ECCCM Announces a New Strategic Plan through 2026


In November of 2022, the board of directors of Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry, Inc. (ECCCM) announced the listening phase for their formal strategic planning process using an outside consultant to evaluate the current needs of the community, the value and impact of services, and the future direction of the organization.

During the August 22, 2023, board meeting, the board approved a comprehensive strategic plan designed to propel ECCCM through the end of year 2026. “I am proud of the work the strategic planning team and the board did on our final identity and objectives,” said Joe Lichtenwalner, board chair. “I am grateful for their work. We faithfully wrestled with several new realities, like an expanding service area. We acknowledged the growing needs of the community and affirmed our goal of serving more clients through the high-quality crisis and food assistance ministries the community has come to expect from us.”

The board updated the three core mission identity areas. The mission is to provide crisis assistance to people in Catawba County. The vision is a community where every person has what they need to be nourished and to thrive. The four core values are to serve, listen, respond, and steward. ECCCM serves from a place of Christian discipleship, answering God’s call to love and serve all people regardless of their affiliation with religion. The ministry matches each client to a caring case manager who listens to them and identifies their needs. The case manager responds by coordinating personalized support for clients through their own programs and partner referrals. Then the ministry stewards the generosity of the donors and partner organizations through the responsible and transparent sharing of resources with clients. “The identity portion of our work together truly affirms who we are as an organization and who we have always been,” said Kristal Manning, Executive Director.

In addition to updating the core mission identity, the board also approved four new key ministry objectives. Through the end of 2026, the board, staff, and volunteers will be working together to increase the knowledge and understanding the community has of the mission and work of the ministry. This will include the work of updating the ministry’s name to match the new service area, which has grown from eastern Catawba Country to include all of Catawba County. The second and third objectives focus on growing ECCCM’s ability to serve more clients through their current programs and advancing their already strong financial position to meet the growing needs of the community. Finally, the ministry will focus on increasing consistent volunteer participation to support the influx of clients they are already experiencing in each of their programs. “We rely heavily on volunteers,” said Manning. “They help us to be the strong organization that we are for our clients. Volunteers greet clients, care for them, and keep our operation running smoothly.”

“We have never been afraid of doing the work as an organization,” said Manning. “Our strategic planning process lifts up the high level of trust the community has for our ministry. Our volunteers, our churches, our donors, and our clients have high expectations, as they should. The staff and the board are prepared to do the work to implement our new key ministry objectives on behalf of our clients and the community.” We would love to share more information on our strategic plan. Click on the image below to read the plan in detail.