Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver Charity Strategic Plan 2020 - 2025

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August 1, 2020 - July 31, 2025

TABLE OF CONTENTS Strategic Planning Task Force




Messages from Tony Miles (Board Chair) and Valerie Lambert (Executive Director)

What We Do


Vision, Mission, Values


Strategic Priorities


Community and Growth Internal Delivery Process People Engagement Financial Sustainability

Appendices Service Delivery Communities Served Our Programs

SOAR Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Aspirations, and Results)



At Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, we believe in the positive impact of mentorship. 1


Tony Miles, Board Chair, BBGV Gerry Egan, Chair, Strategic Planning Task Force Lisa Blackham Gurv Brar Jeff Cutler Kate Fitzpatrick Steven Joe Mark Quinlan Sydnee Reece-Bennett Guyle Tippe


Valerie Lambert, Executive Director Bailey Hartnell, Program Director Rose Higgins, Manager - Research, Inclusion, and Strategy Keltie Dow, BBGVF, Senior Human Resources Generalist Navkiran Brar, Mentoring Coordinator Supervisor


Joanna Whalley


Our Strategic Planning process has been a collaborative effort of contributions and ideas from our staff, board members and the wider community. This resulting plan will serve as our guide for the next five years as we continue to focus on intentional and empowering ways to support Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver (BBGV) and the communities and families we serve. We greatly appreciate the hours that went into the development of this Strategic Plan.




On behalf of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver (BBGV), I am very proud to introduce the new Strategic Plan for the years 2020 to 2025. This plan is the result of many hours of effort on the part of Board Directors and myself under the conscientious leadership of Gerry Egan, Strategic Planning Task Force Chair. The committee was supported by Valerie Lambert, Executive Director and her capable staff. Our process was facilitated by Joanna Whalley who brought her vast experience to the table to help us distill and clarify our thoughts. I would like in particular to call out the efforts of Rose Higgins, Manager - Research, Inclusion, and Strategy, who worked tirelessly to support our task force and to keep us on track. Shortly after we began this work, it became apparent that we were on the verge of a pandemic of uncertain duration and severity. I particularly appreciate the efforts of the team in completing this work on time, notwithstanding the upheaval in the world. The pandemic helped us find our voice as we recognized the importance of serving young people for whom many social outlets had ceased. The Black Lives Matter movement also helped highlight the importance of our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and anti-racism work, which will form a large part of our program focus going forward. The Committee began by reviewing the vision, mission and values of the organization to ensure they sufficiently inform and inspire our future direction. Our new vision and mission reflect the strength-based nature of our programming.

Our vision is: All children and youth are empowered to reach their full potential through mentorship.

Our mission is: Enable impactful mentoring relationships where children and youth can discover their power and potential, in collaboration with our local communities. There is also a renewed focus on the fact that supporting children and youth is very much a community-based and collaborative effort. The mission reflects the holistic nature of child and youth development and expresses the essential need for mentorship in the formative years. As a Board, we participated in and endorsed the values of safety, collaboration, community, inclusivity and mentorship. These have changed somewhat from the organization’s previous values. The new values resonated with our entire staff, who participated in our process.


Our strategic priorities for 2020-2025 evolve around four key areas: Community and Growth (Broadening our Impact), our Internal Delivery Process (Deepen our Impact), People Engagement, and Financial Sustainability. These priorities are unpacked and thoroughly discussed in this text. Each of these priorities includes stretch goals that will challenge our entire team to deliver their very best to our community. Specific strategic directives and key performance indicators (KPI’s) have been identified for each of these five areas. These will continue to be developed over the next five years. We view our Strategic Plan as a living document. As we plan our operations for each of the years 2021 to 2025, we will refine and enhance our KPI’s and even add new ones as conditions evolve. Our new plan also is branded with our new colours and logo. We hope it reflects an optimistic view of the future.

Thank you.

Tony Miles, Chair, Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver Board

My daughter has been a Big Buddy in the Teen Mentorship program for 2 yrs, I’m so impressed with your organization’s support of both the Big & Little Buddies. I’ve donated clothes & household items to BB for years also. Thank you for jumping in to action so quickly during the COVID-19 crisis/pandemic to support the Bigs with all the webinars & then getting the mentoring program up & running again virtually! Such flexibility, creativity & dedication!


I would like to thank my co-directors for the incredible contribution they made to BBGV in participating in this worthwhile process. I would also like to thank all of our community partners, families, mentors, youth and staff who took the time to give us feedback on our plan. We heard you, your contributions are important, and we hope that you feel your views are reflected in this plan.

