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Making a Risk Management Plan for Your Business
It’s impossible to eliminate all business risk. Therefore, it’s essential for having a plan for its management. You’ll be developing one covering compliance, environmental, financial, operational and reputation risk management. These guidelines are for making a risk management plan for your business.
Developing Your Executive Summary
When you start the risk management plan with an executive summary, you’re breaking apart what it will be compromised of into easy to understand chunks. Even though this summary is the project’s high-level overview, the goal is describing the risk management plan’s approach and scope. In doing so, you’re informing all stakeholders regarding what to expect when they’re reviewing these plans so that they can set their expectations appropriately.
Who Are the Stakeholders and What Potential Problems Need Identifying?
During this phase of making the risk management plan, you’re going to need to have a team meeting. Every member of the team must be vocal regarding what they believe could be potential problems or risks. Stakeholders should also be involved in this meeting as well to help you collect ideas regarding what could become a potential risk. All who are participating should look at past projects, what went wrong, what is going wrong in current projects and what everyone hopes to achieve from what they learned from these experiences. During this session, you’ll be creating a sample risk management plan that begins to outline risk management standards and risk management strategies.
Evaluate the Potential Risks Identified
A myriad of internal and external sources can pose as risks including commercial, management and technical, for example. When you’re identifying what these potential risks are and have your list complete, the next step is organizing it according to importance and likelihood. Categorize each risk according to how it could impact your project. For example, does the risk threaten to throw off timelines or budgets? Using a risk breakdown structure is an effective way to help ensure all potential risks are effectively categorized and considered. Use of this risk management plan template keeps everything organized and paints a clear picture of everything you’re identifying.
Assign Ownership and Create Responses
It’s essential to ensure a team member is overseeing each potential risk. That way, they can jump into action should an issue occur. Those who are assigned a risk, as well as the project manager, should work as a team to develop responses before problems arise. That way, if there are issues, the person overseeing the risk can refer to the response that was predetermined.
Have a System for Monitoring
Having effective risk management companies plans includes having a system for monitoring. It’s not wise to develop a security risk management or compliance risk management plan, for example, without having a system for monitoring. What this means is there’s a system for monitoring in place to ensure risk doesn’t occur until the project is finished. In doing so, you’re ensuring no new risks will potentially surface. If one does, like during the IT risk management process, for example, your team will know how to react.
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Writing a Business Plan
While it may be tempting to put off, creating a business plan is an essential part of starting your own business. Plans and proposals should be put in a clear format making it easy for potential investors to understand. Because every company has a different goal and product or service to offer, there are business plan templates readily available to help you get on the right track. Many of these templates can be adapted for any company. In general, a business plan writing guide will recommend that the following sections be incorporated into your plan.
The executive summary is the first section that business plans open with, but is often the last section to actually be written as it’s the most difficult to write. The executive summary is a summary of the overall plan that highlights the key points and gives the reader an idea of what lies ahead in the document. It should include areas such as the business opportunity, target market, marketing and sales strategy, competition, the summary of the financial plan, staff members and a summary of how the plan will be implemented. This section needs to be extremely clear, concise and engaging as you don’t want the reader to push your hard work aside.
The company description follows the executive summary and should cover all the details about the company itself. For example, if you are writing a business plan for an internet café, you would want to include the name of the company, where the café would be located, who the main team members involved are and why, how large the company is, who the target market for the internet cafe is, what type of business structure the café is, such as LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, what the internet café business mission and vision statements are, and what the business’s short-term objectives are.
Services and Products
This is the exciting part of the plan where you get to explain what new and improved services or products you are offering. On top of describing the product or service itself, include in the plan what is currently in the market in this area, what problems there are in this area and how your product is the solution. For example, in a business plan for a food truck, perhaps there are numerous other food trucks in the area, but they are all fast –food style and unhealthy so, you want to introduce fast food that serves only organic and fresh ingredients every day. This is where you can also list your price points and future products or services you anticipate.
The market analysis section will take time to write and research as a lot of effort and research need to go into it. Here is where you have the opportunity to describe what trends are showing up, what the growth rate in this sector looks like, what the current size of this industry is and who your target audience is. A cleaning business plan, for example, may include how this sector has been growing by 10% every year due to an increase in large businesses being built in the city.
