Plan a convening to address elder fraud
A convening can be a productive and inclusive way to help stakeholders meet, collaborate, and set goals to address elder fraud in your community.
Decide who to invite
The right stakeholders form the foundation of a successful network. Explore the types of stakeholders you can invite to the convening and build a list of elder financial exploitation professionals.
Establish a core team
A core planning team will help you develop a planning timeline, the agenda, and the list of invitees. Consider inviting professionals from adult protective services, law enforcement, legal and financial services, and other organizations to create a cross-section of key stakeholders in the network.
Invite other key professionals
Members of your core planning team should invite other professionals to the convening. As the team reaches out to individuals, be mindful of differences between types of stakeholders involved in elder fraud prevention and response. Consider using an online event planning tool to manage invites and RSVPs.
Plan the convening
A successful convening should be planned well in advance and be structured to maintain the focus of the group. We created a checklist to help your core planning team prepare for the convening.
Confirm the date, time, and location of the retreat
Try to confirm the date and location of the convening at least eight to ten weeks before the event. You can use an online scheduling or survey tool to determine the availability of the stakeholders you want to invite.
Be aware of situations that could affect attendance such as:
- Religious observances
- Federal and state holidays
- Work schedules
- Time zones
To make the convening as accessible as possible, consider including phone conferencing and audio/visual capabilities.
Consider hiring a neutral facilitator
A third-party facilitator can help promote neutral communication and an inclusive environment for collaboration at the convening. If you can't pay someone to facilitate, consider asking local mediation groups, leadership organizations, or meeting facilitation groups to provide a volunteer facilitator.
Another option may be securing a grant or sponsorship to fund the cost of a facilitator.
We created a guide with instructions and tips to successfully facilitate a network convening. Share this with your facilitator before the event.
Create an agenda
Create an internal and external agenda to make sure your core planning team and the other stakeholders know what to expect from the convening. Agendas will help keep the convening focused on goals to accomplish. Distribute the agenda in advance of the event.
Use our meeting agenda templates to develop your own.
Take care of final logistics
Send out emails
Send out a "save the date" email to the invitees six to eight weeks before the convening and a reminder email one week before the convening. We put together email templates you can use to reach out to stakeholders.
Consider providing refreshments
Since convenings are a day-long event, think about providing refreshments. You can assign a member of your core planning team to this task.
Gather materials for the convening
Make sure your core planning team and facilitator have all of the materials they need to conduct convening activities. We provide a list of supplies and room prep to help you set up for your network convening meeting.
Convening supply list
To help minimize costs, you can get creative on supplies that meet the needs of your convening. We recommend printing out a copy of the supply list to bring with you to the convening.
- Sticky notes
- Easel paper (self-sticking or purchase masking tape)
- Markers for facilitator and for participants
- Pens for facilitator and for participants
- Writing paper
- Handouts or extra writing paper for participants to use during Group Exercise 1“Voting tracker” or notepaper to tally results of Group Exercise 2
- Mobile phone camera to use throughout the day (optional)
Write down the following six themes on easel paper, each on its own sheet of paper, and display them up on a wall:
- Case review & resolution
- Community education & outreach
- Legal aid & victim assistance
- Legislative & regulatory policies
- Professional cross-training & resource sharing
- Local or regional response protocols
On another piece of easel paper, write “Parking lot for afterthoughts” and display it on the wall next to the other themes for attendees to add new ideas throughout the day.
Start thinking ahead
The convening will set the foundation for your network. You and your core planning team should plan a follow-up meeting to take place four to six weeks after the convening. Also plan future network meetings and speaker presentation/training topics for the next six to 12 months. Sub-committee or small team activities for future meetings could include:
- Planning speaker presentations and cross training or an annual conference or event (see cross-training topics)
- Develop a case review team
- Develop an outreach plan for community education
We created a list of suggested training topics to help your team plan cross-training.