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how we got here Looking back


Defining “strategy” Identifying the facts Strategic themes and priorities

strategy Goals


2014-2015 strategic plan Measurement and the balanced scorecard

organization evolution Now










Dear Friends, Strategic Plan. For some, these words evoke visions of a cumbersome process, resulting in a stodgy document that lives on the shelf, never to be referenced again. But for us at United Way of Greater Kansas City, we approach strategic planning as an exciting and dynamic process, which results in a living document that guides us every day towards achieving our mission. As volunteers, it has been our pleasure to lead the process of creating the document that you see here. For the next two years, this strategic plan will guide UWGKC’s work to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of Greater Kansas City. In 2010 the organization embarked upon a strategic plan that envisioned a transformation for our organization. We transitioned from functioning only as a funder of agencies, to being a community convener, advocate, and investor. We shifted from being transaction-oriented in an annual workplace campaign, to being relationship-focused with year-round engagement. We no longer only measure our success by funds raised - we now measure success with new metrics like community impact, new donors, and engaging relationships. We are growing the community’s understanding of our brand and volunteer opportunities, with year-round communications and meaningful options for engaging in UWGKC activities. As we journeyed toward this vision, we successfully implemented a balanced scorecard to measure progress, report outcomes, and strategically manage our work and relationships. We have strengthened our overall capacity to deliver value and results, and are ready to begin our next chapter of catalytic growth, relevance, and changing lives. We now embark upon a new strategic plan, which builds upon the successful vision of prior years. This plan describes a clear future in which UWGKC increases our impact on Education, Income, and Health outcomes, and serves as a catalyst for collective impact to improve the lives of people throughout this community. Delivering the results identified within these pages will require steadfast determination and commitment from all of us in the United Way of Greater Kansas City community. As donors, volunteers, agencies, partners, and staff we will work to advance the common good, and in doing so we will create a strong, more thriving community for all of us. We are your United Way, and we cannot achieve the goals set forth in this plan without you. We invite you to continue with us on this important journey. Thank you for your partnership and shared commitment to help all people in Greater Kansas City reach their full potential.

StrategY DEVELOPMENT Committee VOLUNTEERS DEREK LOCKE, CHAIR Partner and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) PAUL FENAROLI Independent Strategy Consultant RANDY LOPEZ Migrant and Community Liaison, Shawnee Mission School District JULIE QUIRIN President & CE0, Saint Luke’s Hospital DAVID RENZ, PH.D Director, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, UMKC LAURIE ROBERTS Chief Operating Officer, Parris Communications ED UNDERWOOD, PH.D Director, Institute for Urban Education, UMKC STAFF TAMI GREENBERG Sr. VP of Strategy Development & Human Capital, United Way of Greater Kansas City BRENT STEWART President & CEO, United Way of Greater Kansas City


INTRODUCTION / OVERVIEW Cat-a-lyst Noun \ka-te-lest\ - An agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action Catalyst. What an interesting word. Depending on the context within which it is used, it can evoke very specific thoughts and imagery. In science, the catalyst is a substance that speeds a chemical reaction. Certain fuels make fires burn faster and hotter while others make water freeze more quickly and harder. “Catalyst� can also define a person or organization that speeds action within a community. A standout athlete can speed the success of a sports team, while an effective leader can grow an organization more quickly and achieve greater results. When it comes to United Way of Greater Kansas City and our work within the community, there is no better word to describe the organization than the word catalyst.


- Winston Churchill

Why? United Way is uniquely positioned to identify gaps in community need, recognize what is needed to fill those gaps, and convene the right resources and partners to create success in filling those gaps – all at a much faster, more effective pace. Becoming a catalyst doesn’t just happen. For an organization like United Way, it takes careful convening, planning, testing, implementation, measurement and involvement from the community. And it’s the community that helps set the direction of the organization.

VISION: Uniting our community to advance the common good and create opportunities to help all people reach their full potential. MISSION: To improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of Greater Kansas City.

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.



HOW WE GOT HERE Looking Back In 2009, the then newly-formed United Way of Greater Kansas City (a merged entity of four United Way organizations) worked with the organization’s first strategic planning committee to create the 2010-2013 strategic plan. That plan was the foundation of a new strategic direction for the organization focusing on the impact areas of Education, Income and Health. As the current strategy development committee began the planning process, committee members took a long look at the 2010-2013 plan and results, along with a fresh look at the needs of the community and how the organization is positioned within it. The findings were used as a basis for creation of a new fact base upon which the new strategic plan would be developed.


Defining “strategy”

Identifying the facts


The committee embraced the following definition of strategy:

A fact base was identified through exhaustive research donated by Boston Consulting Group and included a thorough review of:

Out of the identification and analysis of the fact base the following inter-related strategic themes and priorities emerged.

Strategy is an integrated set of choices that positions an organization to win. Integrated – The choices, and thus the organization’s activities, are internally consistent. Choices – The organization chooses to do some things - and not others - based on a data-driven process that reveals and compares alternative paths. Positions – Resources are deployed toward chosen activities and away from others to deliver on core goals. Win – The objective is to develop sustainable advantage in delivering impact – even in social impact.