Organization and Management
Marketing and sales are the part of the business plan where you explain how you will attract and retain clients. How are you reaching your target customers and what incentives do you offer that will keep them coming back? For a dry cleaner business plan, perhaps if they refer customers, they will get 10% off their next visit. In addition, you may want to explain what needs to be done in order for the business to be profitable. This is a great way of showing that you are conscious about what clear steps need to be taken to make a business successful.
Financial Projections & Appendix
The financial business plan section can be a tricky one to write as it is based on projections. Usually what is included is the short-term projection, which is a year broken down by month and should include start-up permits, equipment, and licenses that are required. This is followed by a three-year projection broken down by year and many often write a five-year projection, but this does not need to be included in the business plan.
The appendix is the last section and contains all the supporting documents and/or required material. This often includes resumes of those involved in the company, letters of reference, product pictures and credit histories. Keep in mind that your business plan is always in development and should be adjusted regularly as your business grows and changes.
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Our Strategic Plan 2020-2024
We have spent time listening to and learning from community members, donors, and grantees. We studied information about our region and The Foundation over the recent past.
OPPORTUNITY + EQUITY
We are excited to share a new vision for our community and the plan that is guiding our work. In making our plan, we also revised our mission to describe The Foundation’s unique role in our community.
To inspire, support, inform, listen to and collaborate with the people and organizations of Greater New Haven to build an ever more connected, inclusive, equitable, and philanthropic community.
A community of expanding opportunity in which all people share a sense of common destiny and have the support and connections needed to build successful lives.
The plan has two main goals:
• Support and build the amount and impact of civic leadership , local giving , and community investments .
• Create opportunity, promote inclusion, and reduce inequities through inclusive growth . To achieve these goals, The Foundation will build its own capacity, effectiveness, and culture.
Greater New Haven’s growth in the past decade, in terms of the change in the size of its economy size and entrepreneurial activity, ranks in the bottom half of the 100 largest metropolitan regions, according to the Brookings Institute. This story of slow growth is not new, as the number of Greater New Haven residents gaining access to the middle class has been in decline for more than a generation.
Greater New Haven’s economy also lacks inclusion. When we look at who receives the most benefits, and who is left behind, the disparities that break down along racial, gender, and class lines are stark. Fully-employed black and latino residents in Greater New Haven have median incomes that are significantly less than white residents and fall below the levels needed to support a family. Women's pay continues to lag relative to men, and growing numbers of people, particularly children, live in low-income households. These disparities not only create barriers to economic mobility and well-being for individuals. They also limit the region’s overall potential for economic expansion.
Our Approach Includes
Broadening reach and deepening relationships.
Working to create a community of opportunity and equity involves outreach to and input from residents across the diversity spectrum and throughout The Foundation's 20-town region. This work involves hearing from, sharing knowledge, and learning about the unique experiences and perspectives of community members - and it occurs in many ways. A recent example is the Donor Briefing and live conversation with local experts about the COVID-19 pandemic, structural racism, and mental health. See other news and donor briefing recaps here .
Building community-wide ownership for regional inclusive growth
Any one person, institution, or sector working in isolation cannot achieve any meaningful advancement of equity and expansion of opportunity. The roots of economic disparity go deep and progress will require “all hands on deck.” That is why a significant part of The Foundation’s strategy involves increasing community awareness and dialogue about inclusive growth.
Supporting inclusive career pathways in local growth sectors
The Foundation will continue and build upon its longstanding support of education and training efforts such as New Haven Promise and ConnCAT. We will work with employers and education and training institutions that prepare residents for emerging middle-to-high skill occupations and we will support organizations that work to improve family economic stability.
Supporting the development of an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem
Entrepreneurship has long been a path to wealth and job creation in this country. Unfortunately, too many people with viable ideas have not had access to the information and resources needed to start a business. The Foundation will work with a cross-sector leadership group to support entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs, including a small business loan program for New Haven and the Valley.
Stepping Forward is essential to the achievement of the goals and objectives of The Foundation’s 2020-2024 strategic plan, which is entitled “Opportunity + Equity."
