently increased. Collection on payment plans has lagged behind upfront expenditures and continues to challenge our cash flow. We have scheduled a Town Hall Meeting next Wednesday at 7 pm ET on this Zoom # to open up this topic for discussion and strategies going forward.
Midway through the year when the impact of NWTA cancellations was evident, we engaged a National Enrollment Champion to increase the enrollment number of each NWTA. We did not reach our goal but we ended the year with strong trainings with robust enrollment. This effort will continue into 2017.
In October, MacArthur Foundation Grant team, a work group of Organizational Development, had submitted our proposal to the 100&Change Competition which will award one recipient $100 million. We just received notice this week that our proposal has passed the administrative, technical review and we will get additional feedback in January as to our submission and are eligible to be a semi-finalist.
Because of unification we could present ourselves in this proposal as a primarily voluntary organization with a lean and nimble infrastructure with a broad international reach, a proven methodology for personal growth, and a 30 year track record of serving 60,000 men with a transformative training and 700 free weekly support groups for men. That is our current story.
First, we would robustly fund what we are already doing, NWTA’s, PIT’s, I Groups, and Next Level Trainings. Second, we have created strategic alliances with partners who work with male youth at risk, prison populations, veterans, underserved and underprivileged men who want to access the NWTA. Outreach circles to engage men who are underrepresented in the MKP Project that joined us in our submission.
We also proposed an evaluation plan that would review all existing trainings with an eye to discovering best practices, ineffective processes and practices and data driven curriculum revisions and a relaunch of the newly revised curriculum with ongoing evaluations. The SUNY Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities has agreed to partner with us in this effort led by Michael Kimmel.
So, today let your imagination flow with the question of how big is the embrace of the Mankind Project? What do we individually and collectively have to offer the world?
Take Responsibility for What You Love as an Act of Service!
Grateful and Blessed,
MKP USA Chairman 2016