Nonprofit megatrends Demand (community needs) Supply (available resources) UWGKC capabilities United Way best practices Staff and volunteer needs Donor landscape

Continue collaborative approach

Maintain Education, Income, Health as priorities

Ensure effective, measurable impact

The culmination of the research and analysis of the fact base created an identification of choices and assessment of options for the organization that ultimately became the foundation for selection of strategic direction.

Develop data sophistication Deliver a customized experience for donors Adapt to the changing workforce

Continue internal communication

Provide best-in-class volunteer experience

Diversify sources of contributions

Clarify a compelling value reposition

Develop digital/mobile engagement options

Continue talent development


STRATEGY Goals What follows are the strategic goals derived from the months of analysis and planning by the strategy development committee. These four goals represent the anchor upon which overall organizational strategies are based. Accelerate positive changes in people’s lives in the areas of Education, Income and Health. Demonstrate return on investment for all United Way of Greater Kansas City work. Modernize processes to exceed donor expectations. Position United Way of Greater Kansas City as the organization of choice for staff and volunteers.



» EDUCATION: help children and youth succeed in life » INCOME: help individuals and families achieve economic independence » HEALTH: help children, youth and adults be healthy and safe in home and neighborhood » Serve as a community catalyst, solving highest-priority problems with a collaborative approach.

» Deliver proof of UWGKC’s brand value

Accelerate positive changes in people’s lives in the areas of Education, Income and Health

Demonstrate return on investment for all UWGKC’s community work

FOCUS ON COMMUNITY MISSION To improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of Greater Kansas City

» Invest in tools and practices to better collect, segment and analyze data » Provide donors with customized opportunities to engage/contribute » Increase responsiveness to specific generations & populations


STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIPS Modernize processes to exceed donor expectations

LEARN & GROW Position UWGKC as the organization of choice for staff and volunteers

» Diversify sources of revenue » Sharpen focus on leadership and corporate giving to grow contributions » Demonstrate the impact of our community investments » Ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness

» Engage volunteers with meaningful opportunities to participate in UWGKC work and activities » Enhance talent and leadership development among staff » Demonstrate UWGKC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion


MEASUREMENT AND THE BALANCED SCORECARD A strategic plan is worthless without effective and diligent execution. UWGKC uses the Balanced Scorecard to ensure successful implementation of every aspect of the strategic plan. The UWGKC balanced scorecard illustrates the primary

measures for all objectives in the strategic plan. These measures are continuously tracked ensuring the four primary goals of the organization are met. Below is a sample of metrics from the comprehensive 2014-2015 scorecard:

vision: Uniting our community to advance the common good and create opportunities to help all people reach their full potential mission: To improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of Greater Kansas City


strategic goal: accelerate positive changes in people’s lives in the areas of education, income and health

o b j ec tive

orga nizati ona l m easure

2015 targe t

Education: Help children and youth succeed in life

# of children or adults who demonstrate attainment of positive educational outcomes, in critical areas of UWGKC investment*


Income: Help individuals and families achieve economic independence

# of people who achieve outcomes that demonstrate financial sustainability, in critical areas of UWGKC investment*


Health: Help children, youth and adults be healthy and safe in their neighborhood and home

# of people who achieve positive health outcomes, in critical areas of UWGKC investment*


Serve as a community catalyst, solving highest-priority problems with a collaborative approach

% of initiatives in which UWGKC serves as catalyst, starting or driving positive results


* Results include people achieving outcomes through more than one funded program and/or UWGKC initiative, we are not tracking individuals by unique identifiers


ORGANIZATION EVOLUTION When the 2010-2013 strategic plan was created, a number of outcomes were identified as part of the organization’s strategic transformation. In looking back over the last three years, the organization has been very successful in achieving that transformation. As it stands today, United Way of Greater Kansas City has transformed into: A community convener, advocate and investor A relationship-focused organization An organization continually moving toward year-round engagement One that measures success through specific metrics An organization comprised of committed brand advocates While much of that original transformation is complete, there are still a number of areas that require continual evolution. By the end of 2015, United Way will move from what the organization is now, to what the organization needs to be next. It’s this continual evolution that allows the organization, as well as its advocates, volunteers and investors, to continue as a catalyst in identifying need and creating the programs to meet that need.




Broad approach to solving communitywide issues through a convening and collaborative approach

Mass-market, workplace-dominated fundraising with general, broad case for supporting UWGKC work

Constrained resource consumption based on financial limits

Volunteers have broad understanding and commitment to community organizations

Relying on supporters’ engagement with UWGKC due to tradition or brand recognition Limited data management capacity with challenges in data collection, segmentation and analysis

Limited staff development tools and opportunities

Leverage UWGKC’s unique position as convener and collaborator to drive change and activate solutions for our community’s most challenging problems Investing in strategic, efficient practices to achieve the mission and build capacity and capability Supporters engage based on variety of motivations including a sound community investment strategy

Strong data mining and analytical practices to enable customized reporting and targeted outreach Tailored donor experience with options to engage with and support UWGKC that fit their specific needs Volunteers engage in full spectrum of UWGKC work and achievement of community outcomes


For more information, contact TAMI GREENBERG Senior Vice President, Strategy & Human Capital United Way of Greater Kansas City 801 W. 47th Street, Suite 500 Kansas City, MO 64112 816.559.4697


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