Every 5 years, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo reviews and refines their strategic plan, ensuring alignment with the goals of the community and advancement of their mission to connect people, ideas, and resources to improve lives in Western New York. In 2017, the foundation engaged FSG to help update their strategic plan.
Before the strategic planning review, the foundation analyzed and evaluated their major initiatives from the past 5 years and conducted a community-needs assessment. FSG synthesized this data and combined it with:
- Qualitative input from community stakeholders including 60 community leaders, 300 nonprofit leaders, and hundreds of residents
- Benchmarking data from 4 peer community foundations pursuing systems-level change: Community Foundation of Dubuque, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and The San Francisco Foundation.
FSG presented this comprehensive overview to the foundation’s board. Over the course of two meetings, FSG facilitated sessions on systems change, an analysis of the foundation’s core issue areas, and discussions on various strategic frameworks the foundation could adopt moving forward.
As a result, the foundation expanded their investment in education to incorporate workforce development, developed a renewed intention to embed an equity lens into all program areas, and agreed on their continued commitment to systems change. Today, the foundation is moving forward with a refreshed strategic plan suited to support the needs of Western New York.
About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 1919 to enhance and encourage long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. The foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas, and resources to improve lives in Western New York.