Suwannee River Area Council Strategic Plan

Suwannee River Area Council
Boy Scouts of America
 Strategic Plan
2017-2022
Download PDF Version

Mission

The mission of the Suwannee River Area Council (the "Council") is to prepare youth to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Vision

The Council will be the premier youth serving organization serving communities in its South Georgia / North Florida area of service. The Council will be recognized for its service to youth in all areas of those communities and for its leadership in providing programs and opportunities for youth to develop confidence, character, integrity, leadership, and citizenship.

Guiding Principles

Scout Oath: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people  at  all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Scout Law: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.

Overview

This strategic plan sets forth general objectives and specific goals within each of the following core functions of the Council, together with strategies and priorities for achieving those objectives and goals: Programs; Membership; Marketing and Communications; Fund Development; Properties; and Operations and Governance.

SWOT Analysis

An analysis of the Council’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is included at the end of this strategic plan.  The objectives, goals, and strategies outlined in this plan are intended to facilitate the achievement of the Council’s mission and vision by utilizing the Council’s strengths and taking advantage of its opportunities while overcoming its weaknesses and threats.

Adopted:        April 18, 2017                      Reviewed and updated: _____________


PROGRAMS

Objective:

Deliver high-quality programs that attract and retain members and provide training for youth and volunteers.

Goals:

  1. Increase participation by youth in council programs by 5% annually;
  2. Increase volunteer attendance in training and supplemental training by 5% annually;
  3. Achieve 100% of leaders trained in their registered position and 100% of volunteers in Youth Protection;
  4. Improve advancement in all programs by 2% annually;
  5. Increase overall service hours by 5% annually with each unit sponsoring at least one project per year.

JTE Performance Items:      7,8, 9, 10, 18  ( Appendix A)

Action Member:       VP-Programs

Strategies:

  • Improve quality and consistency of programs and activities to ensure they are fun, interesting and engaging by conducting an assessment of current programs and activities and updating/creating offerings as necessary and resources permit.
  • Develop programs that focus on Webelos and Venture age groups.
  • Ensure that programs include activities needed for advancement and/or merit badges.
  • Develop and use succession plans for all programs and activities.
  • Offer regular basic leader training opportunities for leaders and publicize on line training resources that are available.
  • Include Youth Protection Training as part of the training at all opportunities in conjunction with on-line training.
  • Offer supplemental and advanced training for youth and adults such as Roundtables, Pow Wow, University of Scouting , Wood Badge and NYLT.
  • Provide resources, material and support to unit leaders in presenting unit level youth leader training.
  • Promote BSA High Adventure programs for youth and training opportunities for adults and encourage attendance.
  • Expand programs offered in conjunction with federal, state and local organizations and agencies.


MEMBERSHIP

Objective:

Increase membership in all programs by recruiting and retaining members and units and expanding awareness of Scouting in the community.

Goals:

  1. Achieve annual growth in membership by 3% with addition of new members
  2. Show net gains in units annually and have at least 50 Packs within 3 years
  3. Establish and maintain at least one (1) traditional unit in each county within five (5) years.
  4. Attain minimum overall retention of 80% and 90% retention of Webelos cross-overs.
  5. Increase market share by 1% annually.
  6. Increase Venture Crews and members and Explorer Posts and members.

JTE Performance Items:       5, 6, 13 (Appendix A)

Action Member:       VP-Membership

Strategies:

  • Appoint a committee to develop a Council Recruiting and Retention plan
  • Utilize volunteers to support recruiting efforts
  • Conduct recruiting activities in high traffic areas during peak recruiting periods
  • Develop and distribute information for Webelos and families to assist in transition to Boy Scouts and increase percentage of youth moving into Boy Scout program
  • Establish annual contact with Charter Partners to identify and assist with membership growth
  • With the Marketing Committee, conduct  activities designed to attract new members.
  • Utilize volunteers and para-professionals to identify potential partners and sponsors for units in targeted areas
  • Increase Venture Crews and membership.
  • Coordinate with current sponsors on expanding membership in existing Explorer Posts and identify additional areas of interest for Posts and sponsors.


MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Objective:

Increase awareness of Scouting within the community by publicizing and promoting programs and ensuring that adequate and timely information on Council programs and activities is provided to the membership.