- Parent of a Big Buddy




The Board-led strategic planning process was very comprehensive and inclusive. We consulted widely with literally hundreds of stakeholders who generously took the time to respond to our survey questions, give thoughtful comments and encourage our strategic planning process. New directors representing fresh perspectives participated in the process along with more seasoned directors who were able to bring a longer term perspective to our discussions. There were also a number of staff representatives on the Task Force committee. We checked back with the entire staff at key points in the process to ensure that everyone had a chance to engage in the process in some way. All voices were very much valued. Even before the advent of the pandemic, it was obvious that our organization was going through a period of self-reflection rooted primarily in asking ourselves, how do we bring the most value to the communities we serve? We are currently engaged in theory of change work which is helping us get clarity on whom it is that we serve, who can most benefit from our programming and what impacts we can reasonably achieve. That work will continue during the course of our new five-year plan, being weighted to the early years. The pandemic circumstances focused us on the importance of providing support to young people as they struggle with their uncertain world in addition to other challenges they are experiencing. Over the next few years, we will continue to align service delivery around our evolving theory of change. To assist us in identifying areas of opportunity and challenge, we engaged in a SOAR analysis in place of our previous SWOT process. This is fully described in the plan and is consistent with our strength-based approach to mentorship. We are also incorporating our work around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and anti-racism into every aspect of our programming and this will evolve over the next few years. Notwithstanding the challenges of the past several months, we are excited to be rolling out this new plan. We hope you find it thoughtful, worthy of your feedback and aspirational for the future. Thank you.

Valerie Lambert, CPA, CA, ICD.D Executive Director


WHAT WE DO Our Vision All children and youth are empowered to reach their full potential through mentorship.

Our Mission


Safety is at the core of all our decisions and actions. We prioritize the protection of children, youth, families, volunteers and staff. We screen, coach and support to ensure safe, fun, and healthy mentoring relationships.


Our professionally trained staff members contribute toward building a culture of collaboration and teamwork, both within our organization and across the communities we serve.


We bring community members together for the common purpose of mentoring children and youth, which cultivates a positive impact in our communities. We identify, understand and respond to community needs with innovative and inclusive mentoring programs and services.


We are committed to creating inclusive spaces of belonging where all voices and experiences are welcomed and valued. We commit to take intentional actions towards advancing our commitments to equity, reconciliation and anti-racism across our policy, procedure and practice.


We facilitate reciprocal child and youth centred mentoring relationships. Using a strength-based focus on empowerment and empathy, we engage through mentorship to inspire youth in shaping their own futures with confidence and positivity.


Enable impactful mentoring relationships where children and youth can discover their power and potential, in collaboration with our local communities.


PILLAR 1 EXTERNAL FOCUS: BROADEN IMPACT Bring mentorship opportunities to more children and youth; Enhance community impact.

STRATEGIC DIRECTIVES Year One: • Strengthen existing and build new partnerships – for community and site-based programming. • Reduce mentoring waitlists.


Years Two through Five: • • • • •

Continued focus on partnerships. Continued reduction of waitlists. Support additional children, youth and families previously not served. Review and enhance matching processes and mentoring models for best practice. Identify and reduce barriers to accessibility of our programs to underrepresented communities, including economic barriers to volunteering.

Key Performance Indicators: • Number of partnerships and length of relationships. • Number of waitlisted children and youth.

We’ve had a relationship now for over 10 years and it’s been great. We still stay in touch, I’ve seen him grow and mature. He’s turned into this amazing young man who has a head on his shoulders better than any young man I’ve ever met. - Big Brother


PILLAR 2 INTERNAL FOCUS: DEEPEN IMPACT Improve outcomes for children and youth by strengthening mentoring relationships with intentionality and youth-centred practice.

STRATEGIC DIRECTIVES Year One: Build internal knowledge on Theory of Change methodology. Advance commitments to Equity, Inclusion, Diversity and Reconciliation Develop actions and commitments to anti-racism. Engage and mobilize knowledge in the area of mentorship theory and practice to enhance service delivery.

Years Two through Five: • Implementation of Theory of Change methodology into a locally relevant Theory of Change model. • Continued advancement of commitments to Equity, Inclusion, Diversity and Reconciliation; and actions and commitments to anti-racism across policy, procedure and practice. • Continued mobilization and implementation of knowledge in service delivery to enhance program quality and outcomes. • Review and evaluate programs and service delivery processes. • Build youth-centred practices into programs and policies. • Leverage technology to improve efficiency in program delivery, and to increase reach of programming.

Key Performance Indicators:


• • • •

• Number of professional development and internal training opportunities for staff. o Mentoring Theory and Practice. o Inclusion, Equity, Reconciliation and anti-racism. • Actions and commitments to anti-racism written into policy and procedure.


