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NAMI Howard County currently has four committees: Fundraising, Public Policy, Faith Outreach, and Governance.  The committees are looking to expand their membership, so if you have an interest in one of these areas, please give the office a call.

Fundraising Committee

Chair: Julie Cleveland

Short Description of Committee:

NAMI Howard County has an active Fundraising Committee made up of experienced professionals and volunteers enthusiastic about raising funds for NAMI and strengthening local awareness of mental illness in the community. We aim to reach the budgeted target goals using a diversified fundraising strategy—such as an annual large-scale fundraising event and other small-scale events (i.e. restaurant nights, seasonal gift wrapping, NAMI Walk, etc.).

Contributions and Responsibilities:

  • Brainstorm ideas for fundraising events annually
  • Develop and maintain community, donor/networking relationships
  • Solicit individual donors and company sponsorships
  • Plan special events
  • Recruit new volunteers
  • Connect membership to volunteer opportunities
  • Work with and assist staff as needed

Strengths Preferred:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Good project management skills
  • Enthusiasm about NAMI Howard County and the mental illness community
  • Creativity
  • Fundraising and relationship building skills (i.e. pharmacies, providers, companies, etc.)
  • Salesmanship
  • Strategic thinkers
  • Event planning experience


The fundraising committee generally meets once per month for one hour. Meetings are held on Tuesdays at 10:00 am at the NAMI Howard County office: 9151 Rumsey Road, Suite 150, Columbia, MD. 

 The Fundraising Committee is currently seeking a volunteer Restaurant Night Coordinator.  If you are interested in taking on this position, please give us a call.

Public Policy Committee:

Chair:  Marianne Eichenberger                        

A short description of the committee:

 The Public Policy Committee is dedicated to improving the public safety net for individuals with mental illness.  Access to treatment, housing, job opportunities, and the general quality of life are affected by the changing public policies of our local, state, and federal government.  When budgets are tight, our programs are often cut.  In coordination with NAMI Maryland’s Public Policy Committee, we visit our delegates to the Maryland General Assembly and  advocate for or against  proposed changes in the law which are in the best interest of our membership.  Through a legislative telephone tree, we call our membership to respond the legislative alerts.  Locally, we build partnerships with elected leaders, community mental health providers, hospitals, and the criminal justice system.  To do this work, we need the help of our entire membership.

 Contribution and Responsibilities:

  • Visit state and local officials and advocate for mental health issues
  • Contact NAMI Howard County members about key issues and legislative alerts
  • Network with other social service organizations, mental health community providers, and Howard County agencies (police, courts,          housing providers, etc.)
  • Study the existing mental health care system and supportive social services and identify areas needing improvement
  • Write and edit documents related to the committee’s projects

 Strengths required:

  •  Passion to advocate for individuals who live with mental illness
  • Interest in studying the existing mental health care system and related community resources
  • Commitment to making an improvement in the overall care and treatment of individuals with mental illness 


 The NAMI Howard Public Policy Committee meets monthly, usually on a Monday morning at 10 a.m.

Faith Outreach Committee

Chair Debbie Meyer    


The Faith Outreach Committee is dedicated to promoting greater understanding of mental illness, stigma, and increase familiarity with NAMI as a resource by partnering with Faith Communities. We encourage inclusion of persons with mental illness and their loved ones in faith community life. We seek to build partnerships with Faith Communities and their various ministries, parish nurses, Stephen Ministries, local colleges, community mental health agencies, and identify fundraising opportunities.

Quite often faith leaders are the first link for those who are seeking help. Sometimes, initial issues such as marital struggles, behavioral issues with children, job loss, and financial difficulties, etc. may be symptoms of a possible mental illness. Access to treatment, understanding, and the general quality of life are affected by the lack of information.

Our goal is that faith leaders will become familiar with tools to create more supportive and caring congregations. This includes, but not limited to, offering educational programs to faith leaders and their congregations, posting NAMI information in their newsletter and bulletins, involving caring ministries in discussion of mental illness in formal and informal settings, identifying fundraising opportunities, observing Mental Health Month and Mental Illness Awareness Week. Lastly, offering prayers on a regular basis for all affected by mental illness.

To do this work, we need the help of our entire membership.

Contribution and Responsibilities:

  • Attend meetings at least every other month;
  • Network with new and existing Faith Communities; 
  • Become familiar with NAMI programs and refer NAMI to congregations/faith leaders;
  • Bring ideas, concepts, and vision;
  • Serve as ambassador of NAMI Howard County in the community.

Strengths required:

  • Commitment to reach out to the Faith Community;
  • Interest in becoming familiar with mental health, and related community resources;
  • Passion to improve the education, advocacy, and support of individuals, family members and loved ones with mental illness;
  • Networking with people of all faiths.


The NAMI Howard County Faith Outreach Committee meets monthly, alternating day meetings at 10 AM and evening meetings at 7:30 PM.

Governance Committee

Chair: Pete Dinwoodie            

The Governance Committee is responsible for NAMI Howard County Board operations and the overall operation of NAMI Howard County in accordance with its Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Policies and Procedures. The Committee ensures governance documents follow the best principles of governance, transparency, and ethical practices. Areas of concern include legal compliance and public disclosure.

Contributions and Responsibilities:

  • Review existing NAMI Howard Governance documents, to include By-Laws and Policy statements to ensure that current NAMI Howard County principles and tenets are incorporated therein
  • Draft NAMI Howard Governance documents to fill any gaps
  • Draft Policy Statements as requested by the Board
  • Work with NAMI Howard staff to complete the Affiliation Process
  • Oversee annual NAMI Howard County Board elections

Strengths Required:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Willingness to pay attention to detail


The NAMI Howard Governance committee meets monthly.


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