1 Saturday Academy Strategic Plan 2020-2025 (9/19/19) For 36 years, Saturday Academy has been supporting the students of Oregon and SW Washington by offering engaging and unique educational opportunities to all interested children. We serve 6,000 students each year through our 4 core programs taught by STEM experts, and aided by partnerships with local community organizations. In the spring of 2019, the staff and board of Saturday Academy set the objectives for our 3-5 year strategic plan. During the first six months, we will complete data-driven research to inform the subsequent strategies as well as initiate new activities to meet our goals. Meeting these objectives will help us become a more culturally responsive organization1 and reach all interested students, including those who are underrepresented in STEM fields. We will reassess this plan at 6 months and then at least annually. The four primary objectives are: Objective 1: Continue to build equity, inclusion, and diversity of staff, board, students, donors, instructors, and mentors. Objective 2: Ensure sustainable Growth to Fulfill Our Mission Objective 3: Improve and grow brand recognition and reputation Objective 4: Increase and Improve Partnerships The development of three tools that will help address all four objectives are prioritized for the first months of the plan: 1. Define strategies to attract new students to SA (including new underrepresented students) – How: This will require work by programs, partners, Diversity Committee and marketing. Metric 5% (~75 students) higher by June FY20 than new students this year (FY18 44% of Classes registrants were new to Saturday Academy). Timeline: Assess results of new strategies launched in FY19 (e.g. invite a friend) and plan additional strategies in first 6 mo. Out Years 2-5: Set goals for attracting new students utilizing new partnerships and diversity tools such as re-evaluation of messaging for financial aid. 2. Map board and staff connections and refine methods to utilize Salesforce and both internal and external communication. How: A tool will be created and distributed (key point people on staff will create). Connections using a categorized matrix. Metric: Standard method for Salesforce entry and communication established 100% participation by the board and staff in mapping connections. Quarterly review of connections (organizations) and success of interaction – were connections used, how, by each program (e.g. ASE, Development, Classes etc.), and how they helped us reach our diversity and inclusion goals. 1
“Protocol for Culturally Responsive Organizations,” by Ann Curry-Stevens, Marie-Elena Reyes & Coalition of Communities of Color, Center to Advance Racial Equity, Portland State University, December 2014
2 Timeline: Create and launch within 6 months. Assess at 12 months. Out Years 2-5: Add connections at least annually, reassess use. 3. Define and Establish Saturday Academy community committees to give: Feedback on Strategic Plan Feedback on program Feedback on program related to diversity Help to test messages re: marketing Advice and access re: broadening our reach to those who don’t know us. Be open to other feedback we may not anticipate. How: Staff to set objectives and roles of participants (“committee charge”) for each committee and a point-person to manage each committee. Staff and board to generate list of prospective community members to participate, invited by ED. Questions to committees and data gathering methods will be specific to each committee (e.g. feedback methods). Debrief first meeting and set agenda, timeframe, questions and activities going forward. Ask for 1 year commitment from participants. Consider a reward or recognition; low income participants may need compensation; funds have been added to the FY20 budget. Metric: Committees established, meet quarterly (or appropriate frequency as defined), and clear actionable recommendations are implemented annually. Timeline: Establish committees in first 6 months of plan. Out Years: Evaluate usefulness of the committees annually and re-establish as new needs arise and others sunset. Document reasons for sun setting any committee.
Objective 1: Improve equity, inclusion, and diversity of staff, board, students, donors, instructors, and mentors Strategy 1: Saturday Academy will expand its diversity and inclusion work to become a culturally responsive organization.1 How:
Continue the Equity Plan established during the year-long training by the Center for Equity and Inclusion. Complete a new organizational assessment and create a culturally responsive improvement plan. Publish evaluation plan for public to see. Obtain additional data regarding equity as needed (from Advisory committees, partners and database). Consider additional evaluation tools and training such as qualitative assessments (Listening Lab) when SA has questions appropriate for these tools. Develop proposal and budget when needed. Insure that the community is aware of our diversity and inclusion work by creating and implementing a communication plan.
