LiFT Strategic Plan 2021-2024

Page 1

2021 - 2024



TABLE OF CONTENTS Chairman’s Message 3 History of LiFT 4 Mission, Vision, and Motto 5 Executive Summary 6 Strategic Priorities, Goals, and Initiatives


Acknowledgements 12

CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE On behalf of the Board of Directors for Learning Independence For Tomorrow, I am pleased to present our 2021-2024 Strategic Plan. This plan represents our forward-looking vision for LiFT and affirms the fundamental principles and values that serve as the foundation of our organization. Building upon the success of our humble beginnings in 2013, this strategic plan provides the framework for enhancing the exceptional educational environment and life skills training. I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to the strategic planning committee, led by Mr. Elliad Granger, our parents, LiFT team members, students and community supporters who took the time and interest to participate in multiple breakout sessions and meetings. After months of bold conversations and thought provoking work sessions, we completed the strategic plan with a more comprehensive mission and vision to include our adult LiFT learners. This Strategic Plan will be a living document that will shape the course of our organization for years to come. LiFT continues to be blessed by the many members of our community who give so generously of themselves, through their time, talents and treasures. We are grateful for the sacrifices and support of all those involved in helping our organization become the success it is today. We are committed to ensuring that all students are valued and have a sense of acceptance and belonging. In our community, LiFT is already a recognized leader in the landscape of special and inclusive education and life skills training. Our 2021-2024 Strategic Plan sets forth our determined path to further establish LiFT as the premier academic and transition institution empowering and inspiring individuals with neurodiversity to learn, thrive and succeed. This plan and the priorities set forth within, will help us achieve our vision and move towards a world where independence is possible for all. Respectfully,

Keli Mondello

Keli Mondello Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors

OUR HISTORY LiFT is the passionate pursuit of mothers who envisioned an educational program that focused on independent outcomes for their own children with neurodiversity. In 2012, Kim Kuruzovich and Keli Mondello had a vision. Inspired by their daughters, they set out to create an inclusive and accepting environment where children with autism, ADHD, developmental delays and other learning differences would be free from rejection and exclusion, so they would have the peace to learn and grow.

LiFT TODAY Today, LiFT boasts an enrollment of 140(+) students and three educational programs: • LiFT Academy serves K- 12th grade. • LiFT University Transition Program is a four-year post-secondary program for students who have completed high school, but desire continued academics, career readiness, and intensive life skill training. • LiFT Adult Day program offers continued learning and employment skills while promoting social enterprise.

OUR FUTURE As a recognized leader in the landscape of inclusive and special education, LiFT is committed to providing exceptional and equal opportunities in school, employment and life experiences for all. However, the vision doesn’t stop there. LiFT’s founders, as well as the Board of Directors, aspire to provide a residential component for the adult LiFT learners. Just as everyone deserves a sense of community and fellowship, so too, do those with neurodiversity. Our dream is to create and provide a safe community offering supportive independent services, transportation, employment assistance, and opportunities for socializing and long-term friendships.





To inspire and empower people with neurodiversity to learn, thrive and succeed.

A world where independence is possible for the neurodiverse.

A fervent belief that each and every learner come to value and view their individual uniqueness and diversity as a gift that will be celebrated. Equally important is for each learner to respect the differences found in one another.

Change a Life, Change the World.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Our 2021-2024 Strategic Plan represents the collective involvement and insights from a comprehensive group of LiFT stakeholders, including learners in both the academy and university, families, faculty, leadership, volunteers, and donors. During the initial phase of development, we garnered feedback from focus groups and special committees who had participated in an in-depth analysis to identify internal and external factors impacting the organization currently and those expected to in the future. Our Task Force then used the results of this analysis to establish our most important priorities. The Board of Directors, LiFT leadership, and the Strategic Planning Task Force will host quarterly meetings to provide a framework for ongoing accountability and to ensure successful realization of the strategic plan over the next three years.



FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE LiFT Learners LiFT Team Members LiFT Families

Internal External

Funding Diversification Increase Brand Awareness Financial Prudence

Priority #1

EMPOWERING PEOPLE 1. LiFT LEARNERS Provide quality education to all LiFT Learners through these initiatives: Develop Individual Support Plan (ISP) for each LiFT Learner within 90 days of enrollment. Timeline: Ongoing and reviewed annually

Provide each LiFT Learner the opportunity to participate in at least one enrichment activity annually.

