Good Dads is for all dads, but no one can reach everyone all at once. Unless you have unlimited resources to reach your ommunity, you will probably need to set small, attainable goals you can build on as you expand your influence. This is especially true when thinking about potentially bringing a Good Dads program to your small town.
Many counties in southwest Missouri have a lack of resources typically found in larger cities. There are fewer treatment programs for addiction and substance abuse disorders. Many counties lack access to adequate health care. Rehabilitative programs of any kind are lacking. Absence of reliable transportation—often a problem in more rural communities—exacerbates these concerns. Finally, a less dense population means fewer state or federal funds are available to address problem areas. Overtime, it became evident to us that if something was to be done to address father absence and the related problems, we needed to figure out how to expand Good Dads programming to reach small towns. This led to the development of this course, Helping Fathers in the Heartland.
Know Who and What You Are
One of the first steps in forming an effort to help fathers involves knowing who you are. For example, some good dads efforts are centered in the faith community, some in counseling centers, and others in a community-based group. How you see yourself and your primary purpose or mission truly matters.
A common thread in marketing and promotion is “knowing your brand.” Your brand lies at the heart of the organization, its mission and values. From it springs program development and the overall succss of the organization. Without the heart, a body, even with the brain, cannot function. Establishing your brand early on in the formation process will serve you well, giving you a firm base and direction. When considering who and what you are it may be helpful to focus your efforts in these three areas:
As you consider your mission, audience, and community resources, you will be gathering ideas about what Good Dads in your small town could look like. In addition to these things, you may also want to consider the following:
There is a lot to think about when starting a Good Dads program and some unique challenges that come with launching a program in a small town. We are here to help support you in making your program location a success. We believe that Good Dads programs in small towns have a lot of potential to “help kids one dad at a time.”
For more information on how you can get a Good Dads program started in your community, let us know by going to gooddads.com and filling out our Helping Fathers in the Heartland interest form.