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- attend a virtual event and learn more about the issues facing our community's residents
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Along with continued grantmaking in the region’s Jewish community, the Foundation will dedicate funds to achieving the following three goals:
1. Advancing equity and justice
2. Fostering an inclusive and engaged Greater Denver
3. Increasing resources dedicated to strengthening the region
We will lean into the unique roles afforded to us as a community foundation: our ability to support donor philanthropy and be a catalyst to grow the charitable resources dedicated to strengthening our region, and the opportunity to support and leverage policy and advocacy work in pursuit of our mission. In addition to the impact goals above, the plan also includes four organizational goals that will position us to implement the work.
Our refreshed mission, vision and values statements further clarify our inspirations and aspirations in serving the community:
Mission: To advance inclusive, engaged and equitable Greater Denver communities through values-driven philanthropy
Vision: A thriving region strengthened by its diversity and generosity
Values: Justice, equity, diversity & inclusion, empathy, generosity, transformation through collaboration and community
Strategic planning: a journey together.
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Strategic Planning: Gratitude for Many Voices
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Our Strategic Vision
In 2021, The Community Foundation developed a bold 10-year strategic vision that will leverage our resources and expertise to lead our community in addressing the most catalytic opportunity of our lifetimes: closing our community’s racial wealth gap.
Together, We Prosper
A 10-year framework to pursue economic justice in the greater washington region.
The Greater Washington Community Foundation’s mission and work has always been centered on creating a just, equitable, and thriving community.
But recent events have added an urgency to our mission.
In the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, persistent structural racism, and stark economic injustice, Greater Washington is facing a set of multifaceted and complex challenges. And the time is past due to address them in ways that are both intentional and aspirational.
Our New North Star
For five decades, the Greater Washington Community Foundation has ignited the power of philanthropy, catalyzed community impact, and responded to critical community needs. We are uniquely positioned at the intersection of racialized wealth and racialized poverty. From that vantage point, we recognize that our region’s biggest challenges stem from economic injustice, the root cause of persistent inequities which have been exacerbated by the pandemic and economic crisis.
Greater Washington is home to nine of the 20 wealthiest counties in the United States — but families in our community are not equally sharing in this wealth. By almost every measure — education, income, housing, health, and wealth — our community’s Black, Brown, and other communities of color are significantly lagging behind their White neighbors.
Greater Washington isn’t unique in facing this challenge. Yet, what sets us apart is the stark inequities that have led to some of the nation’s wealthiest zip codes being just a short drive from some of its poorest.
As home to the nation’s capital — and all the prestige, influence, wealth, and power it provides — we can and must do better. And that is what we intend to do by making closing the racial wealth gap our priority.
We believe that by changing the prospects for how our Black and Brown neighbors generate, sustain, and share wealth, we will ultimately improve the quality of life for everyone who lives, works, and raises a family in this region.
Together, we can achieve this Vision. Together, our entire region will prosper.
Our commitments, lead with racial equity and inclusion.
We are centering equity at the heart of everything we do at The Community Foundation. This equity lens guides our internal operations, our investment strategy, our partnerships, our grantmaking, and our community leadership approach as we work with a spirit of shared humanity and in bold possibility.
Align our business with our vision
In order to achieve our vision for a more just and equitable Greater Washington region, we are reimagining how The Community Foundation invests in, partners with, and supports our community.
We are committed to nearly doubling The Community Foundation’s assets over the next ten years so that we can respond to the challenges and opportunities in front of us, at scale.
Our bold and aspirational vision for this region demands that we establish a legacy for lasting change through building an endowment to support our community now and for the future.
We will offer a broader range of investment products, including funds that are specific to fields of interest and geography, and opportunities for donors to align their philanthropy with our vision for a thriving and prosperous region.
We have updated our investment policy to reflect our commitment to racial equity, including retaining a diverse pool of women and people of color investment managers and exercising competent and socially responsible stewardship in how we manage the financial resources entrusted to us.
Close the racial wealth gap
We will provide strong leadership to do the difficult but essential work of identifying the most promising ways to make progress toward closing the gap, and then mobilizing the resources and support to make it happen.
At The Community Foundation, we have framed our community leadership approach around the following goals:
Pursue economic justice by investing in strategies to increase economic mobility and close the racial wealth gap.
Address Critical Community Needs , including responding to crises, to stabilize and improve the quality of life for our neighbors and communities.
Strengthen Neighborhoods and Community Institutions by using data to direct resources toward neighborhoods with the greatest needs and the BIPOC-led community organizations that serve them.