Timeline: Ongoing and reviewed Fall and Spring of each academic year

Minimum 95% annual graduation rate for all LiFT Academy Learners. Timeline: Ongoing and reviewed annually

All LiFT Learners acquire at least one new skill set each year. Timeline: Ongoing and reviewed annually

Create/adopt objective methodology for measuring academic gains for each LiFT Learner annually. Timeline: Ongoing and reviewed annually

2. LiFT TEAM MEMBERS Develop uniform expectations for professional development, and recruit and retain top level talent through these initiatives: Each team member to complete a professional development plan (PDP) within 6 months of hiring or placement. Timeline: Ongoing and reviewed annually

Develop a comprehensive recruitment and retention plan. Timeline: By close of 2020-2021 school year

Maintain a 75% annual retention rate for all LiFT team members. Timeline: By close of 2020-2021 school year

Implement employee recognition at LiFT to build and strengthen employee ties. Timeline: Ongoing and reviewed annually

Create a competitive compensation structure that rewards performance and longevity to attract and retain the highest quality teachers for our students. Timeline: By the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year

Priority #1

EMPOWERING PEOPLE 3. LiFT FAMILIES Provide empowerment opportunities for LiFT Families to help their LiFT Learner achieve independence through these initiatives:

Create a Family Resource Center to promote both the strengthening of families through formal and informal support and the restoration of a strong sense of community. Timeline: By the beginning of 2021-2022 school year


Priority #2


Expand facilities to increase educational opportunities for LiFT Learners and increase percentage of revenue from non-fundraising related sources through these initiatives:

Develop a property procurement committee to seek and identify potential property options.

Establish capital campaign plan once funding requirements for expansion are determined.

By the end of June 2021

By the end of Aug. 2021

Ensure all programs operate at a financial break-even or better position.

Create a sustainable fundraising plan to ensure fundraising diversification for donors.

By the end of June 2021 (Reviewed quarterly)

By the end of April 2021

Maintain a minimum of 90% capacity of annual learner enrollment.

Obtain a minimum of $5M in commitments for the LiFT endowment fund.

Ongoing and reviewed annually

By the end of Dec. 2025

2. INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS Continue to strengthen our community presence and reputation of educational excellence, while attracting top team members, learners, donors, and board members through effective communication of our mission. These initiatives are:

Create a branding and marketing plan that is applied to all facets of the organization. By the end of June 2021

Establish and implement a community outreach strategy focused on increasing LiFT awareness and enhancing community partnerships. By the end of February 2021

3. FINANCIAL PRUDENCE Maintain strict financial budgets to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of LiFT through this initiative: Achieve a break-even or better operational financial outcome. By end of June 2022-2023 school year

Priority #3

COMMUNITY 1. INTERNAL COMMUNITY Increase family involvement and develop opportunities for learners and all team members to come together more frequently for collaboration and team building/shared decision-making. We will accomplish this by:

Establish a calendar of parent engagement opportunities. By the beginning of 2021-2022 school year Achieve a minimum of 60% family member participation in one of the events during the year. Ongoing and reviewed annually Develop at least two activities for our learning community each semester to provide opportunities to come together more frequently. Ongoing and reviewed each semester Create two leadership opportunities for LiFT learners each semester. Ongoing and reviewed each semester Establish a learner and a team member liaison presence as part of shared governance. By the beginning of 2021-2022 school year

2. EXTERNAL COMMUNITY Increase awareness of our mission and funding for LiFT, continue to expand community partnerships, and create a volunteer plan of opportunities within LiFT by:




Develop & implement a communication plan to increase community awareness.

Develop & implement a plan to expand community partnerships by 15%.

Create & post volunteer opportunities on an on-going basis.

By March 2021

Ongoing and updated each month

By March 2021

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thank you to the dedicated committee members, board members, leadership team, team members, learners, families, and community members that participated in multiple surveys and discussions to establish our priorities, goals and initiatives.

Board of Directors: Elliad Granger Director Strategic Task Force Chairman Keli Mondello Chairman Strategic Task Force Committee Member Ex Officio Shawn Naugle LiFT Executive Director Strategic Task Force Committee Member Ex Officio Kim Kuruzovich Director Strategic Task Force Committee Member Kyle Maxson Director Strategic Task Force Committee Member Amy Maguire Director Strategic Task Force Committee Member Matthew Rich Treasurer Sergio Cadavid Director

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