Strategic Initiatives

Thomas Merton Center’s Strategic Plan

Five Year Strategic Plan (2012-2017)

We are pleased to release this five-year plan, which outlines the Thomas Merton Center’s vision, mission, strategy, and priorities through 2017. We believe it is a substantial step forward in better positioning the Center to build a more peaceful and just world through local organizing efforts. The plan is the culmination of a year-long effort and the hard work of many individuals. We express deep appreciation to them all. We now turn to implementation, without which plans are meaningless. In so doing we welcome the engagement of members and partners to help us achieve our shared mission of to raise moral awareness so as to create a more peaceful and just world.

Strategic Initiatives

   #1 – Build and Strengthening Our Membership
   #2 – Work to Put the Center on a Stable Financial Path
   #3 – Improve Organizational Capacity
   #4 – Develop Education, Training, Networking Resources
   #5 – Build a Strong Board that Will Govern Policy
   #6 – Utilize Space in Welcoming and Efficient Manner
   #7 – Build Diversity Among Board, Staff, Membership
   #8 – Build the Community Organizing Life of the Center

 

 More detail on each initiative is outlined below.

I. Build and strengthen the membership base.

Long Range Goal (3 to 5 years)

– Assist with the establishment of an annual membership meeting to ensure that financial and programmatic information about the Center is communicated regularly to its membership.
– Identify activities and an implementation plan for milestone events at the Center.
– Build, sustain, engage and grow the general membership and the cornerstone sustainer members.
– Increase the visibility of TMC through sound membership engagement strategies.
– Build membership with the New People to engage people interested in our mission.
– Ensure that adequate staffing exists to build and strengthen the membership of TMC.
– Double membership utilizing the membership base of 2011 as a base level number.
– Ensure major projects (and committees) have at least one active member active.
– Develop a campaign to fund and maintain a membership liaison staff position
– Ensure membership database records are efficient and effective and provide tax receipts.
– Annually review the effectiveness of the donor database and ask for support in improving its function.
– Develop and strengthen the TMC network by matching membership interests with focus areas.

II. Position TMC on a stable financial path.

Long Range Goal (3 to 5 years)

– Look for opportunities to fund the goals, programs, and operational costs of the Center.
– Use technology resources to stream-line staffing and operational costs.
– Ensure safety of on-line TMC financial and operational information.
– Identify education and training to support the costs of operating TMC.
– Develop a fundraising plan that will help pay for the costs of hiring an education/outreach staff person.
– Ensure the financial responsibilities of the Center are reported in an accountable and transparent manner.
– Ensure that projects and affiliates are active and that their expenses cover the costs that TMC incurs.
– Review and revise existing guidelines that define the relationship of the projects to the Center.
– Develop guidelines that better define the relationship of the affiliates to the Center.
– Explore the possibility of hiring a staff person to work with projects and affiliates.
– Ensure that the New People publication is produced and distributed in a cost effective manner.
– Develop a budget and plan that increases revenue for operational and staffing needs of the Center.
– Review and revise financial policies and procedures to ensure the financial due diligence of the Center.
– Communicate the financial and strategic goals of the Center to the membership so they can assist with building the financial strength and stability of the Center.
– Research appropriate resources to submit grants to help build organizational capacity of Center.

III. Improve organizational capacity.

Long Range Goal (3 to 5 years)

– Develop the New People focusing on issues related to the mission, vision, and focus areas.
– Ensure that the New People publication is being distributed in an efficient and effective manner.
– Identify personnel to meet and maintain the daily operational needs of the Center.
– Develop measures in order to ensure accountability of staff at the Center.
– Develop and update policies and procedures for board and subcommittees on an annual basis.
– Develop and review policies and procedures for volunteer roles at the Center.
– Develop a plan to measure performance of board members, projects, affiliates, staff and volunteers.
– Build the expertise of the technology committee.
– Build and sustain a technology committee (which includes a staff person).
– Develop opportunities, guidelines, and expectations so that TMC can promote its mission, vision, guiding values and four key focus areas.
– Develop opportunities where the Center can promote its four key focus areas
– Ensure the strategic plan and its goals are met with board, committee, membership and staff.
– Place the donor database on a cloud server, with password restrictions.
– Build an understanding of the consciousness of values of TMC.
– Bring together diverse groups to strengthen the peace and justice commitment of the Center.
– Continually assess membership interests and training needs.

IV. Provide awareness, education, training, resources and networking opportunities that align with the mission, vision and guiding principles.

Long Range Goal (3 to 5 years)

– Increase opportunities for the membership to become involved through workshops, trainings, classes, campaigns and actions.
– Develop education, training, resource and networking Center for all who share the mission of the Center.
– Continually assess membership interests and training needs
– Provide technical guidance and assistance to projects and affiliates as requested.
– Develop a historical resource area for individuals and groups to use and to strengthen their knowledge base of economic justice, anti-wars, environmental justice and prisoner rights, the four focus areas.
– Ensure that the New People publication is utilized as a tool to educate and build awareness around the mission, vision, and four focus areas.

5. Strive to be a strong board of directors that develop policy and governs the direction of all initiatives related to the mission of the Center.

Long Range Goal (3 to 5 years)

– Recruit and retain a board of directors whose skills, interest levels and commitment reflect the mission, vision, and guiding values of TMC.
– Ensure the board of directors is active and participating members of the various standing committees.
– Develop an entry and exit process for board of directors.
– Ensure a fair representation of board membership that reflects the diversity of the region.
– Ensure the strength and vitality of the board through succession planning of the executive committee.
– Build the staffing component to run day to day operations of the Center.

VI. Be cognizant of physical space to ensure growth, stability and welcoming of all its projects, affiliates, thrifty, and members.

Long Range Goal (3 to 5 years)

– Research and recommend ways to best utilize the technology equipment, website, and online resources
– Ensure that the space and equipment meet the needs of the members, projects and Center.
– Develop a plan for members, projects, affiliates, and members of the community in a cost effective manner.
– Ensure that the facility meets the needs of the membership in a way that promotes the mission, vision and guiding values of the Center.
– Explore possible uses of space in both the Thrift store and TMC office space.
– Ensure that all building contracts, codes, repairs and regulations are being met.

7. Build diversity among its board, staff, and membership to ensure inclusive representation.

Long Range Goal (3 to 5 years)

– Develop and implement a diversity plan to ensure appropriate representation of all minority groups.
– Ensure there is board, membership and personnel in accordance with the TMC diversity plan.
– Recommend potential board members, staff and volunteers to ensure the mission and vision.
– Promote educational activities with neighborhood residents engaging all races, genders, nationalities, religions and social justice/peace organizations.
– Ensure a fair representation of board membership that reflects the diversity of the region.
– Invite diverse communities to help plan events that honor diversity of different groups and awardees
– Increase diverse participation in special events of Center by ensuring that events feature the works of community and world leaders.
– Ensure committees work collaboratively together to recruit and increase the membership base.
– Ensure that issues and topics addressed in the New People publication represent the diversity and interests of its membership and the community.
– Ensure that the New People publication is being distributed to its membership, diverse neighborhoods, and to people of all races and economic levels.

VIII. Build the community organizing life of the Center. (Adopted in 2013)

Long Range Goal (3 to 5 years)

– This is a recently developed initiative that the board is working to develop goals for.
– Engage a part-time community organizer who would work to assist in a campaign that the board chooses to focus on.
– Through the chosen campaign increase the diversity of membership of the Center.
– Support the needs of the community organizer with a select group of supportive advisory group members.