Connect Philanthropy to Impact by leveraging our unique value and expertise to mobilize resources for this community.
Our Levers for Change
We will leverage our leadership, relationships, voice, and resources to focus on creating change at the neighborhood level.
Research : Commission and disseminate cutting-edge research that grows our understanding of the racial wealth gap and racially equitable, reparative strategies to close it.
Community Engagement : Center the lived experiences, leadership, and aspirations of our Black and Brown neighbors who have been most negatively impacted by the racial wealth gap.
Policy Advocacy : Disrupt policies and systems that perpetuate the racial wealth gap, and advocate for and advance economic interventions that will produce more racially equitable and reparative outcomes.
Neighborhood Investment : Organize and deploy innovative capital strategies for racially equitable and reparative grantmaking to close the racial wealth gap at the level of neighborhoods.
Our Focus on Neighborhoods
Using data compiled by the Brookings Institution’s Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative and the Metropolitan Washington Council on Government, we have identified places in our region where Black and Brown people are experiencing the deepest disparities in homeownership and income. As we begin the work of closing the racial wealth gap in the region, these places will serve as priority areas where we will focus our grantmaking and broader community leadership capacity over the next decade. This will include directing more resources toward historically underinvested communities and partnering with the community-based organizations led by People of Color with deep roots serving these communities.
Our vision requires that we approach our work fiercely focused on the people and places in our region that are struggling the most. This focus will help us understand the needs and nuances of these communities, so we know how our work can make a real measurable difference and how our interventions can potentially be applied at scale.
Moving Forward, Together
We spent a lot of time listening — and we’ve heard loud and clear the voices of our donors, partners, and community members who have grown impatient for meaningful change. Ultimately, we believe this energized commitment to advancing racial equity and inclusion in our most underinvested neighborhoods can ignite a powerful ripple effect to make our entire region stronger and more prosperous.
We believe the opportunity to close the racial wealth gap is within our grasp. But this is a massive task, and we can’t do this alone.
We invite you to join us on this journey toward creating a just, equitable, and thriving community — one in which everyone has the opportunity to prosper from economic stability and opportunity; thrive through greater access to quality education, health care, and housing; and heal by fully exercising their talents, creativity in ways that benefit themselves, their families and neighborhoods, and our entire community.
Together, we can make it happen. Together, we prosper.
Frequently asked questions for nonprofits, are you changing the areas that you fund.
The Greater Washington Community Foundation’s mission and work have always been centered on creating a just, equitable, and thriving community. Our previous community leadership framework was grounded in the broad areas of education, workforce and economic development, housing and homelessness, community and civic engagement, disaster response, and arts and culture. Our new strategic vision reflects a sharpening and refinement of our focus recognizing that race, place, and identity intersect across these issues, thus creating a need to move beyond silos to address root causes to our region’s greatest challenges.
We will continue our partnerships with nonprofit organizations through existing programs, such as the Partnership to End Homelessness, Children’s Opportunity Fund, Sharing Community Funds, Workforce Development Collaborative, LGBTQ+ Fund, among others. Guided by our new vision to close the racial wealth gap, we expect to offer new opportunities for community engagement and learning together, and for partnerships to address our goals and the evolving needs of our community, especially guided by our equity lens. As our work evolves, we commit to sharing updates with our partners, soliciting feedback to inform our work, and remaining responsive to community needs.
How might you be changing how you make grant decisions?
The Community Foundation will continue to award discretionary grants from several funds through a competitive application process, usually during scheduled quarterly grant rounds and occasional solicited (invite-only) grant opportunities. We will continue to use grant committees to complete a rigorous review of each application based on criteria established to fulfill the charitable mission of the specific funding opportunity.
To center racial equity and inclusion in our grantmaking, we will use an equity lens to examine most discretionary grant proposals. We have added a “Commitment to Equitable Grantmaking” to our discretionary grant RFPs, along with specific questions to understand how our grant funding and our nonprofits partners impact the diverse communities that we serve and create more equitable outcomes. We invite our nonprofit partners to speak boldly and honestly about their efforts to address systems and policies that contribute to disproportionately negative outcomes for people and communities of color.
Frequently Asked Questions for Donors
How does this affect me if i have a fund at the community foundation.