Goals:

  1. Ensure that Scouts and families and members of the community are aware of Scouting opportunities in the communities and of the contributions Scouts make to the community.
  2. Improve communications with members about current Council events and activities.
  3. Increase awareness of Council support functions and requirements among membership.

JTE Performance Items:      4, 11 (Appendix A)

Action Member:       VP-Marketing

Strategies:

  • Recruit and utilize marketing committee and develop a marketing/communications plan
  • Publish a monthly newsletter and periodic articles using appropriate media to inform members and community of achievements and upcoming activities.
  • Prepare or coordinate information to membership on scheduled council activities.
  • Update and maintain council website to provide users with timely, detailed information to users.
  • Ensure contact list for members is accurate and current.

FUND DEVELOPMENT

Objective:

Develop a comprehensive funding process that enables the Council to be financially sound with balanced budgets, expanded support and increased in endowment.

Goals:

  1. Increase revenue from fundraising activities with annual increase in FOS contributions of 2% in revenue.
  2. Conduct FOS presentations to 100% of registered units.
  3. Increase donors by 1% annually.
  4. Increase product sales by 5% annually and 80% participation by units.
  5. Attain an Endowment fund of $2,500,000.00 within 5 years.
  6. Increase endowment contributions by 5% annually or 5 new donors from prior year.
  7. Expand attendance and donations from special events.

JTE Performance Items:      1, 2, 3 (Appendix A)

Action Member:       VP-Finance

Strategies:

  • Appoint a Fund Development Committee and Vice President of Fund Development.
  • Develop a standard FOS presentation to use to groups.
  • Recruit and train district volunteers to make unit presentations to units.
  • Increase annual product sales and expand units and individuals participating in product sales.
  • Increase size of and support of endowment fund by identifying endowment supporters and distributing information on endowment opportunities.
  • Increase support from special events and other funding sources such as grants.


PROPERTIES

Objective:

Develop, finance, utilize and maintain council properties and facilities to best benefit council programs and operations.

Goals:

  1. Provide adequate facilities for programs by improving, expanding and maintaining existing camp and council properties.
  2. Ensure that council and camp facilities meet established standards
  3. Identify and prioritize additions/upgrades to properties
  4. Increase utilization of Council properties by third party organizations and groups
  5. Have camp properties become self-funded

JTE Performance Items: 3, 9, 10 (Appendix A)

Action Member:       VP-Properties

Strategies:

  • Update the Properties Master Plan, including identifying maintenance needs, additions, and revenue producing sources.
  • Develop and use an annual facilities and equipment maintenance and repair program and publish a schedule of activities.
  • Implement a unit adoption plan and prepare and utilize a list of repair/maintenance projects for use by volunteers and groups.
  • Identify and prioritize major maintenance and capital improvements and sources of funding.
  • Acquire funding through donations, sponsorships, grants or other sources for major repairs, upgrades and additions.
  • Develop and implement income generating activities to produce funds to support property needs.
  • Expand the use of camp properties by outside groups.


OPERATIONS and  GOVERNANCE

Objective:

Maintain organizational structure with volunteer and professional staffing which enable the Council to provide and support programs.

Goals:

  1. Ensure Executive Board is comprised of active members.
  2. Conduct training/orientation for new and current board members.
  3. Recruit at least 3 new board members annually.
  4. Improve attendance at board and committee meetings.
  5. Update council organization and improve volunteer staffing on district committees.
  6. Improve board diversity.
  7. Increase membership knowledge of council/district/unit relationships and support operations of organization.
  8. Assist units with use of JTE in unit programs.
  9. Maintain 3:1 ratio of units to trained unit commissioners.

