A change for the Talbots

Hello, it has been a while since we have had a blog on our site.  Not a lot of good reasons why… well actually we have had a lot going on… so I am going to share some.

The first exciting news to share is that Quakerdale has been making some extreme and huge strategic moves.  I love to think strategically, so this is in my sweet spot!

It was the March Quakerdale Board meeting and Strategic Planning sessions when the board decided they were no longer going to seek state contracts as a means to serve children and families.  This was HUGE.  Right in the face of another big change in the Iowa welfare system the board said, “Enough, no more will we compete with other worthy organizations for underfunded state contracts.”  The board decided to instead to seek to fill the gaps and serve people who are not served though privately funded ministries.

This was a big deal and it meant, for the short term, that we would close more cottages on our campuses in Manning and Waterloo.  In the long term, the plans they made will expand the reach of Quakerdale to help many more than ever before!  Those March closings have already allowed us to help more kids and families than we were before because we have fostered some new ministries on our Waterloo campus!

Next at the November board meeting they decided to make another HUGE strategic move.  They decided to form a new Christian Community Foundation that will probably have the name something like Josiah White’s Quakerdale Foundation.  (The name is not as important as the strategic decision.)  The community foundation will provide a place where the assets of Quakerdale will reside for risk from liability in our litigious culture.  It really is difficult to buy much more than $1 Million of liability insurance and working with kids and families can be risky.  The community foundation will be a place where donors (Old and New) who want to carry out the Great Commission can give their dollars and feel assured ministries will be supported through their gifts.  This is different than most secular community foundations who often have restrictions on helping Christian causes.  So the new foundation will become a granting entity sharing gifts buildings, land and dollars to all kinds of ministries.  The Foundation will also provide other ministries to have a restricted account at the foundation to protect their assets from litigation also.

The most recent decision is that Quakerdale will empower each of our ministries to become free-standing dedicated non profit ministries able to recruit their own focused board members and operate with more flexibility and freedom.  The board set a goal that we operate everything normally for 2017 and January 2018 we hope to start the new foundation and the new ministries. This act alone reduces a whole level of administrative costs and makes these ministries and the foundation more efficient and less costly to operate.

Soooooo…..  Starting January 1, 2017 I will begin the task of making this transition for Quakerdale.  I will be leading Quakerdale and forming these new entities for the 2018 launch!  BUT there was one final thing that I felt responsible to do.  I had cut so many employees and reduced the administrative size of Quakerdale that I needed to reduce my cost to Quakerdale or leave altogether to reduce administrative costs.

Months ago I realized that I was too expensive for the new and evolving Quakerdale separate from government contracts.  You see even though we help about 2000 more kids and their families each year than we did when we had a budget that was $4.5 Million dollars more we still need to cut more administrative overhead.  I had to either leave for another job or find a way to reduce my costs to Quakerdale.  I developed a plan to reduce my costs to Quakerdale by 40% starting in 2017 and the board approved that too!

My solution t took a lot of open minds  and months to work out.  Back in about March 2016 I started talking with a person on the Quakerdale finance committee who does financial strategies with families and small businesses.  Basically he does the same type of stuff with families as I do with non profits!  So we started talking about this with the approval of the Quakerdale board.

Beginning January I cease being a traditional employee and become a contract Executive Director of Quakerdale.  I will also begin doing financial strategies for families and small businesses.  It is going to be a lot of fun, because I’ve always done macro strategy and leadership for non profits, and now I get to do that with families in a way that is really unusual.

If you are curious this link takes you to a video describing what I do for families and small businesses while I continue as a contract employee with Quakerdale.

There really is not competition for this type of financial strategy work.  It is a neat ministry!  The team I am working with see this as a calling to help families and small businesses.  That’s why I call it a ministry because that’s why I work at Quakerdale!  I want to make a positive impact on others with my work for the Lord!

People I teach financial strategies to do not incur any charges .  I help them learn how to use the money in their budget to meet their goals with tried and tested approaches.

It is not a one time meeting.  This financial strategy process is referred to as a “life walk together.”  A few meetings to get things in order and then annual meetings there forward… strategically responding to the changes that occur in our lives.  Meetings are usually in person, but sometimes can be done on the internet!

The things Jennifer and I learned from my mentor and LEAP practitioner changed everything for us and make it possible for me to make this change!    I wish we’d have known about these principles and approaches when we were younger.


I would sure like to take the long walk with you.  The tools that exist today are amazing and the software allows us to test our plans so it takes the guess work out of financial strategies!

You will be amazed at what you can do with the right strategies.  The tools and strategies are applicable for all ages and all types of goals.

Thanks, friends for your support and encouragement as our family goes through these changes.  We get to continue to live at Quakerdale and carry out our ministry and also expand our reach to help individual families with their financial strategies too!


2 thoughts on “A change for the Talbots

  1. Wow Rob! I was sitting here reading this post and I could feel the energy and excitement in your comments. Congratulations to you and your family. Creativity and a challenge–you got to love it.

    Take care,
    Steve Hubbard


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