Our Community Leadership framework represents the range of ways that The Community Foundation, our donors, and partners support and advance tangible, lasting impact for this region. As such, we remain committed to responding to critical community needs and opportunities as they arise, and to connecting our donor’s philanthropy to impact.
As a community foundation, our job is to help our donors find the most rewarding and impactful ways to give back to this community, and beyond. While we offer many ways for our donors to align their giving with our vision for this region, our donors will continue to make grants through their funds according to their philanthropic passion and purpose. We hope that our donors see how their interests intersect with our vision for this region and will be inspired to join us on this journey to build a more equitable and just Greater Washington.
The major change for our donors is there will be more opportunities to join us on this journey. We will offer more events to explore the racial wealth gap and how to pursue economic justice for this region. We will expand investment options and collaborative funding opportunities, including new field of interest and community endowment funds that allow our donors to co-invest with us to address critical community needs. And we will offer more opportunities for our donors to align their giving with our vision and work in this region.
Do donors need to focus on equity if they want to open a fund?
The Greater Washington Community Foundation welcomes individuals, families, and businesses with a wide range of philanthropic interests to establish a fund. Our community of givers includes hundreds of families and organizations giving millions of dollars locally, nationally, and internationally. We do not dictate the focus of grants made from our donors through their funds – with the exception of restricting grants to Specially Designated Nationals (according to the PATRIOT Act) and hate groups as designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Donors of all sorts are invited to join us in the pursuit of an equitable, just, and thriving region.
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Just , equitable , and resilient communities.
We inspire enduring philanthropy and enable community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region.
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You can make a difference in advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity and building resilient communities in San Diego.
We act with integrity and respect for one another and the communities we serve.
We engage diverse perspectives to foster collaboration and innovative solutions.
Together, we strive for an inclusive community where everyone has equitable access to opportunity.
We adhere to a deeply ethical approach to philanthropy, one that holds ourselves accountable to being a trustworthy partner and to approaching our work with humility and respect for the expertise of the communities we serve and of the government, nonprofit, business sectors and individuals with whom we collaborate.
We will be open-minded, learn constantly, seek diverse voices, listen carefully to different experiences and perspectives, build strong and diverse coalitions, support community engagement, and engage in shared and equitable decision-making. We are ready to partner with you to make an impact on our communities’ most pressing needs.
*With grateful acknowledgment to the many nonprofit organizations whose work on articulating their principles and values helped inform our discussions and development of these principles.
Our Strategic Priorities
Advancing Racial & Social Justice
We will support policies and programs that seek to eradicate systemic discrimination.
To address the root causes of inequities as well as their manifestations, and eliminate policies, practices, attitudes and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes determined by race or social status, we will:
- Partner with capital providers to enable Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) San Diegans to create generational wealth through homeownership
- Address and mitigate discriminatory policies, practices, and beliefs
- Reduce health inequities for San Diegans experiencing racial or social bias
Learn Why this Work is Important to Us
Fostering Equity of Opportunity
We will increase access and resources for San Diegans facing barriers to realizing full and healthy lives.
To offset the unequal allocation of and access to goods, resources, and services, we will:
- Increase access to quality Early Care and Education (ECE) for all working families
- Enhance opportunities to obtain college degrees for underrepresented San Diegans
- Expand and leverage impact investing to promote the equitable flow of capital for social good
Building Resilient Communities
We will establish and support programs that enable communities to adapt and persist through changing circumstances.
To support and encourage communities to be resourceful, creative, and capable of taking effective action in the face of change or adversity, we will:
- Increase access to education and skill-building to meet our workforce needs and prepare San Diegans for higher-paying jobs
- Address environmental issues related to resiliency in communities
- Improve mental and behavioral health in our region
Delivering World-Class Philanthropy
We will offer an ever-advancing platform that supports donors and nonprofits in achieving their goals.
To provide innovative and customized philanthropic solutions and offer best-in-class services for donors, we will:
- Expand internal capacity to provide innovative, customized and extraordinary services
- Enable donors to fully leverage the impact of their giving by increasing their understanding of selected public issues and connecting them with the San Diego nonprofit community
- Pursue additional revenue sources to ensure TSDF long-term sustainability and increase our community impact
“Our work will not be complete until everyone who calls San Diego home has the opportunity to prosper, thrive and feel like they belong.”
