For the past year and a-half, CI’s Board and staff have been engaged in an intensive strategic planning process. Many of our projects have contributed as well through surveys and interviews. We are proud to announce that the Board recently approved an exciting three-year strategic plan, which you will learn more about in the coming months. The entire plan is based on our reimagined vision, mission, and values. We are thrilled to offer you a preview by sharing our thinking behind these foundational elements that will guide us all in the years ahead.
First, was reimagining our role as empowering nonprofit partners through comprehensive service offerings and thought-partner consulting services. We realized that we need to change our language and mindset from services delivered to projects to partnering to play such a role. Second, was being clear that our role is to provide professional services so that our partners can focus on what they do best–thinking outside the box, bringing missing voices and perspectives to the table, innovating and solving problems, and improving communities. Third, was that we needed to be the best at managing the sharing of valuable resources and expertise across our many partners so they feel it’s being done just for them. And, finally that our success is measured by the effectiveness of our partners.
Central to our new vision is one key question: “What future will be created if we are successful in our mission?” We see ourselves as partnering with nonprofit leaders, staff and volunteers on a mission to create social change. This type of partnership means that we are building the capabilities of staff, advisors and volunteers and helping our partners think about their capacity to do their work. Our new specialist model and consulting services (e.g., social media, strategic planning) were created with partnering in mind. We believe that these mutual actions will create a more vibrant, innovative, and effective nonprofit sector.
Community Initiatives advances the creation of a more vibrant, innovative, and effective nonprofit sector.
Our new mission statement reflects the many facets of how and with whom we work. Our professional services provide tools, systems, processes, and expertise so that our partners can easily and quickly start to operate or grow and change as we can accommodate organizations of all sizes and longevity. We are committed to supporting and strengthening nonprofit partners to be more effective, or innovate by working alongside for-profit social entrepreneurs, or lead or participate in multi-sector or funder collaboratives or networks. And, as our name implies, community is at the core of what we do—the community of partners we serve and the communities served by our partners.
Community Initiatives acts as a thought-partner and provides professional services to nonprofit start-ups, established initiatives, networks, and collaborations. We sponsor initiatives for the benefit of communities in service to social change.
We knew that customer service would be at the center of each of our new values. To define our customer service goals more explicitly, we asked ourselves, “What are the behaviors we need to demonstrate daily to deliver excellent customer service to our partners? The answer is the following five values that we view as foundational to exceptional customer service.
Empowerment—deepen the capabilities and knowledge of staff, volunteers, and advisory committee members
Integrity—operate ethically and within legal guidelines while managing risk
Trust—be reliable, honest and transparent
Empathy—walk in the shoes of partners and staff as we deliver services and manage people
Teamwork—use the wisdom, expertise and skills of teams to operate effectively
We thank you, our partners, for embarking on this shared journey of reimaging our role in the community as we look toward an exciting future together. If you have any questions about how our new vision, mission, and values will impact your work, don’t hesitate to reach out to your specialist.