JTE Performance Items:      12, 14, 15, 16, 17 (Appendix A)

Action Members:

  • Council President
  • Council Commissioner
  • Scout Executive
  • VP-Operations

Strategies:

  • Provide professional staff to support council, districts and programs by recruiting, developing and retaining qualified professionals and ensure they have support and resources necessary.
  • Expand the Executive Board using the Nominating Committee to identify and recruit Board members.
  • Establish functioning Board committees and require active participation.
  • Ensure members receive appropriate board orientation and schedule periodic continuing education programs and records of board and committee meetings timely.
  • Conduct an annual planning/strategic plan update conference.
  • Ensure all board members receive board packets and board and committee meeting records timely.
  • Contact board members prior to board meetings.
  • Review District structure and ensure each District has a functioning committee of volunteers.
  • Develop and implement means to assist units in recruiting volunteers and ensure all volunteers receive training and support.
  • Recruit, train and utilize Commissioners to provide unit support and increase use of and attendance at Roundtables and facilitate communications between board and district committee and members.


ANALYSIS OF STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, THREATS, AND OPPORTUNITIES

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Experienced professional staff
  • Experienced group of volunteers
  • Office ownership
  • Rental income covers office debt
  • Camp property and location
  • Geographic diversity of council area offers variety of outdoor experiences
  • Retention rate overall is among highest in Area 4
  • Advancement
  • Boy Scout long-term camping
  • Shooting sports program support
  • Summer usage of camp property by non-Scout groups
  • Fundraising
  • Marketing/community awareness
  • Overall training percentages
  • Cash flow
  • Endowment support
  • Ability to unite support council-wide
  • Wallwood BSR does not support itself financially.
  • Staff turnover
  • Number of leaders/volunteers
  • Board involvement
  • Underserved areas
  • Slow to change
  • BS camp usage and attendance
  • Low Cub Scout camp/program attendance
  • Program variety/change
  • District organization
  • Camp facilities in need of repair or replacement
  • Concentration of youth and volunteers in one county
  • Use of volunteer resources
  • Low attendance at supplemental training and roundtables
  • Cub Scout recruiting
  • Market share
  • Communications

Opportunities

Threats

  • Use of camp property by groups and educational opportunities.
  • Endowment donations
  • Grants
  • Staff recruitment
  • Expansion in underserved areas
  • Eagle Scout alumni
  • Venturers
  • Board expansion and involvement
  • District and council committee organization
  • BSA National policies and ongoing negative press
  • Perception of BSA programs
  • Economy
  • Federal and state regulations
  • Willingness/ability of parents to be leaders/volunteers
  • Volunteer time and burn-out
  • Reaction to changes in youth interests
  • Changes in societal views/values and ability to adapt
  • Outside influence on merger
  • Static TAY
  • Small number of major employers
  • Increasing outside demands

Updated: March, 2017


2017-2018 PRIORITIES

Programs

Action Items*

Responsible Persons

Target Completion

Status as of:

Develop and implement a strategy to ensure that 100% of adult leaders having direct contact with youth members are current in Basic Youth Protection Training as of January 1, 2018. Actively involve unit commissioners as part of the strategy.

VP-Programs

Training Chair

Commissioner

Staff

12/31/2017

Building upon the success of Longleaf Challenge in February, 2017, plan and carry out a weekend camping event at Wallwood, in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy, focusing on conservation, with an opportunity to earn one or more merit badges in the nature and conservation fields.

VP-Programs

Conservation Comm.

Council President

Staff

Event to occur in Feb. 2018

Offer and prepare for council contingents to Philmont and Northern Tier in 2019.

Staff

Contingent Coordinator

Sept. 2017

Begin preparation for 2019 World Jamboree.

Staff

Contingent Coordinator

*These are in addition to 2017 program priorities that have already been established, including annual camping and training programs as well as National Jamboree and Woodbadge.


Membership

Action Items

Responsible Persons

Target Completion

Status as of:

Restore youth membership to 2015 levels, with emphasis on Cub Scouts.

VP Membership

Commissioner

Staff

12/31/17

Restore effectiveness of unit commissioners in supporting recruiting.

Commissioner

Staff

12/31/17

Stabilize units that have declined in membership during the past two years.

VP Membership

Staff

Ongoing

Organize at least two new Cub Scout packs in areas that currently are underserved, with input from VP Diversity.

VP Membership

VP Diversity

Staff

12/31/17

Involve members of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity at FSU and FAMU in the leadership of new or struggling units

VP Membership

VP Diversity

08/15/17

Strengthen law enforcement Explorer posts via greater involvement by law enforcement agencies.