Mark Stuart, CFRE President and Chief Executive Officer
About Our Strategic Plan
This strategic plan is the distilled expression of the San Diego Foundation priorities for the next five years. It rolls up to a vision that may take 10 years to achieve and will be supported by annual operational plans.
Looking for more information about what our Strategic Plan means for our region, or for you as a partner of the San Diego Foundation? Read frequently asked questions about the strategic plan.
Each year, we help thousands of San Diego individuals, families and businesses accomplish their charitable goals and maximize their impact in the region.
Ways to Give
We act as a charitable partner to estate planning attorneys, wealth advisors and other advisors, helping your clients realize their financial planning goals and maximize their tax deductions.
Partner with Us
We help nonprofit programs and organizations better serve those in need and provide greater equity and opportunity for all San Diegans.
- American Psychological Association. (2019, October 31). Discrimination: What it is, and how to cope.
- (2020). Awake To Woke To Work: Building a Race Equity Culture. Equity in the Center.
- Cornell, S., & Hartmann, D. (2007). Ethnicity and Race: Making Identities in a Changing World. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.
- Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Just. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
- The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2020, August 24). Equity vs. Equality and Other Racial Justice Definitions.
- American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Building your resilience. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
- Ontario Human Rights Coalition. (n.d.). Racism and racial discrimination: Systemic discrimination (fact sheet).
$838k in grants to local nonprofits to create more inclusive, equitable and accessible outdoor experiences.
On August 9, 2022, we awarded $838,704 in Opening the Outdoors grants to 24 nonprofit organizations that offer equitable access to outdoor spaces in San Diego County.
“San Diego Foundation is proud to once again support its partners committed to increasing community-driven efforts to enhance accessible outdoor space, encourage youth to learn more through hands-on education and create the next generation of environmental stewards in the San Diego region,” said Christiana DeBenedict, SDF Director of Environment Initiatives.
This year’s grantees will help address these inequities and enhance access to the outdoors throughout San Diego County.
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This helpful resource provides you with information about corporate philanthropy and custom corporate giving solutions for your business.
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This helpful resource provides you the information about how donor-advised funds provide the benefits of a private foundation without the complexity, administrative burden or added expenses.
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This helpful resource will show you how you can leave a legacy to your family, your charity or your community that complements your will and trust(s).
In Memory of Simon Silva
Board, Advisory Council & Staff
– CFGV’s Mission, Vision, and Values
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Facts and Resources
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Strategic Plan 2022-2024
CFGV inspires and connects people so everyone can thrive.
Our mission is to strengthen and enrich the community through engaged philanthropy, thoughtful grantmaking, strategic education and collaborative leadership.
Strategic Elements to achieve our Vision:
Connect resources to community needs.
- CFGV works with donors to amplify their impact by offering a holistic approach to mesh donor interests with community needs.
- CFGV maintains the capacity and expertise to manage diverse donated assets.
- CFGV enables everyone, of any age and income, to be a philanthropist
Be a community leader
- CFGV provides a framework to facilitate inclusive community engagement.
- CFGV works to build public will to understand and address the diverse and interconnected community needs.
- CFGV works to increase the effectiveness of community organizations through training, education, partnerships, and funding.
Provide stability to meet long-term community needs
- CFGV leverages financial resources and community expertise through its programs to increase impact.
- CFGV measures and communicates the impact of its work to build trust and ensure alignment with community needs.
- CFGV ensures flexibility to meet the long-term needs of the community through financial assets, staff, volunteers, and governance.
Objectives to work toward meeting identified Strategic Elements:
- Design and implement a robust communication strategy by Q3 2022 to help eliminate gaps and support CFGV Strategic Elements.
- Develop a process by Q4 2022 for measuring the impact of CFGV programs and services on the community.
- Design and implement a donor engagement program by Q2 2023, defining donors, creating essential elements, and developing program performance metrics.
- Develop a framework by Q4 2023 for identifying, defining, measuring, and reporting on community needs.
- Develop a framework by Q4 2024 to facilitate inclusive community engagement.
Integrity Stewardship Transparency Inclusivity
*Annual plans outline specific goals to work toward and achieve identified Objectives with regular (twice annually) staff and Board review of the Strategic Plan to ensure alignment.
To meet our mission to "Build a better community through creative philanthropy, vision and leadership," we are continually planning for the future. Click here to review our 2022-24 Strategic Plan .