Equity committees continue to present progress monthly with clear progress shown biannually. Sunset committees and add new as needed. Increasing numbers and positive feedback from diverse students participating in our programs. Additional board and staff members who represent marginalized communities (Board FY19=25%; Staff FY19=23% includes people of color, LGBTQ) Positive feedback from community advisory committees. Improved partnerships with organizations that serve students from marginalized communities. Complete communication plan.
Timeline: Complete organizational assessment regarding cultural responsiveness and set resulting additional goals in first year. Assess annually and report our findings publically through formal report of impact. Modify activities to improve service to underrepresented students and families. This may take different forms for each program (e.g. cultural awareness, responsiveness, specific cultural programs in partnership with others) Strategy 2: Evaluate financial aid (FA) strategy for budget to improve our service to students and families. How: • Assess use of current FA and investigate obstacles to more FA or better use of it. • Create marketing plan to reach students who need FA
4 • Assess what other factors are limiting students’ ability to participate through student and parent committees that are representative of different groups of people. Metric: Increased use of available FA (see metric from Objective 2- 90% use by end of FY20); Catalog other factors with intent to solve in Out Years Timeline: 90% FA use in FY20; Identify marketing activities within 6 months with effects assessed annually. Show additional solutions to factors limiting participation by end of FY20 Out Years 2-5: Assess annually and expand opportunities for diverse students (more aid, new programs etc.) Strategy 3: Continue the launch of the first edition of equity training for instructors/mentors and plan additional training for board and new staff How: Work with Prof Dev committee, ASE director, and Classes director to continue to implement plan for instructors/mentors. Staff HR equity committee to solidify onboarding for staff. Metric: Participation by 100% of current instructors and mentors by end of Year 2 (approximately 300 people). New instructors and mentors will participate as part of on-boarding. Modify board onboarding materials and distribute to entire board. Provide new staff with equity materials and an equity committee assignment. Timeline: Training added to website and professional development events within 6 months. Out Years: Assess adequacy of training, and whether training is improving our programs. Develop a method to gather this information (e.g. questions in our evaluation tools, Listening lab to subset of students/families, utilize input from community committees). Expect higher numbers of diverse students join our programs/staff/board. Modify equity training based on outcomes.
5 Objective 2: Sustainable Growth to Fulfill Our Mission Definition of growth: Increase in numbers of children and/or hours of program delivery/child Strategy 1: Increase contributed income to increase opportunities for underserved students. How: A part-time consultant grant writer will be hired in FY20. This will help to release the Development Director to work with corporate philanthropy and major donors. We would expect more contributed grant income, and/or more corporate and donor funds to result. Metric: Increase individual and corporate contributed income by 14% annually. Timeline: Add to FY20 budget; Metric achieved by end of FY20 Out years 2-5: Contributed income growth/year; if successful, consider additional staff position instead of part-time consultant. Strategy 2: Increase use of financial aid already set aside as part of the Classes and Camps budget (currently ~$30,000/yr. unused; minimum 150 students affected) How: Work with marketing and partnership committees and advisory panels for method to message and learn about obstacles to use. Metric: 90% used by end of FY20 Timeline: 10% increase in use by March; 90% use by end of FY20 Out years 2-5: Reassess messaging and access in concert with marketing, partnership committee and advisory panels. At least 95% of financial aid provided by Classes and SA2U utilized annually. Assess financial aid use in relation to budget availability. Increase financial aid if possible and if strategies to fill those seats is successful. Strategy 3: Update the cost models for all programs and evaluate program costs to sustain and build programs. Separate classes from camps in the Classes Cost Model. Understand costs of classes to underserved vs non-TA/non-grant supported classes/SA2U/ASE (e.g. including costs of marketing, partnerships, operations and development costs) How: Update and re-evaluate current cost models using last three years of data and additional input from program; Board Finance committee to help and review. Metric: Review all classes and camps and adjust program priorities and activities accordingly Timeline: Complete ASE, Classes, SA2U, and GET cost models by January; in time for Summer Classes catalog. (NOTE: If cost model is used to affect pricing, changes in cost model may not have real effects until FY21 as Contributed income proposals precede current year calendar, some pricing for FY20 is already set.) Out Years 1-5: Train all staff in Year 1 to understand and maintain pricing strategies. Assess if useful for budget planning and if affects how we budget and run programs Annual recovery to at least 3% margins while maintaining quality programs Evaluate alternative models to a) expectation of Classes contributing most of the margin; b). unspecified contribution to the margin by other programs. Alternative example: set percentage
6 goals for each program that together create at least a 3% margin based on resource utilized (e.g. staffing expenses) Strategy 4: Continue to assess and build new technologies into our programs. How: ď‚ˇ Review report from Encore fellows FY19 work ď‚ˇ Continue to do small experiments that eventually build new technologies into our programs Metric: ď‚ˇ New examples annually of new technologies used by the organization (e.g. streaming conferences, classes on new technology topics, on-line tools for families to learn about our programs, updating our internal technology/database/website.
