Douglas County, Kansas

CASA Board Member Spotlight: Q&A with Kurt Goeser

October 13, 2023

Douglas County CASA’s board of directors comprises exemplary individuals who lend their time, expertise, and resources to support our mission, and serve to guide, advise, and govern. One of these visionary board members is Kurt Goeser.

Kurt, owner of a local insurance agency, first became involved with CASA by becoming a corporate sponsor in 2020. “Kurt made a point to visit the office and get to know the staff and learn more about the program,” says Executive Director Erick Vaughn. “His apparent skill set along with his genuine interest in our team and his desire to learn more about child advocacy made a big impression.”

In 2022, Kurt was invited to join the board. Midway through 2023 he stepped into the role of treasurer, overseeing the organization’s finances, execution of budgets, and fiscal reporting. As an active member of the Development Committee, Kurt has also been instrumental in helping CASA build connections with other business owners and donors.

In this interview, Kurt discusses what inspired him to get involved with CASA, the critical role of board governance, and how he sees the recent building acquisition as a path to meeting the needs of every child in the Douglas County welfare system.

What motivated you to get involved with CASA?

I first became aware of CASA when a friend invited me to attend a fundraiser. The event was wonderful, but I was particularly struck by the messaging delivered throughout the evening about how important CASA volunteers are to the children they serve. When I understood how critical this service is for the vulnerable children in our community, I was inspired to support the organization beyond that evening’s event. 

How is your board service important to the organization’s success?  

As a donor and sponsor of many nonprofits, I know firsthand that good leadership instills confidence in those who support an organization financially or in a volunteer capacity. An organization may be championing a good cause, but without strong leaders at the helm, potential supporters may feel risk and reluctance to go “all in” with their support. 

As a board member, my job is to foster that confidence in our work. With the recent building acquisition, this responsibility has increased a bit. Not only do we have high aspirations for utilizing the space, but it is important our supporters feel confident we made the best decision for our organization. We absolutely did — but part of the board’s stewardship is telling and reinforcing this message.

What do you find inspires people to contribute to CASA? 

People are inspired to contribute to a nonprofit when they recognize a worthy cause and clearly understand how their support makes a difference. No matter how large or small the donation, I feel our committee’s main objective is to help board members and others tell CASA’s story and inspire participation. Donors connect with causes in different ways; we have such a great, creative group working to find the best ways to reach and appeal to everyone we can.

The greatest support individuals and businesses can provide is CONSISTENT help spreading the word and financially supporting the organization. The need never goes away, so reliable, ongoing support is incredibly valuable.

How do you witness the staff demonstrating their dedication to the organization’s mission? 

We have the absolute best staff we could ever imagine. In every meeting, I can see the time that is put in and I can hear the passion of every individual on the team. For those of us who do not live their mission every single working hour, it is truly inspiring to listen to their stories and recognize how instrumental board support is for the organization’s success.

Given the recent building acquisition and move to North Lawrence, what do you see for the future of CASA?  

The building is going to be an absolute changemaker in terms of capacity to reach our goal to serve every child that needs our help — but we must be able to hire the staff and other resources necessary to do this right. CASA’s partnership with a fundraising consultant has been instrumental in mapping out a sustainable, consistent effort to achieve our vision. We have already come a long way, and I am confident we will get there. 

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Change a life with CASA

At any given time, there are 165 children from Douglas County in the child welfare system due to abuse and neglect. Help us help those children who are still waiting for a CASA volunteer.