Strategic Plan Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What is strategic planning?

Strategic planning is a comprehensive, data-driven ongoing process that enables an organization to define its vision, values and goals as well as the strategic initiatives and resources required to achieve its goals. This process includes an assessment component that enables United Way of the Midlands to measure its achievement and to identify obstacles to success that must be overcome.

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Why did UWM create a strategic plan?

United Way of the Midlands adopted a strategic plan that will determine the course of the nonprofit organization for the decade to come.

All organizations benefit from periodic assessment and goal setting. Nonprofits are no different. We continue to experience dramatic change - there are challenges in the level of human need in our communities and in raising the funds necessary to address those needs. To achieve our goal of creating measurable change for individuals, families and the Omaha metropolitan area, United Way of the Midlands must establish a baseline of data on local human conditions, examine its own policies and practices, gather feedback from its donors, volunteers, partners and other community members, and establish high expectations for United Way of the Midlands' positive impact on the metropolitan area in the future. The strategic planning process provided a venue in which we can thoughtfully addressed these and other issues facing United Way of the Midlands and our community.

Our strategic planning effort has created a more efficient organization, encouraged more collaboration, fortified our programs and maintained excellence.

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How was the plan developed?  

2011-2013 Board Chair Terry Kroeger initiated the strategic planning process in September 2011. He recruited a 20-member Strategic Planning Committee, chaired by Ken Stinson, chairman of Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc. Members were from the business, labor and nonprofit community. Five people from the main panel made up the body’s steering committee. Thanks to the generosity of a private donor, the United Way of the Midlands Board of Directors engaged the services of the Bridgespan Group to collect and organize data relevant to United Way’s work and community conditions, and to support the work of the full Strategic Planning Committee.

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What topics did the committee examine?

The topics are many, but they included fundraising, volunteer engagement, distribution of donor dollars, local conditions and community needs, partnerships, governance, best practices, local/national trends and goals for the future.

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What can we expect to see as a result of this process?

Members of our community now have a better sense of how their financial and volunteer support strengthens individuals and families, how United Way and other organizations are working together to make a measurable difference in local conditions, and how our collective resources can be multiplied into the future.

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When will changes begin to happen?

In March of 2012, the Strategic Planning Committee delivered a set of recommendations to United Way of the Midlands' Executive Committee and Board of Directors. The recommendations – including vision and value propositions, guiding principles and strategic change initiatives – provided the organization with a clearer sense of direction. The United Way of the Midlands Board approved the recommendations in March of 2012.

The next steps of the process involved a robust Community Assessment, bringing together hundreds of local donors, companies, organization and stakeholders to examine the needs in our Community. Click here to read more about the Community Assessment.

United Way’s funding priorities are now aligned with the results of this Community Assessment. Basic Need programs have continued to be a key part of our mission. In addition to providing crucial basic needs support for our most vulnerable neighbors, United Way also focuses our organization’s strengths and resources to provide opportunities for success, through programs that support children during their academic years and help prepare young people for productive careers. Click here to read more about the Issues We Address.

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