Objective 3: Improve and grow brand recognition and reputation Strategy 1: Focus on branding through improved visuals, messaging, and awareness How: Insure brand consistency among collateral (website, SEO, ads, social media) Inventory collateral across departments and create more consistent messaging. Clean up corresponding documents and channels of distributing brand information/awareness (e.g. making sure the website is consistent in its messaging along with any flyers and additional marketing collateral) Execute Bloom report findings and suggestions Find out how to connect ad clicks or website traffic directly to registrations Provide information cards to board and staff for a consistent messaging (for use in networking. Provide verbiage that Board members and staff can use in their own social media feeds o LinkedIn profile descriptions of Board member ‘job description,’ as an example o Postings on LinkedIn and Facebook Provide verbiage that Board members can give their employers about the organization and position when discussing community involvement or requesting funding support SA staff and board attend thought-leader events in the community Metric (estimates): increase social media hits/likes/website views from FY19 quarterly averages Show accompanying increase in registrations by end of 2020 Timeline: 6-months: Review collateral and integrate with Bloom’s findings Out years 2-5: Review collateral with staff and board annually Reassess impact annually (increased registration, social media metrics (see below) and reapportion marketing time and efforts. Strategy 2: Research and implement new methods of marketing How: Research cost/benefit and make plan to implement new marketing methods (e.g. swag, lawn signs, t-shirts, drawstring backpacks) including costs, staff time and logistics. Use data available from other nonprofits and on marketing websites Hold a spring Open House event at Saturday Academy Beaverton per the Bloom recommendations Assess competition annually Metric: Estimated 300 new enrollments over the course of 1 year (2020) due to new marketing efforts (see also new student goal in Objective 2).
