CASE STUDY: STRATEGIC PLANNING
Organization: The Blue Planet Foundation
Location: Honolulu, Hawai'i
Project: Strategic plan and Fundraising Roadmap
Blue Planet Foundation launched a decade and a half ago with a vision to end the use of carbon-based fuels, starting in Hawai‘i. Since then, the team at Blue Planet has worked diligently to move closer to a resilient future without fossil fuels by advocating for policy change, sharing community stories that bring a clean energy future to life, and working directly with Hawai‘i residents to build awareness and increase access to clean energy solutions. In 2015, Blue Planet led the campaign to enable the country's first 100% renewable energy law.
The Blue Planet Foundation came to Seed at a critical inflection point in its growth as an organization. It was transitioning a new Executive Director into leadership, reenvisioning its identity as an independent non-profit, and establishing its core contribution to a crowded environmental policy space in Hawaii. Not only that, but the organization required a development plan strong enough to diversify its revenue and build long-term security. This strategic plan held significant weight.
Through a staff-driven process, Seed facilitated a SWOT analysis, engaged the Board of Directors and an advisory board, interviewed key stakeholders, and presented clear decisions to be made which emerged from this research. As a policy and advocacy organization, a critical decision was whether the programming would continue to balance both the efforts of shaping individual behavior and shaping systemic policy change. When shaping systemic policy arose as a priority, the team was then tasked with identifying the pillars of work that are most likely to contribute to policy change and the metrics to evaluate success.
One of the most unique outcomes of this project is an evaluation plan for the strategic pillars based on research from the Center for Innovation in Evaluation. This positions Blue Planet Foundation as having measurable objectives for their policy and advocacy work, an area of the nonprofit sector that is often difficult to measure and evaluate.
A key deliverable of our work also centered around operationalizing the plan. Seed built a series of workshops and tools for the staff that allowed them thoughtful time to identify their department and individual milestones toward achieving the outcomes of this plan. Key questions asked were: what will you continue doing, what will you do differently, and what will you stop doing in your day to day work in order to drive these milestones forward?
Finally, Seed developed a robust development plan that supports correlated fundraising goals. Core development strategies were identified with associated division of labor recommendations to support fundraising efforts. Seed provided prospect research, collateral development, and two months of coaching to ensure that the development operations gained traction.