PILLAR 3 PEOPLE ENGAGEMENT Prioritize activities and opportunities to attract and retain talented employees and volunteers to aid in the realization of the vision and mission. Bring focus to family and youth engagement opportunities to reduce barriers to service, improve relationships and program impacts for children, youth and families.

STRATEGIC DIRECTIVES Volunteer Mentors: Internal (In-Process and Matched Mentors) Volunteers are integral to advancing our vision and mission. Building capacity in volunteers and enhancing their mentoring experience will positively impact the quality of the mentoring relationship.

Year One: •

Improve engagement and quality of mentoring relationships.


Years Two through Five: • • •

Evaluate volunteer engagement; research new methodology for evaluation of programs. Explore ideas for increased mentor interaction opportunities. Implement anti-racism and inclusion/equity training to ensure culturally safe services are provided.

Key Performance Indicators: • •

Application to outcome time. Number of volunteers and volunteer engagement: measure and improve.

Youth Youth engagement in program planning is essential to provide positive outcomes. There is reciprocal benefit of a youth-centred approach for mentors, staff and the wider community. The youth voice provides insight that ensures that BBGV service delivery is informed and geared toward the best outcomes for children and youth.

Year One: • • •

Bring more youth voices into program planning processes. Review and enhance youth leadership programming. Implement anti-racism and inclusion/equity training to ensure culturally safe services are provided.

Years Two through Five: • •

Initiate the creation of a youth advisory committee. Provide access to youth-focused resources and referrals, and youth development opportunities.

Key Performance Indicators: • • •

Youth leadership program growth. Number of youth and youth engagement: measure and improve. Number of youth engaged in a youth advisory capacity.



A broad and inclusive definition of how each individual perceives their family; inclusive of LGBTQ�S+, one and two+ parent/guardian families. The primary function of BBGV is to provide mentoring programs and services to families and children in our local communities. We aim to ensure that children and their parents/guardians are able to access mentoring programs and supports.

Year One: • Implement structure for the use of a strengths-based perspective. • •

Review opportunities to reduce barriers for service and increase accessibility. Implement anti-racism and inclusion/equity training to ensure culturally safe services are provided.

Years Two through Five: • • •

Enhance family recruitment for all programs; ensure accessibility to all communities. Enhance the support provided to families being served and on waitlists. Review and enhance referrals and access to resources for families with various needs.

• Number of families supported. • Number of families engaging with training workshops and programs. • Number of parents/guardians and engagement: measure and improve. • Number of referrals made and resources provided.


Our success is tied to the well-being, accomplishments, and development of BBGV’s employees. A primary goal is to enhance our culture that supports employees in their involvement in rewarding work with a common purpose.

Year One: • Develop initial stages of a Human Resources strategy aligned to the organizational •

strategy and plans. Focus on improving engagement and retention through people-focused activities: o Employee Survey analysis and plans. o Career planning: understanding employee goals and opportunities. o Inclusion and anti-racism awareness.

Years Two through Five: • Research and development of priority areas in engagement. • •

Build organizational capacity through enhanced training and development for key organizational roles. Improve employee accessibility to personal and employment information.


Key Performance Indicators:

Key Performance Indicators: • •

Examine employee engagement to develop applicable goals. Examine voluntary turnover to develop applicable goals.


PILLAR 4 FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY The raising of dollars to support BBGV is primarily the responsibility of Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver Foundation (BBGVF). Therefore the strategic priority is to work in partnership with the BBGV Foundation to further diversify our grant funding sources, where appropriate, in order to ensure sustainability and meet growth objectives.



Years One through Five: • Develop and maintain a 5-year financial projection for the charity. • Monitoring cost per child served. • Maintaining the current programming to administration ratio at 15%.

Key Performance Indicators: • Existence of financial projections and annual budgets that consider community needs and sustainability. • Cost per child served. • Programming to Administration ratio.

Well, if I didn’t have my Big Brother, I’d probably be some couch potato, playing video games in a dungeon. I would’ve never left the house because I never would’ve had anyone to go with, I never would’ve had those opportunities... Sometimes you need a push to get out of your bubble, especially when you’re a kid. - Little Brother


SERVICE DELIVERY Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver serves the following communities: Burnaby

Port Coquitlam



Port Moody

West Vancouver



White Rock

New Westminster


North Vancouver


Big Brothers Mentoring

This relationship-based program connects male-identifying, gender-fluid and non-binary children, who are aged 7-14, with a positive male-identifying role model. Through regular outings, a friendship is developed between the Big and Little Brother that is built on trust, and common interests and values. Big and Little Brothers spend quality time together doing free or low cost activities. Whenever possible, our organization provides activity ideas, free tickets, and admission vouchers to Big and Little Brothers.

