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Strategic Plan 2016-18



Strategic Planning Process In 2015, Urban Roots was awarded a strategic planning grant from the Still Water Foundation to strengthen organizational capacity and leadership by cultivating a shared, inspiring 2-3 year vision. Urban Roots partnered with Alpinista Consulting, which specializes in bringing many voices into the planning process by using a repertoire of participatory methods called Liberating Structures. Alpinista facilitated retreats with the Board of Directors and with staff, focus groups with current youth participants

and the Urban Roots Community Advisory Council, and interviewed a wide range of stakeholders that included youth alumni, parents of youth participants, funders, board members, staff, volunteers, and community partners. Some clear patterns and themes emerged over the course of the interviews: Urban Roots is uniquely situated in the Austin landscape as a youth development organization and leader in the food movement, transforming lives through food and farming. Urban Roots connects people to land and place, cultivates a sense of community, and reconnects people to their food in a way that is fundamentally radical yet deceptively simple. In our strategic plan, we are excited about building multiple, interconnected pathways to strengthen our unique organizational culture and commitment to diverse leadership to increase youth and community impact and expand partnerships and funding opportunities.


INTERCONNECTED We operate an interconnected set of programs that engage youth ages 14 – 23 with community and place.

Create a process for testing and piloting new programs that aligns with Urban Roots’ mission, purpose, and guiding principles.


Design and pilot a program that engages young people ages 18 – 23.

All youth engaged in Urban Roots programs have significant experiences that increase their leadership capacity, enhance personal and social responsibility, encourage healthy relationships with food, and bond as a group.


We evolve existing programs to include more opportunities for meaningful youth leadership and voice.

We clearly articulate how the core elements of our programs transform the lives of the youth we serve. 2

Strengthen program evaluation to help define and codify the core elements of Urban Roots programs that create transformational experiences for youth. Identify opportunities to deepen relationships with aligned organizational partners and provide compelling opportunities for new partners to join our mission.





Culture & Leadership



Urban Roots’ guiding principles shape our everyday activities. Our principles are consistently modeled, measured, and celebrated. Our board and staff reflect the diversity and act in cultural responsiveness with those we serve.


New board and staff leadership is inspired, active, and equipped to meet the evolving challenges of a growing nonprofit.


Staff grow as professionals and community members through Urban Roots.

Refresh and teach Urban Roots guiding principles to board, staff, and youth participants. Identify the communities we serve and create a plan to increase diversity and the culture of inclusion within Urban Roots, highlighting the importance of youth and community leadership. Create a recruitment, retention, and professional development strategy for staff and a succession plan for key roles. Revise board responsibilities to strengthen board engagement and plan for succession of founding leadership.

Milestones 5






We have a long term home for our farm and office that supports the growth of innovative programming and organizational stability.


Technology enhances our programs, deepens our partnerships, and provides the foundation for us to grow.


Create a multi-year budget that plans for growth and a sustainable increase in earned and contributed revenue. Conduct an operations audit to evaluate existing technology and organizational processes. Develop a long-term land stability plan rooted in increasing program impact.

Our financial and operational systems operate with maximum efficiency and evolve with the organization.




We have increased earned and contributed revenue, and meaningful corporate partnerships that align with our guiding principles.


We tell vivid stories that illustrate the transformative power of our programming.


We have a diverse community of supporters who are inspired by our work, share our story, give time, and contribute financially.


Create an earned revenue strategy and a value proposition framework for Urban Roots programs. Develop a comprehensive database of stakeholders and constituents to accurately track relationships with our donors and partners in order to maximize opportunities to deepen their involvement in our mission. Develop a comprehensive stewardship plan for all donor levels that ensures ongoing connection and deepening of relationships. Develop a communications plan with a focus on digital platforms to meet community engagement, program, and fundraising goals.



Development & Communications


Urban Roots Strategic Plan (2016-2019)  
Urban Roots Strategic Plan (2016-2019)