Local operation – global connections

by Jan Gunter

Ronald McDonald House Charities logo on red backgroundTrue or False:

1. Ronald McDonald House Charities is a global organization that is licensed, managed, and funded from our global headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.

2. Ronald McDonald House Charities is a global organization with a network of locally licensed, managed, and funded Chapters all over the world. 

*See bottom of page for answers, and keep reading for my thoughts that led to asking you these two questions.

One of my favorite parts of the global Ronald McDonald House Charities family is being connected with other RMHC communications professionals around the globe. The truth is, we all operate locally – every RMHC Chapter all over the globe. So we all create our own websites, publish our own materials, send out our own emails and connect with our own local army of volunteers, families and supporters. To avoid trying to re-invent the wheel, I find it necessary, helpful – and fun – to connect with my colleagues in other Chapters.

I have my go-to communications, marketing, design and tech people. When I want to see a great blog and fabulous infographics, I look to Brit Fitzpatrick in Memphis.

Ronald McDonald House Memphis infographic

This is part of an RMH Memphis infographic. Wish I had these kind of design skills!

When I want to bounce an idea off someone in the field, I reach out to Natalie Greaves in New York City who is super-smart and fun (and has a darling baby girl!)

Natalie Greaves profile picture on Twitter with her sweet baby

Natalie Greaves profile picture on Twitter with her sweet baby

When I need technical support for my Blackbaud NetCommunity website from someone who produces great website content and beautiful emails, I reach out to Rebekah Ebeling in Kansas City.

RMHC KC home page screenshot

The people at RMHC Kansas City have a beautiful website.

Larry Mathieson's profile photo on Twitter

Larry Mathieson’s profile photo on Twitter

I enjoy Larry Mathieson’s prolific updates on Twitter and having that connection to what is going on in Alberta, Canada. Just last week I got to share best practice ideas with Colleen Fox of RMHC Spokane when she came to visit us here in Austin. I follow the amazing social media work of Lauren Schultz and the RMHC Global communications team on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I even keep a Twitter list of RMHC Chapters and leaders so we can all follow the conversation.

The hundreds of local RMHC Chapters have a shared mission, and we proudly work in our local cities so that families will have a pillow on which to lay their head at night – just steps away from their hospitalized child. Next to every major children’s hospital, you will find us: a small army of local RMHC communications staff, building websites, connecting on social media, printing materials, sending out email updates and solicitations so we can keep our Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms open and available when the next family shows up wanting desperately to stay near their hospitalized child, needing a hot meal, a warm shower, shared conversations, and a comfortable bed.

When I get an email, phone call or direct message from an RMHC colleague in another Chapter, I’m always so happy to talk shop and share ideas so we can better achieve our goal of reducing the burden of childhood illness on children and their families.

It’s a wonderful global network, and I’m proud to belong to it!

*ANSWERS: 1 = False; 2 = True

How did you do on our quiz? Did you already know that we operate locally, or were you surprised by some of this information? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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One Response to Local operation – global connections

  1. Pingback: Your Donation Stays Local | RMHC Austin

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