In-School Mentoring

This program matches children with adult volunteers in meaningful one-to-one relationships. The children have been identified by their teacher or other school staff as students who could benefit from some additional attention from a caring role model. Big and Little Buddies meet once a week during school hours on school grounds and participate in fun-based activities.

Teen Mentoring

This fun after-school program matches elementary-aged children with a teen Big Buddy from a nearby high school. The children have been identified by their teacher or other school staff as students who would benefit from some additional attention from a caring role model. Big and Little Buddies meet once a week on school grounds along with other Big and Little Buddy matches. While the focus of the program is to enhance the Little Buddy’s self-esteem, teen mentors benefit from improved leadership skills and interest in volunteerism. We encourage Teen Mentors to become Adult In-School Mentors upon graduation.





Game On! uses a group mentor approach to provide boys with information and support to make informed choices about healthy lifestyle practices. Through non-traditional physical activities, complemented with healthy eating information, participants are engaged in life skills, communication and emotional health discussions. Sessions are loosely structured around four themes: physical activity, healthy eating, self-esteem, and communication skills.

Mentoring with Math


This is a 10-week program in partnership with SFU’s TD Community Engagement Centre in Surrey, McGill Library in Burnaby, North Burnaby Neighbourhood House, Strawberry Hill Public Library, Sunset Community Centre. The program matches volunteer mentors with elementary-aged student mentees to build confidence in their math skills and build a strong friendship. Mentoring with Math is for children who could benefit from academic assistance in math at their grade level and are not able to access any other academic enrichment programs.

Roots Mentoring

A fun after-school program where Big and Little Buddies connect and share knowledge through mentorship. This program amplifies and celebrates Indigenous cultures while learning from the experiences and teachings of Indigenous Community Leaders and honoured guests. We welcome Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to take part in fostering an environment of curiosity and dialogue to learn from one another and from our honoured guests. Mentors are in in grades 9-12 and mentee are in Kindergarten to grade 7.

CATCH Program

Volunteers are matched with 2-3 children in small groups to learn the tools of leading a healthy lifestyle. Youth mentors receive training and gain valuable leadership skills. This supplementary training is designed to help the youth improve their confidence and public speaking skills, resolve conflicts, become better negotiators and strong facilitators. Additionally, the program aims to provide the mentees in the program with consistent role models they can build healthy relationships with, as well as a space for increased positive peer relations.

Youth Leadership

This program aims to further support teens in our programs and to offer them additional opportunities to develop leadership skills that they can apply in their everyday lives. These leadership skills include: conflict resolution, activity planning, career planning, mindfulness and child development. We have seen these youth who are given additional training able to mentor more effectively and receive more life skills through a higher level of participation in their program.


SOAR ANALYSIS The model we used to focus on our situational analysis was the SOAR, Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results. It is a model of appreciative inquiry. We chose this in preference to the more traditional SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis because it is more reflective of our strength-based approach to mentorship.

We identified our opportunities to be the flip side of challenges: • Wait times for children/families. • Support for volunteer recruitment. • Training for mentors. • Workshops for parents and guardians. • Collaboration and partnerships in the community. • Program expansion. • Marketing messages about the benefits of mentorship. • Expanded work on equity and inclusion. • Staff retention strategies.


In considering our strengths, we identified the following: • Diversity of our staff who bring diverse perspectives and experiences to our work. • Appreciation of having a strong Foundation to support our organization financially. • Established name and brand with a legacy of trust. • Commitment to safety, screening and child protection. • Commitment to inclusion and equity, ongoing training. • Strong partnerships with community. • Ability to adapt to changing circumstances and community needs.




Our aspirations included: • Keeping equity and inclusion at the forefront of our work. • Recognizing mentorship as a reciprocal benefit to both mentee and mentor. • Expansion of our youth leadership program (youth voice amplified). • Ongoing adult mentor training. • Virtual mentoring programs to address accessibility. • Support for youth in care. • Volunteer engagement strategies. • Balanced workload for staff. • Staff retention strategies. • Collaboration between BBGV and BBGV Foundation. • Combining fundraising with volunteer recruitment. • Research and knowledge mobilization.

We will know we have succeeded when we see the following results: • Waitlist reductions for children and families. • Engagement with those not yet reached who could benefit from mentorship. • Establishment of community facing offices and infrastructure to support community needs. • Effective marketing programs developed. • Broad representation of diverse communities as Mentors/Staff/Board members and families.

I can be never more thankful to Andy who has become a Big Brother to my son who always mentions him with pride. His impact is very steady and warm. - Guardian