Every organization needs strategy and planning. Strategy is important at all levels of an organization’s work, from deciding how to deal with a specific problem or opportunity, to identifying the key ways it will seek to achieve its mission. Good strategy is built on the foundation of vision, mission and values. Planning (and implementing the plan!) is what makes it all actually happen. Organizations that are effective at Strategy and Planning provide exponential impact.
“Heidi was a great match for our organization. She was prompt, attentive, extremely knowledgeable, and helped us look beyond the initial scope of the project, allowing the organization to arrive at the issue/solution and worked with the organization to develop other areas of support. Her competency in the area of strategic development was an asset in assisting us to look beyond the initial need.”
Bradley Bostock, Executive Director, Child Find Alberta
2014 copyright © impact8 inc.
Renewal and Empowerment to Address Systemic Issues
Immigrant Sector Council of Calgary (ISCC)
Immigrant Sector Council of Calgary (ISCC) is a network-based entity that had achieved a number of successes in past years, but was being challenged to increase its effectiveness and value to the community. Through a series of linked working sessions with Council members, facilitated by one of the impact8 team, a new identity and a more focused purpose was developed. The role of Council was clarified and new strategic directions were set that built on past success. ISCC has gained a renewed sense of purpose and its staff is empowered to accomplish the outcomes that have been established.
Creating a Shared Mission and Vision to build Community
Schools are an important part of their communities. Brand new schools present an opportunity for people to grow together and add life and purpose to the community. One of the impact8 team supported all the stakeholders of a new school in creating a shared vision as a first step in their journey to create a future together. This 18-month project involving multiple stakeholder groups brought a diverse community together in a common purpose for the school, breaking down barriers both inside and outside the school community.
Stakeholder Engagement to Build on Success
Foundations for the Future Charter Academy
Foundations for the Future Charter Academy (FFCA) is a very successful Charter School that has grown to seven campuses providing education from Kindergarten to Grade 12, with a waiting list almost four times its school population. FFCA’s Charter, Mission and Guiding Principles are clear in their commitment to involvement of all stakeholders in the success of a child’s education (parents, students, and educators). In keeping with these values, the Board embarked on a strategy development process that included engaging all key stakeholders in dialogue about FFCA’s preferred future. Two of our impact8 team assisted the passionate students, parents, educators and Board of FFCA throughout this dialogue, bringing the perspectives of hundreds of stakeholders together to provide a basis for the leadership team to prepare a description of the future.
From Crisis to Opportunity
The nonprofit sector can be full of uncertainty, as organizations seek to make long term impact with short term funding commitments. Sometimes this leads to crisis as organizations find funding no longer available for needed programs. The pressure is high as organizational leaders consider how to take care of vulnerable people through tough times. But no organization is alone in our community. Funders, support organizations, and other agencies will help as much as they can. One of our impact8 team and a team of dedicated consultants assisted in just such a situation, and with the support of funders, community agencies and the passionate staff and board, helped the organization move from planning how to shut down to a renewed agency. Integrated strategies and plans that addressed leadership (Board and Management), Fund Development, Human Resources, Financial Management, Technology and Marketing led to long term, sustainable programming. With the support of the nonprofit community, this organization not only survived, it thrived!
Finding the Right Role for Maximum Impact
Safe Haven Foundation of Canada
Safe Haven began as a grassroots organization providing Life Long Homes for at risk teenage girls to keep them off the street. This program in early intervention and prevention of child homelessness was pioneering and successful. However, Safe Haven wanted to do even more for vulnerable and at-risk children and youth, and engaged in a very deliberate exploration of the best strategy to increase future impact. With the support of one of our impact8 team, Safe Haven identified their significant role as a funder to create positive and lasting change in the lives of Calgary’s children and implemented a partnership with Boys and Girls Club of Calgary to deliver the Life Long Home Program (now Haven’s Way). Safe Haven now focuses its efforts on raising the funds needed to sustain three local programs serving children and youth. This change in their focus has allowed Safe Haven Foundation to increase its impact toward achieving its mission.