In the Fall of 2018, as Calmer Choice entered its ninth year of operation as a prevention program delivering research-supported secular mindfulness curriculum to schools and communities on Cape Cod, the organization embarked on a strategic planning process, led by Executive Director Fiona Jensen, consultant Virginia Sullivan and Development Manager Emily Smalley.
Engaging Calmer Choice’s leadership and staff, the team began a process of developing a three-year strategic plan, charting the course for the organization as it prepared to enter its second decade of serving children and families.
Cultivating Awareness. Living Mindfully. Enhancing Resilience. That’s the mission of Calmer Choice.
The framework for the process was provided by vetted research called “The Organizational Lifecycle of Nonprofits.” We found this research useful as it allowed for assessment of the organization from guided direction and questions associated with key areas of the business, and provided a common language to discuss not only the operational shift but the culture shift that would be required to allow Calmer Choice to grow from “adolescence” to “maturity.” It also allowed for conversations about leadership that removed the emotional charge that often happens when the founder and/or leadership team feels threatened or undervalued.
Two key questions emerged that guided the organization, staff and Board of Directors through this process:
- How can we continue to be a vital service to our community?
- How can we sustain our current momentum as we approach our 10-year anniversary?
After a thorough SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, reflection and guided work, we sought to develop a strategic plan that allowed us to reach three overarching goals, which would enable us to progress from an adolescent organization to a mature organization and secure our future as a valuable resource for the residents of Cape Cod and beyond.
- Optimize the program and operations coordination internally
- Integrate technology and data management throughout the organization
- Driven by the Board of Directors working with the Executive Director, develop a plan for long- term financial sustainability.