top of page


How to Organize an I Am Center



So, you want to know more about organizing an I Am Center. Where do you start? It all begins with wanting to make life better for people in your community. Once the idea of an I Am Center catches on, you’ll find that momentum will build, and you’ll be on your way to making a real difference in lives in your community.


1. Get started.


Establishing an I Am Center usually starts with one or two individuals who initiate the idea and then get others interested.


The first step can be taken by YOU. Discuss the idea with representatives of Who I Am Foundation, local government, civic, social, fraternal and labor organizations. Then, they can reach out and involve other community leaders in business, industry and the professions.


Spread the word and stimulate interest in starting an I Am Center!


2. Contact Who I Am Foundation.


After you gather community support, have your group's representative contact the nearest I Am Center to discuss setting up a working partnership with an I Am Center in your area. If the demand is prevelant, the (Director of Organizational Development) DOD of Who I Am Foundation will help your group take the next steps.


3. Organize a steering committee.


Hold a meeting -- invite people who are interested in starting an I Am Center  and invite the Executive Director of  a the center nearest you. Keep your group small to start.


Explain the purpose of the meeting to the group and have the Executive Director talk about  I Am Centers. If the group is committed and interested in pursuing the idea further, form a steering committee to begin preliminary organization work.


4. Conduct a Community Readiness Assessment.


The need for an I Am Center in your community may be quite obvious, but you still need to put it in writing. To document the need, your  DOD  will provide you with a Community Readiness Assessment to get the details. Have your group complete the assessment and return to your DOD, who'll help your committee with the results.


This survey will determine how effectively the needs of people are being met in the community. It may also help to identify community resources available that could help support an I Am Center.


5. Develop a Management Operating Agreement.


Once the Readiness Assessment is complete, it's time to put together official policies for establishment of your community's I Am Center. Your next step, assisted by your DOD, is to work out a Management Operating Agreement.


6. Organize a Unit Advisory Council.


Once policies are in place, you can organize a Unit Advisory Council, elect officers and establish committees that will help operate a Club. Consult with the DOD  in selecting a Unit Advisory Council.


7. Secure a location.


Now is the time to scout a location for your I Am Center and/or find a suitable building. Work with your DOD on a location and the kind of building that would be satisfactory for an I Am Center.


8. Determine costs.


Create a budget for the cost of building renovations, equipment and an operating budget for one year. The DOD will be invaluable to your committee in this kind of practical planning.


9. Raise the funds.


You are now ready to raise funds together with the DOD. The most common method of raising funds is through a community-wide founder's campaign using face-to-face solicitations – get out there and ask! Consult with the DOD to develop a resource development plan that will get your Center off to a great start.


10. Recruit a Club director.


The wheels are in motion: now you're ready to employ a qualified I Am Center professional to lead your Center. The assisting DOD will provide guidance in this all-important process of identifying good candidates.






For further information please contact:

Human Resources Officer

Susan Perez

Phone: 505-490-6388




bottom of page