Strategic Visioning – Looking Ahead for the Long-Term
About a month ago the DCDB Board had an amazing meeting at Fair Chance, led by the talented Arthur Cutler, to discuss our strategic vision for the future of the organization. If that sounds pretty deep and intense, that’s because it was! Over a few hours (and quite a bit of coffee and donuts), we brainstormed, discussed, and diagrammed what we hoped for our organization to accomplish over the next few years.
It’s too easy to get caught up in the minutiae of the day-to-day operations of the Diaper Bank. When we’re constantly working hard to find the next donor or the next diaper drive organizer, it can be hard to take a step back and spend some time thinking about where we want to go in the next year, five years, or more. That’s why the Fair Chance meeting was so valuable: it forced us to take stock of our accomplishments (of which there are many) and figure out exactly what we need to do to continue our phenomenal growth.
So what exactly did we discuss? It’s probably easier to say what we didn’t discuss, but here are a few of the things percolating in our heads, particularly the types of things that you, our supporters, can help us out with:
- Warehouse! We’ve been harping on this the past few weeks on Facebook and Twitter, but that’s because it’s probably our most important development. For us to expand at the rate we hope to expand and really increase our reach in the community, it’s time for us to have our own dedicated warehouse space. We’re in the process of finding various options in the area, and are looking to partner with an organization or two to share some space.
- Funding! We have some amazing financial backers already, but for us to take the next big step we need a more dedicated stream of funding, both on the individual level and the foundation/grant level. This is as good a time as any to plug our Factor of 12 campaign. Also, if you or someone you know has experience putting together grants and would be interested in helping us write our own, drop us a line!
- Interns and volunteers! We came up with so many projects for the coming months and years that will help lay a good foundation for our growth, but for these projects to succeed we’re going to need some help. Projects could include setting up our new warehouse space (fingers crossed!), compiling data into a donor database, coordinating with diaper drive organizers, and so on. That means we need interns and/or volunteers. We’re already in the process of lining up a summer intern or two, and we’re working on ways to get more volunteers involved. Stay tuned for more info on this, but if you’re interested in working with us in a volunteer or intern capacity, let us know!
- Programmatic expansion! Probably the thing we’re most excited about doing is expanding our partnerships to more organizations providing “programmatic” services to clients. This means organizations that are using diapers and baby supplies in innovative ways to get parents and families in the door for other services. We’ve found that diapers are a “gateway” item for attendance at parenting classes, for example. We all know how important diapers are on a basic level for a baby and family, and now we’re expanding that impact in a much broader way by working with these types of organizations. We are extremely excited about these opportunities and can’t wait to see what kind of impact we can have.
The above categories really just scratch the surface of what we discussed at Fair Chance. As you can see, the DCDB Board has a lot of big plans, and we can’t wait to make them into reality. With your continued support and involvement, we have no doubt that we can achieve all of our long-term goals and become an even better organization serving the metro DC area!