VP Membership

VP Diversity

Staff

Ongoing


Marketing and Communications

Action Items

Responsible Persons

Target Completion

Status as of:

Create a task force, including one or more IT experts, to develop and implement a strategy for improving the effectiveness of the Council’s communication (to members, supporters, and the general public) via email and social media. Appoint a chair; define goals.

VP Marketing

Staff

Sept. 2017

Publish at least two articles or editorials during 2017 in newspapers serving the Council’s area regarding Scouting events and successes, highlighting  examples of character building, leadership, and community service.

VP Marketing

Council President

12/31/2017

Prepare and circulate (via the Council website and newsletter) a one-page summary of how the Council supports its customers (Scouts, units, families).

VP Marketing

Council President

Council Executive

August 2017

Arrange for remote participation (via conference call) in committee and Executive Board meetings.

Council Executive

May, 2017

Provide names and short bios of Council leadership (Executive Board, Officers, Commissioner, District Chairs and Commissioners, Scout Executive, Field Director) on the Council website.

VP Marketing, with input from all persons included

May 2017


Fund Development

Action Items

Responsible Persons

Target Completion

Status as of:

Identify, recruit, and appoint a VP of Fund Development.

Council President

Nominating Chair

Needed ASAP

Conduct a successful 2017 Golden Eagle Dinner, raising at least $150,000.

**

05/22/17

Secure at least 80 contributors at the Golden Eagle Society level in 2017.

**

By July, 2017

Develop and publicize a Junior Golden Eagle Society initiative for contributors who are under age 30.

**

12/31/17

Use Commissioner resources to facilitate unit and group FOS presentations.

Commissioner

ASAP

Plan 2017 shooting sports events (e.g., sporting clays, quail hunt), enlisting assistance from Peter Collins (Area President) to improve participation.

**

Events in Oct.- Dec. 2017

Make three contacts during 2017 to cultivate possible future major contributions to endowment fund.

VP Endowment

Council Executive

12/31/17

Identify and apply for one additional grant.

**

12/31/17

Plan and carry out an Eagle Hall of Fame event.

** + NESA Chair

12/31/17

 ** In the absence of a VP of Fund Development, responsible persons are the Fund Development Committee, Council President, and Council Executive.


Properties

Action Items

Responsible Persons

Target Completion

Status as of:

Appoint a new VP of Properties.

Council President

Council Executive

Nominating Chair

ASAP

Update the Properties Master Plan, including identifying maintenance needs, additions, and revenue producing sources.

VP Properties

Staff

12/31/17

Develop a facilities and equipment maintenance and repair program and publish a schedule of activities for one year.

VP Properties

Staff

ASAP after app’t of VP Properties


Operations and Governance

Action Items

Responsible Persons

Target Completion

Status as of:

Appoint VP of Fund Development; VP of Properties; VP of Operations; VP of Diversity; Treasurer; Audit Committee; Diversity Committee; Risk Management Chair; Thunderbird District Committee Chair.

Council President

Nominating Chair

Council Executive

ASAP

Appoint 2017-18 Nominating Committee and Chair.

Council President

08/31/17

Prepare a written Board Commitment, specifying responsibilities of Executive Board members, to be used in 2017 recruitment process and in confirming Board member commitments regarding participation and support.

Council President

Executive Committee

08/31/17

Develop and implement a procedure by which the Nominating Committee will directly contact candidates for Executive Board and Officer positions to ensure their qualifications and commitment to serve.

Council President

Nominating Chair

08/31/17

Develop a diversity plan to serve as a strategy for reaching and serving underserved communities and in achieving broader representation of the communities served by the Council on the Executive Board.

VP Diversity

Council President

Council Executive

07/31/17

Ensure VP of Diversity’s input into the nominating process.

Nominating Chair

VP Diversity

Continuous

Continue to seek opportunities to fund and fill District Executive positions based on need and available funds.

Council Executive

Continuous

Contact Executive Board members prior to each meeting to encourage attendance.

Executive Committee

Each meeting

Provide draft minutes of Executive Committee meetings to Executive Board one week after each Executive Committee meeting; provide information packet to Executive Board one week prior to each Board meeting.

Staff

Each meeting