WINNETKA COMMUNITY HOUSE EMBRACING A SECOND CENTURY
M I S S I O N S TAT E M E N T The mission of Winnetka Community House is to enrich the lives of North Shore residents, their families and friends by providing diverse educational, cultural, social and recreational opportunities for people of all ages. This privately supported unique facility does not receive tax dollars.
â€œWCH is a place for individuals and families to celebrate life, learn and grow. It is also an incubator for other organizations that serve the community.â€? â€“ Life Member
Dear Family and Friends of Winnetka Community House, For over 100 years, Winnetka Community House has cultivated an environment in which individuals and organizations flourish. With this proud history in mind, the leadership of Winnetka Community House conducted meetings with the common focus of how enhancements to the Legacy building and an increased endowment could help the institution become even more extraordinary. The following findings and strategic direction represent the collective work of approximately 350 members of the Winnetka Community House community. Several meetings were conducted last spring and a survey was sent to all program users and leadership members of Winnetka Community House. The participants included Board of Governors, Womanâ€™s Board, Womanâ€™s Board Sustainerâ€™s, Life Members, benefactors, staff, program users, Fitness Centre members, tenants, and community leaders. All participants received information about our finances, programs, activities, user groups, and governance. In addition, a recent Legacy building needs assessment performed by Behles+Behles/Ramm Associates was also provided. These facts laid the foundation for the conversations, all of which focused on facility enhancements, strengthening the endowment to support program and activities development, technology, and communication with the community. Thank you to all who participated in the Strategic Planning sessions. Your energy and insights have played an important role in this planning process. As always, we welcome any further conversations and hope that our community will remain as engaged and energetic in this endeavor as it has been to date. With confidence, we rely on the power of the constituents we serve to guide our work. With gratitude,
Carrie Healy Timothy P. McCabe Board of Governors, Chair Executive Director
FOCUS GROUP FINDINGS
FUNDING FOR THE FUTURE Focus group participants acknowledged that Winnetka Community House’s endowment fund is low. Several ideas were offered on how the institution could better educate constituents about what an endowment fund is and its importance to continued financial strength of the Community House. It was determined that the Community House’s greatest need and its best hope for financial security is an adequate unrestricted endowment fund, invested and managed for growth and income. A strong endowment will not only assist the operating budget of today, but it will also enable the institution to better plan for the future. Although participants recognized that the Community House must first seek unrestricted endowment funds, they also realized that some donors might prefer to make designated gifts, as well. Naming opportunities were also discussed including, but not limited to programmatic chairs, scholarships, staff development and much more. In addition, estate planning was recognized as a very important aspect of this effort.
“WCH has it all 24/7! What I find really great is that you may meet or run into a neighbor that you might not see otherwise, creating the real value of the “House.” – Fitness Centre member
â€œWCH is a treasured institution in the Village. For the last 41 years, I have attended events and meetings, participated in programs and am a member of the Fitness Centre. The Community House has been a key asset to Winnetka and I want to help keep it relevant.â€? â€“ Governor of the Board
BUSINESS DRIVES TECHNOLOGY Participants acknowledged that as with most organizations, technology is becoming one of the more important and growing needs of the institution. We have established Wi-Fi service for our constituents while in the building; however, its current capabilities are maxed out. In addition, the infrastructure of the technology system as a whole needs to be updated to provide our patrons with more user-friendly applications for program and activity registration, Fitness Centre sign in, event reservations, and website navigation. New technology will not only make us more efficient but will also allow the Community House to better track usage to determine how to plan better for the future with regards to program and activity offerings, Fitness Centre and general building usage. It will also provide a means for better marketing opportunities.
EAR TO THE GROUND Over 250,000 visits are made annually to Winnetka Community House from over 30 zip codes. Strategic Planning participants recognized the importance of staying connected with the community and staying current with the ever changing needs of our constituents. Community involvement is key in making sure our mission remains relevant. Collaboration with other entities will allow WCH to serve a larger population.
TEAC HING AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS Focus Group participants identified the Legacy building as having the most critical WCH facility needs. This portion of the building is utilized year-round on a daily basis for youth enrichment, theatrical, dance, general activity, and fitness programs. In addition, it was acknowledged that the Legacy building currently houses 3 of its 5 current not-for-profit tenant organizations, and is also home for many associate, religious and civic organizations. The results set forth in our recent building needs assessment provided planning goals, prioritized the facility needs and developed an informed design solution that â€œfitâ€? the WCH community. Electrical and HVAC upgrades, programming and activities space, and Matz Hall renovations were acknowledged as top priorities. In an effort to remain competitive and relevant, Winnetka Community House must face these challenges in order to remain a choice destination for programs and activities, rental, special events, classroom and theatre use.
A S T R AT E G I C D I R E C T I O N O RGA N I Z AT I O N A L O B J E C T I V E S Four organizational objectives that WCH will pursue over the next 3â€“5 years were identified as a result of the Strategic Planning process: 1. Structure program mix to meet community demand and broaden and deepen community involvement. 2. Continuously update and improve physical and technological resources to maintain relevance as a strong community asset. 3. Develop communications plan to increase outreach efforts and enhance community awareness about WCHâ€™s services. 4. Utilize mechanisms to assure financial stability and thriving programs.
The Strategic Planning Committee, Board of Governors and staff have now determined action steps, identification of responsible parties, budgets, timelines and measurable outcomes built around these four organizational goals. Engagement of all constituents in the strategic planning process was absolutely critical to provide this framework. Once again, we are extremely grateful to those who participated and will continue to keep you updated on our progress. Should you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Executive Director Tim McCabe at (847) 881-9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest convenience.
Winnetka Community House 620 Lincoln Ave. Winnetka, IL 60093 847-446-0537 winnetkacommunityhouse.org
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WINNETKA COMMUNITY HOUSE EMBRACING A SECOND CENTURY
Published on Mar 21, 2013
For over 100 years, Winnetka Community House has cultivated an environment in which individuals and organizations flourish. With this proud...