October is always the start of a new Fiscal Year for Independence Now, but this year it is also the start of a new 3-year strategic plan. Like most organizations, a strategic plan guides our focus and determines where staff energy and time should be spent. It sets goals and objectives that we will strive to meet through planned action steps and set outcomes for the next three years.
In August Independence Now staff and Board held a day-long retreat where we brainstormed ideas, discussed what was possible, and set timelines for getting things done. Board member Marc Wilkerson comments, “It is critical for members of the Board to provide input into the organization’s strategic plan. Together with staff input, our combined efforts chart the course of the organization, in a direction that reflects the vision of the disability community at large, which translates into empowerment.”
Prior to the retreat staff and Board Members answered a pre-meeting questionnaire to find commonalities in advance to give us a place to start. After the retreat was over a smaller group of Board and staff members worked together to finish up the plan and prepare it for a Board vote.
Our strategic plan includes goals on financial stability; training for board members and staff; improving service delivery; and systems advocacy. Some of the objectives for the year include developing possible Fee-for-Service programs and a complete review of our Employee Handbook. We will reignite our Housing Truth Tellers and develop new marketing strategies to increase Independence Now’s visibility to individuals in Trauma Centers, Pain Clinics, and Rehab Hospitals.
Board member Mary Schor sums it up, “Working on the strategic plan was a collaborative process. Everyone was asked for their input and all ideas were considered. It was clear that everyone who contributed cares deeply about Independence Now, its mission, and its success.”
We’re excited for a new year!