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National Cued Speech Association

The Issues

Sarina Roffé began as president of the National Cued Speech Association (NCSA) in 2002. She found the organization was losing respect among constituents and potential members because there was no record of accomplishment. She had a vision that as the national organization, they should be producing materials, advocating for their cause and be viewed as the main source of information about Cued Speech, which increases literacy among deaf children.

There was no clear direction and the NCSA was doing the same things year after year. Second, the NCSA had lost major donors due to a lack of clear fiscal policy. Third, the NCSA had no clear fundraising plan and depended on the Combined Federal Campaign for operating funds. There was no record of giving among board members. The information it was distributing was unprofessional and outdated. And the NCSA had no paid staff.

The Solutions

Strategic Planning – Sarina began by working with the board to establish a strategic plan of what the board wanted to accomplish over a three-year period. During the next three years, Sarina Roffé led the board in accomplishing the goals and every one was accomplished! As a result, the organization received national recognition and respect, attracting new members.

Policy – Sarina worked with the board to establish clear fiscal policy so the organization would invest its funds wisely. An annual audit showed donors that the NCSA was using general accounting principles in its bookkeeping and managing its funds wisely.

Information – The NCSA worked for a year to update its position statements of literacy, language acquisition and Cued Speech so that the NCSA could be viewed as a source for information. They also developed fact sheets, using footnotes that were disseminated. The website was completely revamped and updated. Sarina obtained a grant to complete an information DVD about Cued Speech that was distributed to professionals.

Fundraising – Sarina worked with the board to brainstorm about an annual campaign and to identify potential major donors among its membership. Several were identified and approached and convinced to begin giving again to the NCSA. A case for giving was developed and an annual fundraising campaign launched.

Staff – Once the foundation had been set with strategic planning, policy, improved information and fundraising, the NCSA was able to hire its first executive director.

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