Civil Society: Meshwork Strategically for a Healthy City 2017-04-07T02:57:14+00:00
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Civil Society: Meshwork Strategically for a Healthy City

hex_societyBring Together the “Whole City” for Strategic Planning

Integral City Civil Society Organizations (CSO) with a high capacity Board (see Developing Board Capacity) take advantage of having the “whole city in the room” when they do strategic planning. They can virtually meshwork the CSO’s strategy to ensure coherence, ownership and implementation of the plan.

Given that CSO Board members are usually volunteers; a multi-meeting process is usually needed to develop an effective strategy. Here is a process that works for a Community CSO, organized as a series of monthly agendas.

Community Civil Society Organization Name
Strategic Planning Session

Month 1

  1. 2-3 Day Retreat to develop Vision, Values, Mission

Strategic Planning Session

Month 2

  1. Review Vision, Values, Mission from Retreat
  2. Review Agendas, and Planning Process for Strategic Plan:
    1. Month 2 — Review VVM, Introduce new Directors, Start Committee Work
    2. Month 2 — Update for absent Directors
    3. Month 3, 4, 5 — Committee Work
    4. Month 6 — 5 year Goals
    5. Month 7 — Retreat: Summarize 5 Year Plan, Commit to Year 1 Goals, Resources
  3. Start Year 1 Committee Work

Strategic Planning Committee Work

Months 3, 4

Committees: Community Relations & Fund Development; Fund Investment & Administration; Grant making; Scholarship & Bursary;
Executive; Nominating; Land Trust

Each Committee will:

  1. Review CSO Vision:
    1. How does (or could) our Committee serve this vision?
    2. Why does this vision matter to us?
    3. What are 3 ways our Committee could meaningfully make this vision come alive in the next 5 years?
  2. Review CSO Values
    1. How does (or could) our Committee demonstrate these values?
    2. Why do these values matter to us?
  3. Review CSO Mission
    1. How does our Committee contribute to this Mission?
  4. Review the Operations Manual and the Committee Definitions.
    1. Do Vision, Values and Mission require any changes to Committee Definitions?
  5. CSO Staff Review the Operations Manual:
    1. Do Vision, Values and Mission require any changes to Committee Definitions?

Report to ED by email by Month 5.

Update for Absent Directors on Committees: Community Relations & Fund Development; Fund Investment & Administration; Grant making; Scholarship & Bursary; Executive; Nominating; Land Trust

Strategic Planning Session

Month 5

Committees: Community Relations & Fund Development; Fund Investment & Administration; Grant making; Scholarship & Bursary;
(Executive; Nominating; Land Trust)

Each Committee will:

  1. Confirm CSO Vision (reported last meeting):
    1. How does (or could) our Committee serve this vision?
    2. Why does this vision matter to us?
    3. What are 3 ways our Committee could meaningfully make this vision come alive in the next 5 years?
  2. Confirm CSO Values (reported last meeting):
    1. How does (or could) our Committee demonstrate these values?
    2. Why do these values matter to us?
  3. Confirm CSO Mission (reported last meeting):
    1. How does our Committee contribute to this Mission?
  4. Confirm the Operations Manual and the Committee Definitions.
    1. Do Vision, Values and Mission require any changes to Committee Definitions?
  5. NEW WORK: Mission
    1. What are 5-7 goals the Committee could set for the next 5 years to contribute to the Mission?
  6. Report to ED by email by Month 6.


Strategic Planning Session

Month 6

Committees: Community Relations & Fund Development; Fund Investment & Administration; Grant making; Scholarship & Bursary;
Executive; Nominating; Land Trust

Each Committee will:

  1. Review CSO Mission
    1. How does our Committee contribute to this Mission?
    2. What are 5-7 goals the Committee could set for the next 5 years to contribute to the Mission? NEW WORK
    3. What are 1-3 goals the Committee could set for the next year to contribute to the Mission?
    4. What is our plan to achieve those goals?
    5. How would we need to change the Operations Manual to be coherent with achieving our goals?
    6. How would we need to change the Committee Structure/Process to achieve the goals?
    7. What resources would we need to achieve these goals?
  2. Bring Committee Work Forward as a Report for Planning Retreat Month 7.


Strategic Planning Session

Month 7

Committees: Community Relations & Fund Development; Fund Investment & Administration; Grant making; Scholarship & Bursary;
Executive; Nominating; Land Trust

Pulling the Strategy Together:

Each Committee will:

  1. Report to CSO Board on its Mission – 5 years and 1 year.
  2. CSO Board will discuss overall Intentions of Strategic Plan and propose any revisions to Committees.
  3. Committees will discuss any changes
  4. Committees will commit to strategic goals for Year 1
  5. Board will approve Strategic Plan Year 1 (within context of long term Plan outlined to 2009)

With the Strategic Plan in place the meshwork of Board members, committee members and CSO staff is in a powerful position to extend the meshwork further into the community

Click here to find out more about how Civil Society can:

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