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Our New Strategic Plan
By Mike Nellis, CEO
We believe Austin belongs to all of us and everyone deserves opportunity. With this guiding principle, Austin Community Foundation has developed a strategic plan that will guide our work over the next five years.
The plan identifies targeted priorities rather than addressing all of the Community Foundation’s needs and activities. Much of the work we have done in the past will continue, but we believe the priorities identified here will strengthen our organization and ultimately our community. We recognize each priority influences the other, creating an infinite cycle that advances our work and impact.
Through this plan, we are recommitting ourselves to the philanthropists and nonprofits that enrich our city—and adding a few impact areas that we believe deserve critical attention and leadership. You can expect us to execute on this vision for the future with the same energy and passion that has fueled our work for decades.
The development of the plan included listening to and learning from a cross-section of donors, nonprofit leaders, community groups, business leaders as well as colleagues in the community foundation field. I would like to acknowledge the support of our dedicated Board of Governors and ACF staff in their participation and guidance throughout the planning process.
I hope you find inspiration reading our plan. Please be in touch to learn how you can partner with us to make Austin a better place for everyone.
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The Five Strategic Pillars of Community Foundation Success
Community foundations are complex organizations, so it’s critical that they have a clear strategic direction to focus their time and energy on their most important goals.
While community foundation strategic plans can vary substantially, for most their strategic goals are going to fall into one of five categories.
Efficient and effective internal operations
Fair and unbiased awarding of grants and scholarships
Widespread awareness and understanding
Successful fund development
Strong community leadership
Successful community foundations perform well in each of these strategic areas.
At the most basic level, good community foundations develop and manage efficient and effective internal operations . In a successful organization, qualified staff is recruited and trained to perform well, internal processes run smoothly, and staff works as a well-functioning team.
All community foundations need to have in place a fair and unbiased program for awarding grants and scholarships . This function is critically important and will drive the attitudes of your key stakeholders – community leaders, nonprofit organizations, and donors. A well-understood – and easily accessible -- program for awarding grants and scholarship will help you build the trust you need for long-term success.
Also important to your success is a widespread level of awareness and understanding in the community you serve. Most community foundations describe themselves as “the best-kept secret in town” – but that is not where you want to be. To garner the level of trust you need to serve your community your foundation must be well-known and well-understood.
Critical to achieving your mission is successful fund development . Foundations which attract new funds, and gifts to existing funds, do two things very well: Tell great stories and build strong relationships. You have plenty of wonderful stories to tell: a grant that helped a local charity, or a scholarship that contributed to the success of a student. Tell those stories with passion and enthusiasm.
You will attract more gifts by building strong relationships. Keep in mind that the key to your future growth will be donors who give a portion of their life savings to your community foundation. For a donor to do that, they need to know you and trust you – and you can build that trust with strong relationships.
The ultimate goal of any community foundation is strong community leadership. This leadership can take many forms: assistance for nonprofits, supporting an important community project, or bringing groups together to discuss important community issues, to name just a few examples. When you help to garner community resources to address a critical issue, you improve the quality of life for those you serve.
It may help to think of the five categories of strategic goals as a pyramid – one in which each level of the base must be in place before moving on to the next level.
Every community foundation should have the goals in place for efficient and effective internal operations and a fair and unbiased grant and scholarship program. When those goals are in place, efforts can be made at the next level — to ensure widespread awareness and understanding, along with successful fund development.
The top of the pyramid – after the other goals are in place – is strong community leadership. While this is an area where most community foundations (and their board members) want to spend the most time, it is important the other pillars of strategic goals are functioning well.
Community foundations are complex organizations which can and do pursue many important goals. A well-crafted strategic plan, which can guide your operations, can help you best serve your community.
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We have spent time listening to and learning from community members, donors, and grantees. We studied information about our region and The Foundation over…
Strategic Plan · Mission: To advance inclusive, engaged and equitable Greater Denver communities through values-driven philanthropy · Vision: A thriving region
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The Boards of Directors adopted the Strategic Plan 2025 to guide the work of the foundations over the next five years. The goals were established as part.
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community foundations, each one is unique, and the Community Foundation is.
Efficient and effective internal operations · Fair and unbiased awarding of grants and scholarships · Widespread awareness and understanding.