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Issue #6: Developing a Planning Calendar for Your Steering Committee


1. Save the Date!

2. Use the Videoconference to Launch Community Effort

3. Develop a Planning Calendar

4. Let Everyone Know What is Going On!

5. A Model Steering Committee


The videoconference is April 18, 2000 from 12:00-1:30 pm ET. The videoconference will be a live call-in program moderated by Mary Alice Williams and featuring video clips and leading experts, including: Myra Christopher, Ira Byock, Frank Ostaseski, Rev. Wayne Muller, Edwina Taylor, Dr. Linda Emanuel, Dr. Richard Payne. To learn more about these individuals and to find a list of locations downlinking the videoconference, visit our website at:


The timing of the videoconference, six months in advance of the series broadcast, provides an opportunity for steering committees to really use this event as a launching point for their efforts to attract new members. It can also be the focus of a first meeting of the steering committee. We encourage you to use the videoconference as an opportunity to organize or expand the outreach effort in your community.


After the videoconference, gather together the members of your steering committee and map out the direction of your outreach effort. Perhaps you will decide that within the next six months leading to the broadcast, you can put together three activity items: a faith summit; a town hall meeting; and a public viewing of the broadcast, for example. Once the events are selected, it will be easier to develop a planning calendar.

Below is an example of a planning calendar for a faith summit on end-of-life care in June:

  • April 20th - 25th, Steering committee develops list of all religious institutions and their leaders. Steering committee finds a location for a May meeting with clergy.

  • April 25th - 30th, Steering committee contacts religious representatives and invites them to meeting on May 5th.

  • April 30th - May 5th, Steering committee prepares materials for clergy meeting, including information from the OOOT website, list of resources or examples of other such efforts, and agenda for May 5th meeting.

  • May 5th, Clergy meeting takes place and discussion ensues as to the type of community-wide effort the faith community can make and the kind of events they can have in June. Meeting adjourns after clergy agree to make June the "month of concern for the dying and their families" and agree to have discussion groups as part of their services on a weekly basis in June.

  • May 6th - June 1, Steering committee lends its support to faith community in organizing the effort.

  • June 1st - June 30th, Discussion groups take place in every religious environment at least once a week. At the last meeting, a flier is distributed encouraging people to participate in the next event which the steering committee has organized!

Six months is not a lot of time to organize and accomplish multiple activities, so there will be times when some of your steering committee is working on one activity, while another part is working on a different activity. Developing a planning calendar right off the bat will help to make sure no wires get crossed. And remember, you can always count on the outreach team for help!


Once the activities are chosen, it will be a challenge to keep everyone informed. Each steering committee should select an individual to be responsible for registering and reporting the steering committee's activities on the website. That way other steering committees will get the benefit of seeing your great ideas in action, and other people from your community can get involved, even if they aren't part of your community coalition. Let everyone know what is going on at:


As many of you know, we recently sent around a survey to everyone who was interested in or actively involved in our outreach effort. We learned a lot about what is going on around the country and decided to add a section to our newsletter highlighting the activities of a different steering committee each issue.

This issue's focus is on the Washington, DC-Area steering committee. Chaired by Fairfax County Supervisor Sharon Bulova, this committee's membership consists of religious leaders, health professionals, hospice and nursing home representatives, the local VA hospital and other local hospital systems, higher education, business leaders, and the local public television station. Visit the discussion board to see what activities this outgoing group has planned:

Get those activities on the boards! Your steering committee could be highlighted in the next issue!

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