Inquiry in the Community is designed to be low-cost and to fit into your existing ways of work. We provide all of our curricula and planning tools for free. While we can't tell you how much, exactly, it will cost to implement our tools in your organization, we can highlight some of the common items you need to budget for.
Staff time is typically the biggest expense for councils. However, staff often use our tools to accomplish tasks they needed to do anyway. Here are some tasks staff will spend time on:
Initial planning and professional development
We recommend councils devote two days to their initial planning efforts, and involve their key membership, volunteerism, and program staff in these efforts. The first day is a professional development day, where everyone experiences the curriculum firsthand, as a participant. The second day is a planning day; here, the team works together to identify how and where to implement our tools in your organization. Your team may need additional planning time if you have a large or complex council, have recently restructured your staff and/or business practices, or want to integrate IC with other strategic planning efforts.
Secondary professional development
If they weren't involved initially, councils often set aside one or two days of planning and professional development time for the entire membership, volunteerism, and program teams. Again, the first day has everyone experience the curriculum as participants. On the second day, the team identifies specific, tangible ways to use our resources in their day-to-day work, and creates timelines and plans to make it happen.
The staff time needed varies by department.
- Volunteer learning staff will need to adjust curriculum, create workshop supply boxes, "launch" the curriculum with volunteer trainers/facilitators (this typically happens at regular trainer meetings or yearly conferences), and support the ongoing implementation.
- Membership staff often integrate our curriculum into a yearly service unit team conference and then follow up on the concepts presented throughout the year. If they handle recruiting, they may spend time sharing the recruiting activities with recruiting staff or volunteers.
- Program staff time commitments are as varied as the programs they manage. Camp directors may implement our curriculum during summer staff training, or train Counselor-in-Training (CIT) staff to lead a workshop with CITs. Event managers may rework their event plans to make sure they include science and model the three processes. Series managers need time to weave our curriculum into their training for series volunteers, whether in-person or through written program guides.
Supplies and Other Expenses
Councils will find that only a modest supply budget is required. All materials used in our curriculum are cheap, easily available, and usually available in bulk - paper plates, pencils, straws, or paper napkins. $200-$400 will get a few workshop supply boxes ready to go for the year; $100-$300 will keep them supplied each year thereafter. (The latter number is entirely dependent on how many volunteers experience your workshops each year.)
Councils often roll out our tools and curriculum at annual service unit team conferences and trainer/facilitator conferences. If your council doesn't currently have a way of conducting professional development with these audiences, this may be a new expense for you. If your council already has a camp or other facility suited to conferences, and can ask participants to bring sack lunches, your expenses will be lower. Trainers/facilitators will need 4-8 hours of time to experience the curriculum and learn how to implement it; service unit teams need 2-6 hours to experience the curriculum and decide how to support it in their service units.
You will also incur some printing costs for the handouts associated with the curriculum, and any changes to council documents (event planning guides, service unit manuals, etc.).