Assess if there are additional metrics for new marketing methods and the cost/benefit of implementation (e.g. surveys; OMBU implementation of “how did you hear about us”). Timeline: 6-months: Report with data findings on the effectiveness of efforts to-date. Annual evaluation of marketing effort effectiveness Out years 2-5: Reevaluate effectiveness of marketing methods annually. Strategy 3: Develop a process for capturing student/parent/instructor/mentor stories and distributing across all channels How: Create plan for capturing stories and calendar for distributing content (potentially with an intern). Stories will be used in marketing collateral such as on the website as blog posts, in the quarterly or donor e-newsletters, catalog opening “letter”, grant proposals, etc. Capturing visuals (photo and video) to aid in the storytelling process Programs will aim to generate one news-worthy story per year to be pitched to media outlets and used in our quarterly newsletter Utilize SEO practices (key words etc) to increase visibility of SA stories and posts Metrics: Based on current 12% open rate and a 5% click rate increase both by 8% in the first year (from 12% to 20% and from 5% to 13% respectively). Timeline: Develop method for collecting stories and testimonials within 3 months Start capturing and sharing compelling stories within 6 months. Out years 2-5: Implementation of plan for distributing stories and program-developed news-worthy pieces. Strategy 4: Segment target audiences where relevant, differentiating between elementary, middle, high school, and Home schooled students, as well as donors, parents, mentors, and instructors. Additionally, segment marketing strategies for ASE, SA2U, and GET from general branding. How: Divide audiences and map changes to catalog and website in order to best connect with specific audiences with the assistance and guidance of the classes program. Assess cost/benefit of providing separate materials/audience. Develop true coupon code functionality to track specific discounts offered via targeted marketing efforts Metric: Increase open-enrollment registration by 10%. o Estimated 300 new enrollments over the course of 1 year (2020) due to new marketing efforts
These efforts will be tracked by increases in registration but also the click/open rates of targeted emails and use of coupon codes
Timeline: Proposal assessed by each affected program within 6 months, and potentially reformat catalog and other program collateral (Classes for summer 2020). Out years 2-5:
Consider cost/benefit of marketing automation tool (e.g. Salesforce Marketing Cloud or Pardot; integrated into Constant Contact) to deliver targeted marketing to segmented audiences Evaluate effectiveness of marketing changes annually.
Strategy 5: Improve accessibility for non-English speakers include culturally responsible language to our marketing collateral How: Utilize advisory panels or committees to aid in determine the needs of our audiences Assess if current methods are sufficient consulting with Advisory panels and partnership committee. Implement specific changes (Provide website translations, translated ad campaigns, invest in hiring staff with speaking skills, use phone translation service etc.) per the assessment. Metrics: Increase in diverse students attending SA programs by at least 5%/year. Review click rates on other-language ads; aiming for an average of 200 clicks per ad (current FB ad click rate is 80/ad) Timeline: Begin research on community needs and gaps. Propose plan for accessibility within 12 months. Out years 2-5: Assuming research suggests it is needed, begin running ads in other languages in tandem with English and including a drop-down option in the navigation bar to translate the website, and invest in professional development as needed. Work with the partnership committee to identify partners to grow our connections with non-English speaking families
10 Objective 4: Increase and Improve Partnerships Strategy 1: Identify current partnerships to focus and strengthen; Utilize SA Diversity Partnership Committee work. How: Create a matrix tool to identify sectors in which Saturday Academy works with partners (ie space, mentors, student recruitment.) Create flowchart model including social equity criteria to evaluate and formalize current/future partners, and institute strong MOU template. Metrics: Assess effectiveness of current partnerships (do we interact, mutually benefit?). Based on findings, establish specific targeted partnerships to grow. Timeline: 6 months Out years 2-5: Reevaluate annually, add or subtract partners based on needs of the organization and partner. Consider establishment of a Community Relations staff member. Strategy 2: Identify partnership gaps â€“ including marginalized communities, culturally specific organizations, and companies wanting to help underserved communities. How: a. Each department will look back at organizations we have worked with (3-10 years) and describe the relationships, activities and demographics. b. We will conduct internal needs assessment and obtain community input. The community input will help identify gaps that we may not be aware of or identify needs in the community that we can fill. The community input would gather diverse input to influence opportunities offered by SA. It could include: dialogue on class/internship design, relevance, implementation, assessment. Metrics: Gaps are identified. Identify 3 potential partnership organizations that would fill gaps. Timeline: 6 months Out years 2-5: Reassess annually to keep partnerships updated. Look for new gaps. Strategy 3: Compile Saturday Academy assets that we bring to our partners, in order to focus on mutual benefits of partnering. How: Survey current partners, staff and board Metrics: Create an asset list. List will identify at least 4 unique assets that can be marketed to our partners/new partners. This will include our ability to host other programs. Timeline: 3 months Out years 2-5: Create staff training on how to work with organizations to best meet both of our needs and theirs, with updates as needed. Network with diversity and inclusion leaders in similar organizations to support women and underserved groups in STEM, advancing STEM education and workforce outcomes in the region.