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Strategic Plan 2010-2014

Donors, Stakeholders and

Board Members Plan Our Future

Habitot’s third strategic planning effort since opening in 1998 was initiated in fall, 2009, when a series of stakeholder and donor meetings took place. Led by the Executive Director and development staff, participants identified broad areas of focus covering the museum’s public perception, stakeholders views, the audience/market, how Habitot differentiates itself, who the strategic partners are and opportunities facing the Museum. Planning for the future at this moment was especially timely because a number of new members joined the Board in 2009-2010. The task of the new strategic plan would be to focus new board energy on Habitot’s growth and stability.

A (pro bono) team of professional strategic planning facilitators using the Technology of Participation (ToPs) method from the national Institute of Cultural Affairs led two full-day retreats in March and May, 2011. The facilitators produced an 18-page report summarizing the content of all retreat discussions, the vision, the strategic directions and initial implementation steps. Subsequently, a board team met to flesh out the strategic directions and identified action steps that were ultimately approved by the Board at its September, 2011 meeting. Action steps have since been prioritized.

The Board intends for Habitot’s Strategic Plan to be a living document, used as a touchstone for periodic evaluation of the Board and organization’s work and progress, and subject to continuous updating as changing circumstances and new information indicate. The six initiatives of Habitot’s 2010-2014 Strategic Plan are:

To fully engage and serve our intended and potential audiences.

This will be measured by annual attendance tallies; number of memberships and 5-visit passes sold; number of participants in classes, camps, field trips and inclusion programs; expansion of the age range in populations served; and number of off-site community programs taking place. Some action steps include: Revamp and track membership renewal plan; develop and market a non-user membership product; build pool of class and camp instructors; develop traveling exhibit; pilot test exhibits and programs for older children; develop outreach plan for cultural groups; deepen relationships and services to vulnerable populations and the agencies that serve them.

To showcase Habitot’s value and market the museum effectively.

This will be measured by an increase in the number of hits on Habitot’s newly redesigned website; enhanced perception of members and visitors about the educational value of the museum for both adults and children; improved public profile for the museum as less of a ‘play space’ and more of a museum; evidence of participation in public/community events; conferences, speaking engagements, etc. that give Habitot and its leadership an effective voice in the community. Some action steps include: Launch new website; distribute new strategic plan to stakeholders; expand visitor service training for floor staff; improve marketing plan; add Board members with PR and marketing experience/connections.

To increase level of earned income and diversify strategies for raising contributed income.

With physical space limitations putting fee-based services and programs at capacity and thereby impacting the museum’s ability to increase earned revenue much further, efforts to raise contributed income will be prioritized. Success will be measured by growing the overall budget while maintaining contributed revenue at 40% of revenues. Some action steps include: Form and set goals for Board Development Committee; implement Board training in fundraising; formulate special events plan; and develop donor survey tool, explore earned revenue streams like fees for services.

To strengthen and evaluate existing exhibits, programs and community collaborations.

Capture visitor feedback as well as documented evidence of impact of exhibits and programs on visitors’ and program participants’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior. Some action steps include: Survey research on how to effectively evaluate early childhood exhibits and programs; learn how to best survey museum visitors; create validated and reliable survey methods; develop observer training, and training tools such as videos and handouts; establish relationships with faculty at graduate studies departments at local universities and colleges; place academics on Advisory Board; develop and implement research on the impacts of museum programming on members and other targeted groups; make in-service opportunities available for staff.

To create a comprehensive management plan that streamlines operations as well as prepares Habitot for growth and transition.

Establishing a succession plan for both board and executive leadership; filling a permanent managing director position; refining an internal communications plan; and developing workable protocols for assessing project development or potential programming directions will be evidence of accomplishment. Some action steps include: Research leadership succession plans, participate in transition training workshops, and identify(pro bono) consultants to assess organizational chart, division of labor and job descriptions.

To position Habitot for relocation into a new facility.

Success will be readiness to sign a letter of intent and/or purchase agreement for a property and readiness to launch a capital campaign. Some action steps include: Form Facilities Committee, analyze property market, complete feasibility study, plan for capital fundraising effort.

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