Central Office Strategic Planning Process
DREAM’s organizational capacity and strategic planning measures greatly increased in 2002, largely due to the help of Kate Knight. Through previous work experience, Kate brought with her a strong knowledge of organizational capacity development. Using a robust organizational capacity measurement tool that can be used in a variety of nonprofits, DREAM’s strategic plan began to unfold. The tool breaks down organizational capacity into eight categories:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Board of Directors Finance and Fund Development Human Resources Information Technology Marketing Management Systems Outcomes and Evaluation Replication
Thank you to Karen and Lowell Richards Karen and Lowell have been incredibly supportive of DREAM’s efforts. Whether it’s providing advice on management issues, revising a letter to a potential donor, or providing facilities for a staff retreat, Karen and Lowell can be counted on to support DREAM’s effort. Thank you Karen and Lowell!
DREAM also built on the tool to create a comprehensive document with descriptions of the organizational documents, systems, procedures, and structures that DREAM should work towards having in place. The roadmap has proved extremely valuable as a framework for thinking about developing DREAM’s organizational capacity as well as a concrete tool for creating specific documents and policies. DREAM also engaged in an organization-wide strategic planning process that took several months to complete. Kate acted as an outside consultant to coordinate an internal scan of the organization and an external scan of DREAM’s environment. The internal scan consisted primarily of full-staff discussions concerning a variety of topics: •Priorities for the strategic planning process •Information management •Risk management •Program evaluation •Mission statement •Marketing strategies •Growth plan •Information collection Focus groups were also held with mentors, children, and parents to discuss the current state of our programs. For the external scan, DREAM conducted surveys with housing providers and college administrations throughout the state. DREAM also conducted research on current trends in Vermont, the non-profit sector, the mentoring field, public housing, service learning, and a variety of other topics. The internal and external scans were presented at a three-day staff retreat at the end of November. The retreat also provided a forum to address unfinished areas of the strategic planning process. After the retreat, Kate collaborated with the rest of the staff to compile the findings into a strategic planning document. The document is for internal use and is currently being reformatted for external presentation in the form of a business plan.
Published on Aug 26, 2012