Directory editor develops partnerships to expand directory
|Malcolm Haworth loads Directories for delivery|
As editor of the annual Resource Directory: Guide to Congregations and Community Resources since 2007, Malcolm Haworth is impressed with the breadth and depth of resources in Eastern Washington and North Idaho communities the directory covers.
He began by working through AmeriCorps to produce the 2007-08 and 2008-09 editions. Then he came on staff producing the editions, assisting with ad sales, updating the listings, mailing and delivery, database maintenance, website pdf files and negotiating with partners to produce the directory.
“Working with the agencies and continually updating the data, I find new resources to help people in need in the community,” said Malcolm, who earned a bachelor’s degree at Washington State University in Pullman in 2001 and a master’s degree in history at Eastern Washington University in Cheney in 2005.
He is currently working on a doctoral degree in Gonzaga University’s leadership studies program with a goal of teaching college history and working in the nonprofit sector.
Malcolm also coordinates community events for The Fig Tree, such as the Eastern Washington Legislative Conference.
“I want to make a positive difference in life and in the life of the community to have an impact that helps change the world we live in,” he said.
Malcolm has a sense of that wider world growing up in a family that welcomed international visitors from many continents.
He studied his junior year of college in Vienna, Austria, and traveled in 1993 and 1996 in Europe, participating in 1996 in the 50th anniversary of the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches at Bossey in Switzerland. In his involvement with campus ministry at WSU, he was involved in urban plunge experiences and building houses in Mexico.
From his local to global experiences he observes that “there’s constant need. There is always poverty and injustice, so there is always need for an effective response to work for positive impact to build equality, justice and peace.”
From his studies and his fascination with world history, he reads extensively and has developed research skills that he puts to use to be sure that the resource directory is as detailed and accurate as possible.
Malcolm recognizes that with such a project there may always be some errors, because as soon as the directory is printed, information on agencies and congregations changes.
“Coordinating something as copious as the directory, our intent is to be as accurate as possible by using the resources available to keep it current,” he said.
Part of his role has been to work with volunteers and AmeriCorps members to help with the research by mail, phone, email and web searches.
“We rely on people with the congregations, regional churches, nonprofits, civic organizations, human services, ethnic groups, support groups, senior services, justice advocates and ecumenical/interfaith ministries to keep us informed,” he said.
“Those listed each have a responsibility to make this resource accurate and to connect people in need with their services,” Malcolm said, reminding people to send in update forms.
They can check their listings at thefigtree.org, clicking on the appropriate directory category and doing a “find” search within the pdf file.
Updating is particularly important as The Fig Tree works to develop a database searchable online directory.
“I have learned more about the needs of people with multiple issues. They cannot go to just one place, so having the directory help them search for their specific needs will be important,” he said. “A database-driven, searchable website will help people find combinations of services that most fit their needs.”
The pdf files online, listed by general categories, can be searched, but the database-driven format will mean pastors, lay leaders, service providers, volunteers and people in need can more readily access comprehensive information.
Malcolm knows that many people in the faith, nonprofit, civic, business and human services communities keep a copy of the directory in print handy and use it regularly throughout the year. The Fig Tree publishes 10,000 copies. Online it’s the most visited part of the website.
“We are seeking the assistance of people with technological skills to help us develop the database-driven searchable online directory,” Malcolm said. “We have the information. We just need the formatting so we can have the online directory be an effective tool for users.”
Malcolm also works to build partnerships for the Resource Directory.
In 2009, the Community Colleges of Spokane Headstart/ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program) decided to end their own publication of a resource directory and partner with The Fig Tree’s more comprehensive directory. They help sponsor it and provide some staffing assistance for updating and editing the sections on families and on children and youth.
“We are in conversation with other community agencies about partnerships so that we serve more people with our content,” he said.
“We are especially grateful for the support of about 100 advertisers and donations from many agencies and congregations listed. Along with CCS, they make the directory possible,” said Malcolm, adding that The Fig Tree also has a grant from a major donor to support the development of the online searchable directory.
For information, call 535-1813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © May 2014 - The Fig Tree