Looking ahead to a return to in-person meetings
As we approach the final days of what has been for many people perhaps the most challenging year of our lifetime, it’s not only a time for reflection, but also a time to look ahead to what we hope will be better times for all. It’s a time for those of us who work in animal welfare to reimagine how we will operate in a new “normal” as we reevaluate and realign our priorities and practices. And it’s an excellent time to revisit your organization’s strategic plan and make adjustments to be successful in a new and uncertain environment.
You don’t have a strategic plan? Well, now is a good time to create one!
When the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals was created in 2003, developing a 10-year strategic plan was one of the most critical tasks we undertook. Without that roadmap to guide us through our development and evolution over the past 17 years, we would never have been able to accomplish the progress and breakthroughs we, in partnership with Animal Care Centers of NYC and approximately 150 other shelter and rescue partners, achieved in increasing the live release rate at NYC’s shelters from 26 percent in 2003 to a sustained 90+ percent live release rate for the past three years.
Over the years, rescue organizations both locally and nationally have asked for our guidance in developing their own strategic plan and programs to meet their own challenges in reducing euthanasia in their community. While we never would presume to have all the answers, we never passed up an opportunity to share our experience, best practices and successes, as well as our shortfalls, with animal welfare leaders and innovators across the country and, in some cases, in countries beyond our borders.
From our very beginning, we recognized the value of having a strategic plan to guide our efforts in lifesaving, to create targeted and result-oriented programs, and to evaluate our successes and understand where we came up short.
We prepared a Powerpoint which we use when we consult with organizations that ask for our help in creating a strategic plan. Recently we posted it on our website in the hopes that it will be a useful guide for other animal welfare organizations.
If you or others you know are interested in exploring the process of creating or updating a strategic plan for your organization, we will be happy to speak with you. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.